The New York Giants defense was one of the best defense in the NFL last season. They finished the 2016 season as the second-best team in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 17.8 points per game. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie doesn’t see the defense slowing down this season.
“I think that we can be special. I think that we started something last year. The main thing is that we are coming back and everybody is together and we are in the same system. So once you know your system and you know your guys, it makes it that much easier to play,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
Rodgers-Cromartie finished the 2016 season with 41 total tackles and six interceptions. He was unable to play in the Giants Wild Card Playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers with a thigh bruise.
“I had a thigh bruise and I think it was more so to do with the cold and it just being cold out there in the winter and it wouldn’t allow me to lift my leg. Anytime you go against an elite quarterback like that with a slot like that, I felt like I would be more harmful than helpful,” he said. “Very tough. To watch that was very tough.”
The Giants added multiple new names to their already talented defense for this season. One year after being one of the best defenses in the NFL, Big Blue could be even better on that side of the ball. They have been meshing well during mini-camp and Rodgers-Cromartie has noticed.
“Definitely. The ones, twos and threes, man just any groups out there – the main thing is that guys have been flying around, talking and communicating and it is just on point. The offense has their days and we have our days, but for the most part it has been good,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
Rodger-Cromartie will play a lot of the defensive snaps in the slot next season and with the additions of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, he is getting great simulation of what he’ll see in the slot.
“Yeah, but even with Engram he is a bigger body type but he is just as fast and just as quick, so you get the smaller quicker guy and the big guy that is – some big guys aren’t quick, but he is quick, so it helps you that way too,” Rodgers Cromartie said.
Landin Collins recently came in as the No. 28th ranked player in the NFL Top 100 players list and Rodgers-Cromartie thinks that he can get even better.
“It is his [third] year, so you can only go up. The first year he came in and moved himself along, second year he took off and now I think in the third year he is going to thrive in that role. He understands his ability, he knows what he can do in this defense, they use him in many ways and I think that he takes that challenge on and can just go forward with it,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
Rodgers-Cromartie a part of a bunch of different secondaries in his career, including some very talented ones, but he thinks very highly of this year’s group.
“I have been around some guys from way back when to now, not only on the field, but off the field I think that this is the best group I have been around,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
The Giants are ready to put last year’s success behind them and look to improve once again this season. They have a lot of talent on paper but they need to get it done on the field to prove to the league that they are the best defense in the NFL. Rodgers-Cromartie talked about the goals for this defense.
“Man, to be honest it is all about that trophy,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.