The foundation was laid for a great start. We definitely have some room for improvement. We're not close to where we want to be as far a defense. The experience has been amazing for me, as far as how my teammates have embraced me. We play for each other here. Coach Coughlin and Spags always hit home on the whole notion of playing for each other and not letting the other guys down. It's evident in our play and how we're passionate in performing for each other.
We played very well on defense. At the end of the day, you just don't want the other team to get more points than you do. And if we don't let them have any points then we give our offense a great chance to win the football game. We felt like we did a solid job in the run game. We let a couple runs sneak out there. They had a 20-plus-yard run in the second half that we were disappointed about. They had a draw at the end of the first half, but the scheme and the way we fit, we were pretty close to getting it right. We're not perfect, we have some things to brush up on, but we have a great foundation as far as our defense goes.
Moving to strong side backer is not a big deal. There are some things that I want to do better. There are some alignment issues that I think can enable myself to make more plays. I was a couple steps away from a couple plays against Washington. I would like to correct my alignment and I'll be more productive. But at the same time, I liked the intensity and the attitude that our defense carried out on the field; it was amazing. We're trying to create our own identity from the team we had last year. We're not the same exact team from a year ago. Our new identity has to have the same premise though – attacking, aggressive and putting pressure on people. I'm excited about that.
The big difference between the two outside linebacker spots is that Will is pretty simple; you pretty much just run to the ball. I love that. It's not a lot of thinking, you just play. The B gap that you account for is right in front of you; you line up right in your gap pretty much. At Sam, you line up on and off the ball. You can be in under defense, you can be on the ball over or you can be off the ball. Your fit is in the center of the defense so you really have to scoot down and come flying downhill at a weird angle to maintain your gap. It's a little more strenuous when it comes to your assignment. But at the end of the day, it's something I've done before. I have no problem with doing it and excelling at it so I'm excited about that.
Sam is definitely a little less glorious and productive. You don't make as many plays. My number of snaps goes down because the Will backer plays in a lot more packages than the Sam. Any time a package changes, the Sam leaves the field. I'm obviously not a big fan of that so I want to do something a little extra so that I can get in on some more packages on defense and help our team win.
Now that we've played a game and won a game, of course I feel more a part of this team. Really the only time that I felt left out was when they went and got their rings. That was really tough for me. But it also made me a lot hungrier to want that for this season. The great thing is that my teammates feel the same way; they want a second one. They're just as hungry as a year ago, if not hungrier. They have the taste in their mouth and they don't want it to ever go away. I'm the same way. I'm hunting our second trek to the Super Bowl and want to win one.
As for as us getting our first win, my first as a New York Giant, it couldn't be a better feeling. I'm excited about the direction we're going in.
It was an amazing accomplishment by these guys last year. To ride in on the coattails of it, I feel like I don't deserve any of the accolades for it. But at the same time, this is the team that we are – we're the defending Super Bowl champions. When we played the Patriots in the last preseason game, they showed a lot of highlights from the Super Bowl win on the video boards. They were rubbing it in a little bit. That was a humbling experience to see that this team was at the biggest stage on the planet, as far as football goes, and we prevailed. I love the character of the guys and that the feeling still remains inside everyone on this ball club.
It's a privilege to be a part of this team, in my opinion. I don't take it for granted. I'm hungry every time I line up. Every time I line up I'm trying to get better and essentially hold my own weight. Now I want to ascend in this defense, I want to get better and better and make a lot more plays. I want to have the best season of my career. I think this is a great stage to do it upon and a great team to do it with as well.
I felt good to be out there for my first time. It was a start. I'm definitely not content with my production; I'm not content with what our defense did against the Redskins. It was a solid showing, but we have a lot of improvement to do. We're miles away from the defense we want to be. But it was a great start for where we're trying to go and I'm excited about it.
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