After years of screaming his name in frustration following a false start or holding call, even I struggled to believe that anyone could become a bigger team Pariah than Luke Petitgout.
The former Giants offensive tackle used to haunt my dreams, with visions of long drives cut short and touchdowns being called back from another momentum—killing penalty committed by No. 77. Oh, how C.C Brown came and changed it all. This past season became a weekly nightmare for me and all the Big Blue faithful, after an arthritic knee condition forced Giants safety, Kenny Phillips, to end his season prematurely.
Brown stepped in for Phillips in a Week Three match-up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and actually seemed to play quite well. He continued to go mostly unnoticed through Week Five, which saw Big Blue tear off to a 5-0 start, on their way to what looked like another promising season.
C.C's weakness, however, was seemingly veiled by a string of opponents with inept passing attacks. The following 12 weeks would find him constantly out of position and completely unable to make the right read. A lot of it can be blamed on an admittedly lack —luster Giants pass rush and less than stellar coaching, but it just never made it easier to swallow.
His contributions against the run and his multiple weeks of double—digit solo tackles proved it wasn't lack of effort, just an issue with talent.
Fast forward to 2010 and the Giants are on the cusp of entering a monumental free agency period, with it likely being the first year since 1993 without a salary cap. One of the free agent names that should be on the Giant's radar is former Arizona Cardinal safety, Antrel Rolle.
Giants fans may remember his athletic late game interception that sealed the Giants fate at the Meadowlands this past season, where yours truly happened to be in attendance. If the stars aligned and Jerry Reese and Co. were able to make a deal to put him in a Giants uniform, it could turn out to be a major addition to a defense with plenty to prove.
The fact that Antrel has only missed one game in his last four seasons in the league, is a statistic that pops right out at me. For a defensive player, that is the definition of durability and would be a welcome change to a Giants team who has been plagued by injury the last few seasons. He has no trouble coming up in run support, all the while having averaged 78 tackles and nine passes defended over those four years.
His interception numbers aren't too much to write home about, but with a quality supporting cast and the opportunities created from Perry Fewell's zone defensive schemes, his numbers could definitely spike playing opposite of a healthy Kenny Phillips.
Should the Giants secure a viable safety option like Rolle in free agency, Jerry Reese can go into this years draft focusing on fewer need positions, which will allow him to select impact players who are the best available when they are on the board. If a few pieces fall in to place, in my opinion the Giants will no doubt be in contention to hoist the Lombardi trophy next February.