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Carter Coughlin shines in new role at inside linebacker

Coughlin had a standout performance against the New York Jets

NFL: DEC 27 Giants at Ravens Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A notable standout performer from the New York Giants’ first preseason game was surprisingly backup linebacker Carter Coughlin. Head coach Joe Judge highlighted Coughlin’s stellar performance after the game.

“I thought Carter did a good job for us overall tonight,” said Judge. “He had a couple of things that we have to clean up and nothing was perfect with him, but in terms of a motor, Carter plays with a motor.”

Coughlin finished the contest with five tackles, one for loss, a sack and a forced fumble in his debut as an inside linebacker. Previously an EDGE rusher in college, the former seventh-round pick spent his first season at outside linebacker for the Giants. Recently, Coughlin was asked to move inside and has shown quick development according to Judge.

“He’s got good athleticism, he has good play strength, he shows some instincts, and obviously with us moving him back and forth inside and outside — the inside is new to him. So there’s a lot of things that for him he’s experiencing for the first time, but I’d say he’s flashed positively throughout camp. He did a lot of things tonight that flashed positively...he’s definitely a guy that showed up tonight to play and made an impression.”

Coughlin saw a significant amount of snaps in the second half of the Giants preseason loss to the New York Jets. According to Coughlin, that experience was entertaining.

“It was a blast ... putting everything that I’ve been working on in practice, everything that I’ve been taught from the coaches, and getting a chance to really go out there and do it for real,” said Coughlin.

Changing positions can be a complex process for young players fighting to earn a spot on the roster. Coughlin is most excited about the opportunity the Giants coaching staff presented him.

“It’s awesome that they’re moving me around and allowing me to try out different things. It’s been, like I said at the beginning, it was a challenge moving from outside to inside, but the coaches and the other inside linebackers have been helping me a lot, and that allows me to play fast and pick up on different things,’ Coughlin said.

Despite spending most of his football career rushing the passer and playing along the line of scrimmage, Coughlin appears to enjoy the new role.

“I really, really like being off the ball. It’s been really, really fun to work on. It was fun to do that on the scout team last year and get kind of a feel for it and then really dig into it during camp and get those off-the-ball reps. But it’s just like anything, whatever my role is, whether it’s special teams, whatever, I want to make the most out of it.”

Coughlin is currently one of the many young players fighting for a roster spot on the Giants. With a lack of depth at inside linebacker, Coughlin could earn that chance if he continues to show consistent improvement.