New York Giants: Giants need a Leader in the Middle
By Michael Stewart
Historically, the New York Giants have had the luxury of having Pro bowl caliber MLB to quarterback the defense; dating back to Sam Huff to Antonio Pierce. However; since the Giants last Super Bowl, the lack of a dependable and productive MLB has eluded the Giants, mostly because GM Jerry Reese refuses to see the big picture and the importance of having a MLB that will anchor the defense.
The current candidates for the 2016-17 season are Kennan Robinson (FA signing) Jasper Brinkey (FA signing in 2015) and BJ Goodson (2016 4th round selection). Can any of these three emerge and provide the production the Giants need to be a serious playoff contender this season? Hard to say as all three either have not shown that ability or (in Goodman’s case) are entering their rookie season. Let’s take a look at each player and what they bring to the table.
Keenan Robinson: In three seasons with the Washington Redskins, Robinson has played a total of 36 games and has had a total of 183 tackles (116-solo/67-assist). He has also recorded 1.5 sacks and 2 INTS. Can we judge these stats as a norm for Robinson, or can we expect him to emerge and improve dramatically as the Giants MLB.
Jasper Brinkley: First of all, Brinkley wearing #53 is an insult to one of the greatest MLB in New York Giants history in Harry Carson. Carson’s #53 should have been retired a long time ago, but that’s another story that should be mentioned at another time. Brinkley has played for the Vikings, Cardinals and now the Giants and has played in a total of 94 games with 315 tackles (233-solo/82 assist). Brinkley also has 2 INTS for his career as well. Last season, the Giants deployed Brinkley at the MLB position out of necessity and to his credit, played well enough that the Giants decided to bring him back. However; does this warrant any expectations that Brinkley can fill the shoes of past Giant greats at the MLB position?
BJ Goodson: Goodson only has 1 full season under his belt at the MLB position at Clemson. Now this could be taken two different ways as one could argue that he doesn’t have enough experience to be taken seriously as a productive NFL MLB moving forward or Goodman produced so well in 2015 at Clemson that his ceiling is so high that with a little more seasoning, the Giants may have found their future MLB who could possibly carry the torch of past great Giant MLB.
Final Thoughts: Can the Giants succeed this year and make the playoffs without a productive MLB on Defense? It’s possible as many teams have done before. However; every New York Giants team that has won either Championship games or Super Bowls all have had a signature defensive team that has had an outstanding MLB to help lead the way. Last season, the Giants offense averaged roughly 26 PPG, unfortunately; the defense probably averaged more PG. Bottom line is if the Giants want to return to the glory days and be a consistent playoff team, it starts on defense and what better position to start with than at MLB.