Giants finally boast playmakers in secondary

This week we want to take a look at another area of the team that will play an important role in the future success or failure of the team – the secondary. While it's true that great coverage units are aided by a potent pass rush, it is also true that for a secondary to be effective they have to be able to cover when the pass rush is not working.

They go hand and glove. For the last several years the Giants' secondary has been devoid of playmakers. Many times DBs would be in position to make a play and they were unable to catch the ball. There is an old saying in the NFL that says DBs are WRs who can't catch. The Giants have proven that axiom time and time again. This year's secondary has a chance to make some plays. They have added a few playmakers and they should help create turnovers. Let's look at the current cast of characters.

Will Allen – Although he is a talented athlete, he is not close to being considered a playmaker. He possesses great speed and looks technically sound. He has top corner skills. Unfortunately his output does not always match his skills. He is a player who never really stepped forward. At best he's a competent starter but he's not a big-time corner. We would be extremely surprised if he is back with the Giants next year. He is in the last year of his contract and it's likely he will price himself off the team. His future with the team probably follows the development of Corey Webster. If Webster comes on, then Allen in all likelihood will not be back.

Will Peterson – He's a physical corner with good cover skills. He is much better in press or tight man coverage than he is in zone. He's a holder and grabber and he will get called for that from time to time. He is also very good in run support. He does more with less athletic skills than Will Allen. He is the team's best corner, but he's got to make it through the season healthy. Right now, we get the impression Coach Coughlin is annoyed with him.

Corey Webster – Without a doubt, he is their future at corner. Webster was somewhat of a gamble in the second round, but it looks like he is going to pay off. He had a great junior season but due to injuries he struggled in his senior year. That caused him to slide to round two. In his defense, he could have sat, but he played through his injuries and that's a great sign. Even as late as the Senior Bowl he did not look good. It was a gutsy pick because he really wasn't totally healthy until around late March or early April. Unlike some of the others, he can catch the ball. He will create turnovers. He showed that several times in camp and during the preseason. Honestly, if he keeps progressing it won't be long before he is starting. A lot is riding on him to come through.

Frank Walker – Right now, Frank Walker is about as far away from being a good technician as possible. He came from a tiny program, Tuskegee, and it shows. He got by in college on sheer athletic skills. That doesn't always work in the NFL. He's aggressive. He's unconventional. He's a gambler. When he was at the Hula Bowl, receivers on his own team couldn't stand him because throughout the entire practice week, all he did was hold them. They were annoyed that they were unable to showcase their talents in front of the scouts because in order to cover them he had to hold them. As we saw in the opener against Arizona he's able to pick off a pass and make a big play. He's also capable of getting toasted badly on the very next play. Until he learns or becomes more disciplined that is what they will get. They will have to take the bad with the good. There is a lot of good there. He's willing and he can be exciting. It's just that he needs to be more consistent so that the coaches are not pulling their hair out every other play. He is worth the effort to work with. We especially like his aggressiveness. He is willing to make plays.

Curtis Deloatch – He's a tall CB with good speed. He is a solid athlete. He is also an intriguing prospect. Like Walker he also comes from a small program, North Carolina A&T, and needs to improve his skills. He is making progress. He had a decent effort in the opener against the Cards. If he can continue to develop toughness, he could become a very good press corner. He has loads of potential. He needs to keep working hard.

Gibril Wilson – Last season when Wilson got some playing time and until he got hurt, he was like a breath of fresh air in the secondary. He showed us what it is like to have a playmaker. He got interceptions and created turnovers. He changed the tempo in the secondary. He was physical and he was always around the ball. He is a playmaker. His physical style of play makes him well suited to strong safety. He's a good tackler and he can play close to the line as well. He has a very nice future ahead of him but he needs to show he can stay healthy throughout the season.

Brent Alexander – Alexander is a "get by" or "hold the fort" kind of player. He's familiar with Tim Lewis' style and schemes. He will hold the secondary together for the time being. He's a savvy veteran who has the versatility to play both free and strong. At this point in his career he wins with instincts and smarts over raw talent. He will make some plays. He's not physically imposing, but he is a good student of the game. Hopefully he will be the caretaker at this spot while James Butler continues to develop.

Shaun Williams – What might have been? When Shaun Williams was drafted we were reasonably certain that at the very least he would become a Pro Bowl safety. While he has been a good player, it never really worked out that well for him. Now, he's in the twilight of his career. He is a liability in coverage, but he is still a hitter and he's terrific at run support. He's no longer starting quality, but he will fill a role as a run stopper and in short area coverage. He provides veteran insurance. Right now he's a bargain. For what he is paid it would be difficult to find a better alternative that would bring as much to the table as he does. He's also a good team player.

James Butler – Butler was one of the pleasant surprises from training camp. He is another young player with playmaking ability. He's tall and rangy and he's a good tackler. The reason he went undrafted was the reputation he earned in college for not being tough. In fact he played soft at Georgia Tech. For whatever reason, he shed that label and now has a make-it grade with an up arrow. He will make the tackles he has to make and he has already shown he is a good edge blitzer. He has been very impressive in their sub packages. He also shows impressive range in their cover-two defense. Hopefully he will continue to learn and improve and eventually take a starting spot next to Wilson.

The secondary of the near future includes Will Peterson. Corey Webster, Gibril Wilson and James Butler. If they continue to improve that will be an excellent starting group.

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