The Defensive line is the most positively talked about group in Perry Fewell’s defense. They are seen as the glue that keeps this team together and makes the rest of the defensive unit better. For Giants fans they are the key to success.
Justin Tuck was hurt for the first time in his career this season and still was healthy enough to dominate some teams. Hopefully he will be able to get his neck and other issues under control and return to being the pillar of strength and the consistent player he has become. He will be wearing a new facemask this year to help keep offensive lineman from twisting his neck and head.
Marvin Austin was drafted last year and suffered an early injury. At 6’2″ 312 pounds he is a natural defensive tackle that should provide run stopping ability and pressure up the middle of the field. We will see.
Rocky Bernard played in all 16 games this season and had 15 solo tackles, 15 assisits, 3 passes defended, and 1 forced fumble and recovery. He is the veteran in the middle, holding the place until Joseph and Austin are ready to dominate.
Linval Joseph had a nice season starting 15 of the 16 games and recording 49 tackles and 2 sacks. He is set to play the middle for a while here in New York.
Chris Canty signed away from the Dallas Cowboys after the 2008 season played in all 16 games and showed why the Giants and Jerry Reese wanted him so badly. 47 tackles, 4 sacks, one for a safety. Canty is another very valuable asset up the middle for the Giants.
Dwayne Hendricks did play in one game this year. At 6’3″ and 305 pounds, he is another young player for the Giants to develop.
Jason Pierre-Paul is now the media star of this team. He is the Victor Cruz of the defense. The great thing about JPP is he defers to Tuck and Osi and the true leaders of this team, he is not too big for his britches as they say, and will be a star in the NFL for a long time to come.
Justin Trattou is entering his second year with the Giants and will benefit greatly from all the off season training he missed last year.
OSI….He has reached one name status. Osi missed a number of games last year with a knee issue and some say a bad attitude. Since Osi came back full force, he proved his worth as a pass rusher. He still gives up the edge too quickly on running plays and can be schemed against when he is in the game. As a pass rusher he is relentless and adds a dimension to this line that would be missed if he didn’t stay with the team. Having the luxury of moving JPP to the opposite side, add Justin Tuck and Canty up the middle, and third and long becomes impossible for the opposing teams. Osi is a free agent at the end of the season, and will want to show exactly what he con offer to teams in the future.
Also in the mix here are Matt Broha a Defesnsive End drafted out of Louisiana Tech, Dwayne Hendricks, Defensive Tackle from Miami, Markus Kuhn Defensive Tackle out of N.C. State, Craig Marshall Defensive End from South Florida, Adewale Ojomo Defensive End also from Miami, and Martin Parker out of Richmond. These are all young players that the Giants will look to develop through the system and hopefully fond some hidden gems.
Shaun Rogers was also signed this offseason from the Detroit Lions, but he is having a lingering issue and it still needs to be proven that he can contribute to this team.
This group is in good hands and has plenty of depth to withstand some minor injuries throughout the year. This unit should continue to dominate most games.