When you think of the New York Giants winning football games, you imagine them doing it on the arm of Eli Manning or with a vaunted pass rush led by Jason Pierre-Paul.
In 2014, one of the other players that will be key to the team racking up wins will be one who didn't play a single down in 2013—Stevie Brown.
After bouncing around the league with three different teams, Brown found a home in New York following a solid 2012 season that included 76 tackles and eight interceptions.
However, a torn ACL in a preseason game last year derailed his development.
With ESPN.com's Dan Graziano reporting that the team recently waived Will Hill, Brown has been forced into a position where he not only needs to prove he can come back from such a devastating injury, but come back and play well.
The Giants have put together an impressive secondary by adding cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond to go along with Prince Amukamara and safety Antrel Rolle.
Last season, the Giants ranked No. 10 in the league against the pass, giving up just over 223 yards per game through the air. With the additions they have made to their secondary, that number could be even better this year.
Brown will be the big question mark.
Quintin Demps is the only other experienced safety on the roster. Behind him, the team has unproven players Cooper Taylor, Nat Berhe and C.J. Barnett.
The Giants probably don't want to have to rely on any of them. With Hill gone, Brown has every opportunity to become the Giants' starting free safety for many years to come.
Brown is a ball-hawking safety who can make big plays with the ball in his hands. In 2012, he recorded 307 return yards on his eight interceptions—an average of over 38 yards per return.
Brown will likely be tested early and often as he works his way back from injury, and the team must be prepared for that.
That will be one of the biggest questions the Giants face heading into the 2014 season.
Players like Manning, Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz will steal most of the headlines when the Giants perform well, but Brown is a player who will sneak up on people this season and become one of the stars of the New York defense.
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