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Kelvin Sheppard moves ahead in Giants’ MLB competition

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Ex-Dolphin says there is a “true competition” for the job

NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at New York Giants
Kelvin Sheppard
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Who will be the starting middle linebacker for the New York Giants? Jasper Brinkley began spring workouts and training camp in that spot. Former Washington Redskins linebacker Keenan Robinson has had an opportunity. More and more, though, it appears that the job could ultimately belong to Kelvin Sheppard.

Giants.com said Wednesday that Sheppard, signed as a free agent after playing for the Miami Dolphins the past two seasons, “has moved ahead in the competition.”

“He’s an instinctive guy. He gets football and has a nose for the ball,” said coach Ben McAdoo on Wednesday. “His energy impacts everybody out there. He’s a big energy guy.”

Pat Traina of Inside Football said that Sheppard “has taken advantage of the extra snaps he’s received as a result of Robinson having to miss a few practices with a groin injury.”

A 2011 third-round pick by the Buffalo Bills, Sheppard has 45 starts in 77 career games. He was with the Bills in 2001 and 2012, was a member of the Indianapolis Colts in 2013 and spent the last two years in Miami.

Sheppard said Wednesday there is a “great competition” going on for the middle linebacker job between himself, Brinkley and Robinson.

“I believe that this a true competition situation here. I don’t think they are playing around with anybody’s mind, or trying to do a mind game. I believe that it's true competition and every guy has to earn their reps,” he said. “It starts with, one, being able to know what you're doing out there and, two, being able to go out and actually perform. So I think every guy’s reps here are definitely earned.”

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