Throughout the entire history of the New York Giants, they have always had a solid defensive unit and had great players on those defenses.
Whether it was Sam Huff leading the charge in the 1950's and 1960's, or Lawrence Taylor winning Super Bowls in the 1980's and 1990's, the Giants' defenses have always been filled with outstanding players.
Yet, even though those two Hall of Fame players had great players and teams around them, two players on the 2009 Giants' defense might make people think twice and may re-write the history books of the organization.
Those two players are defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, and both players are ready to lead this Giants' team to another Super Bowl run.
There are no comparisons to make between Tuck and Umenyiora, and Huff and Taylor because both of those players played on different teams and different positions. But, the combination of Tuck and Umenyiora may make people reconsider how great this 2009 team can truly be.
Dating back to the 2007 Super Bowl season, Umenyiora was becoming one of the best defense ends in the league alongside of Giant great, Michael Strahan. Tuck really came into his own and really made a name for himself during that postseason.
The Giants then entered that off season with a Super Bowl ring and retired legend when Strahan decided to call it quits. That opened the door for Tuck and all the attention turned toward himself and Umenyiora, and what a lethal combination they were going to be in 2008.
The 2008 preseason came about and the Giants were playing their Giants Stadium brother, the New York Jets. Umenyiora and his defense were on the field when tragedy struck. He was making a move up field when he made an awkward cut on his leg. That awkward cut turned into a horrific knee injury, which caused him to miss the entire 2008 campaign.
If the pressure wasn't already enough for Tuck, who was trying to fill the shoes of Strahan, he now had to be the main player on that defensive line without Umenyiora being there. The 2008 Giants went on to win the NFC Eastern division, but the absence of Umenyiora was highly noticed.
This now leads to present time, and the 2009 off season and training camp. Tuck has as solid, starting year under his belt and Umenyiora looks as though he his better and healthier than ever.
These two players have really never started alongside one another, but both of their styles are different, so this combination can work out well and go down as one of the greatest combinations ever.
Tuck provides the power and the strength, while Umenyiora is quick and fast off the edge. Offensive tackles throughout the league will always be having difficult matchup problems when they come across this duo.
The combination of Tuck and Umenyiora coming off the edge at defensive end will be giving opposing quarterbacks nightmares, and will make the 2009 New York defense one of the best in the NFL.