Scott Boehm/Getty Images
Substitute Math Teacher; Chase Blackburn.
What can be said about cancer survivor Mark Herzlich that hasn't already been said? The pure determination and drive he has to play football is beyond inspirational.
He and fellow undrafted rookie linebacker, Spencer Paysinger, will be instrumental to the Giants' success on special teams this Sunday. They may also split about 10 or so reps at LB.
And do not underestimate the importance that Tom Quinn's special teams units will play in this game. Just ask Kyle Williams.
The real story, though, is Chase Blackburn, a veteran and special teams specialist for many years with the Giants. He was released before the season started, being told the team wanted to go in a youthful direction at the LB position.
After an embarrassing loss in New Orleans where Drew Brees dismantled the young LBs, the Giants called their old friend Blackburn.
Since that phone call, the Giant's defense has been different unit. A much better unit.
Blackburn is a highly intelligent linebacker with experience at all LB positions. He's able to make the calls much better than the younger players on the team.
At the time he was signed, it looked to most analysts like the Giants were tossing a bucket of water into the ocean—that there would be gain or improvement to the defense.
Everyone was wrong.
Blackburn, for his limited time, has to be considered one of the main reasons the Giants are in the Super Bowl.
This Sunday it will not be what he does on the field so much as what he calls, where he lines his teammates up and what mistakes he doesn't make that the rookies may have in his position.