Yes, there's no shortage of talent at the position, but much of it is young and unproven. Not to mention there's a new man in charge of the backers since the old boss is now running the entire defense. Jim Herrmann took over for Bill Sheridan and he certainly has his hands full determining which three are best suited to play and trying to get all the new blood acclimated to the system. But all eyes on the unit are certainly going to be focused right on the middle of the defense and Antonio Pierce, who admittedly has plenty to prove this season.
Will the real Antonio please stand up?
There's the guy that went undrafted and has already surpassed the career production of so many of those players drafted ahead of him. The guy that made the Pro Bowl in 2006. The guy that leads the defense, both in word and deed. But there's also the guy that was slow to react last season. The guy that couldn't cover a tight end to save his life. And the guy that sure as heck looked every bit as distracted as could be after being out with Plaxico Burress that fateful New York night in November. But all that can be left in the rearview mirror if Antonio Pierce can return to his solid, destructive ways. Many a fan and media member has already called for his dismissal; many others believe this is his last chance to do right or risk being sent packing by the team he calls home. Basically, what happens to Pierce is up to Pierce, which is exactly why we like his odds. Although not as often and drastically as he'd have you believe, the odds have pretty much always been stacked against Pierce, yet here he is, the defensive leader of the defending NFC East champs only two years removed from Super Bowl glory.
Can Michael make better third impression?
Michael Boley surely hasn't shot from the gate as far as his Giants career is concerned. First he succumbed to a hip injury that required surgery and will keep him out of action for most, if not all, of training camp. Then word came down that he was suspended without pay for the season opener. What better debut for a $25 million free agent signing than getting to watch your first game with your new club because you violated the league's conduct policy? Needless to say, the only direction for Boley to travel at this point is up. The Giants are very high on his ability and his forward moving, aggressive style of play. Obviously the weak side job is his, with Bryan Kehl expected to edge out Gerris Wilkinson and handle the task in the interim. But Boley sure has a lot to prove to his new team – a lot more than when the Giants agreed to pay him so handsomely earlier this offseason.
Who will prove to be strongest?
Danny Clark actually played pretty well at Sam last season. We all know it's not exactly a position prone to piling up big tackle numbers. We also know that Chase Blackburn has proven to be able to play any of the three LB spots pretty well. He's likely not headed to any Pro Bowls but you could do a lot worse with him on the field for you. But the most important knowledge we have is that Clint Sintim was one of four players the Giants considered when they chose Hakeem Nicks with their first draft choice and that they were absolutely thrilled when Sintim was there with their next pick. We also know that he seems to be picking things up as quickly as they could have hoped. Will he be the starting Sam by opening day? That's probably unlikely, although not impossible. But we'd be willing to bet that he's the guy by season's end.
Can all LB Questions be Answered?
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