Who would you name as the Giants’ defensive MVP through the first seven games of the season? Jason Pierre-Paul? Antrel Rolle?
What about middle linebacker Chase Blackburn?
According to Tom Rock of Long Island Newsday, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell singled Blackburn out as the “key” to the Giants’ defensive success so far this season.
Chase is really the key to our success because he’s the quarterback of our defense. He plays and he gets everyone lined up and he gets everyone on the same page and in the proper coverages and getting the guys up front doing the things they should be doing and then, in addition to that, he plays his technique and responsibility. I think Chase has been playing very steady for us. He’s been doing the job of a mike linebacker, what a mike linebacker should do, and I’m glad he’s on my football team.
Fewell’s praise of Blackburn is surprising, especially since he wasn’t even on the team a year ago today. The team let him walk before last season only to call him back in Week 13 against the Packers due to a shortage at his position.
Even after he helped the Giants win their second Super Bowl in five seasons, Blackburn’s starting position wasn’t a lock in training camp this summer. Second-year pro Mark Herzlich was given an opportunity to compete for the spot, but Blackburn barely edged him out before the season began.
And now, all of a sudden, Blackburn is the key to the Giants’ success on defense?
I’m not buying it. Although I agree with Fewell that Blackburn has an extensive understanding of the defense, it’s one thing to know what to do and another to actually carry it out. Mentally, Blackburn may very well be the Giants’ most complete defensive player, but I believe he is the defense’s weak link athletically.
Also, if he's so knowledgeable, then why doesn’t he wear the radio? That duty is reserved for outside linebacker Michael Boley, who I believe Fewell truly places more faith in than Blackburn.