Paul Schwartz: Well, Kenny, welcome back. Offseason? What offseason? The Giants certainly hit the ground running in free agency, didn't they? Visit, signing. Visit, signing. Visit, signing. Quite a nice little pattern Jerry Reese followed as he re-tooled the Giants defense. I have no gripes with any of the signings but the one I like best of all is the very first move, bringing in Michael Boley from the Falcons. For too long, the Giants treated the linebacker position like a sort of stop-gap deal, plugging in late-round draft picks or looking to bottom-feed in free agency to add moderately-talented players. They hit it big a few years ago with Kawika Mitchell but after the Super Bowl title didn't think enough of him to keep him with a market-value contract. The after-effect was that the Giants didn't get very much out of their weak side spot in 2008. Boley should be an upgrade because he's fast and can drop in coverage. He's not a star but he's more experienced than Bryan Kehl, more athletic than Chase Blackburn and more reliable than Gerris Wilkinson. Sure, the Giants did take two linebackers in last year's NFL Draft, Kehl and Jonathan Goff, and perhaps one or both develop into more than special teams performers. Boley will start and should make an immediate impact. Again, he's not a great player but working behind such a gifted and deep defensive line he should be able to make enough tackles and plays to make a difference.
Ken Palmer: Welcome back indeed, buddy. Sure we've been gone for a while and much has transpired. But you know what hasn't changed? Yup, you guessed it: the Phils are still the champs. Oops, sorry. I've given up boasting for Lent. Thank heavens (for me, at least) that'll all be over in a week or so. As for the free agents, I too thoroughly love the Boley signing. The reason he lost his starting spot in Atlanta was because he was too aggressive for the Falcons defense. You'll never hear me complain about a defensive player being too aggressive. And that's the exact reason I think the Canty signing will prove to be the biggest of them all. He's such an athletic, aggressive player that can help out in the all-important pass rush department. Yes, I realize that Boley is going to start and Canty will just be a reserve. But we all saw last year how good the Giants pass rush was when healthy and rested – and how awful it was later on in the season. The addition of Canty, combined with the return of Osi Umenyiora, will allow the Giants to once again boast the best pass rush in the NFL. The Giants will use him all over the line, inside and out, and by the end of the season the Cowboys will be ruing their decision to let Canty walk.
Look for part two of this discussion tomorrow right here at TGI.
What Was Giants' Best Offseason Move? Part 1
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