Connor, Herzlich vie for starting LB job

Dan Connor is in a heated battle with Mark Herzlich for the starting middle linebacker position. He believes that they are both worthy of the starting job and that the linebacker group will come together and be successful in 2013.

The linebacker position may be the most open competition during preseason. All three spots are looking for someone to rise to the occasion and grab the starting job.

The middle linebacker could possibly be the most heated battle out at training camp. Mark Herzlich is the early favorite, but Dan Connor is not too far behind from stealing the position away.

Connor came away with three combined tackles and Herzlich did not register any stats.

"I think it went well." Connor explained. "Graded out well, was comfortable out there in the defense. You're a little rusty getting out there the first game, but it's nice to get to work out some of the kinks and make some plays."

Connor had some off the field issues during the offseason that put him in head coach Tom Coughlin's dog house. He was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport in July for possession of an offensive weapon.

The linebacker is trying to move on and get back on the coaching staff's good side. His best way of doing that is by performing on the field. Connor knows the Giants have a great history at the linebacker position and wants to keep the success going with the group of guys the organization has.

"It's a good group," Connor said. "The whole unit played well. A lot of guys can go in there and play at any time. It's never a bad thing to have multiple guys that can start."

Connor is coming over from the in division rival Dallas Cowboys. He had 55 combined tackles in 14 games last year while playing in Big D. Connor knows how heated the rivalries can get in the NFC East.

"I'm from Philly, too, so I've seen it from every single angle now and I'm not too well-like back home," Connor said. "But it's great. This is such a great place to play. All the people around this franchise are real class acts and I'm happy to be here."

Herzlich is the definition of a workhorse. He fought back from a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing's sarcoma while at Boston College and finished off a good career with the Eagles. Herzlich has continued to improve since joining the league in 2011. His hard work ethic has given him the early leg up on Connor at the middle linebacker position.

Connor feels like he can contribute right away for Big Blue. The middle linebacker is like the quarterback of the defense, so it's important that either Connor or Herzlich perform to a high level. Connor has started in the NFL and believes he will be successful if given the chance to start.

"I don't even look at it too closely, Connor said about the competition with Herzlich." "I think we're pretty interchangeable as linebackers. We both can do it. Who knows, we could be rotating through the season. Or he could do it and then I can do it later, or opposite. There are so many different options in the linebacker position."


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