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New York Giants Offseason: Underrated and Successful

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IMarch 24, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 31:  Osi Umenyiora #72 of the New York Giants smiles from the sidelines against the New England Patriots during their preseason game against at Giants Stadium August 31, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

While the offseason has yet to come to its conclusion, I feel the need to evaluate the intelligent moves made by the Giants, as most of them have flown under the radar.

Rocky Bernard, Defensive Tackle

Rocky Bernard is a guy who has been very solid in his time in the NFL. An eight-year veteran out of my soon-to-be alma mater Texas A&M University, he is a former fifth-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks. His best season was 2005, when he was named the starting defensive tackle. He amassed 8.5 sacks and 42 tackles while anchoring the Seattle defense on its run to the Super Bowl.

While he has had some issues with the law, most recently being suspended in 2008 for violating the league's conduct abuse policy, I believe the Giants organization can put him in line, much like Dallas did for Tank Johnson.

Chris Canty, Defensive End/Tackle

It is unknown what position Canty will assume once he puts on the blue and white, but what is known is that he will impact an already stud defensive line. Underrated and seldom used, Canty took a backseat to the 3-4 defense in Dallas. In this aggressive 4-3 system, he should be able to display his talents.

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He is versatile and will either start at defensive tackle in place of aging Fred Robbins or be a spell defensive end. Either way, he will provide depth for a line that will be fresh at all times. 

Quarterbacks beware.

Michael Boley, Outside Linebacker

Rather than wait until late April, the Giants decided to address the gaping hole at OLB with Michael Boley, a very underrated player from Atlanta. It's hard to imagine the Giants getting such talent at such a cheap price in April. Boley recorded 110 tackles, three sacks, and forced five turnovers in 2007; it seemed he was in Atlanta to stay.

However, something did not click with rookie head coach Mike Smith, and Boley eventually lost his starting job. Make no mistakes, he is a gamer. I fully expect Boley to come in and impact the defense in a positive manner.

The Giants' defensive depth in the front seven seems to be never-ending. At defensive line, they have Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck (both Pro Bowlers), Ronaldo Winn, Mathias Kiwanuka, Chris Canty, Dave Tollefson, Fred Robbins, Rocky Bernard, Jay Alford, and Barry Cofield all fighting for four spots. 

While it's obvious Osi and Tuck will start at the ends, the inside spots are a toss-up. This also gives the defensive coaches freedom to bring Tuck inside on third downs, a freedom given up when Michael Strahan retired.

At linebacker, they have Antonio Pierce in the middle, but it gets fuzzy from there. Gerris Wilkinson, Chase Blackburn, Danny Clark, and Michael Boley all played at some point last year and did well. Also, 2008 draft pick Brian Kiehl has to be in the discussion. While the decision on who to start may be a problem, it's a good problem to have.

The only problem some fans seem to be expressing is not addressing the issue of Plaxico Burress by finding a replacement. I, for one, do not want to see the Giants rush into anything drastic. They need to wait and see what the city of New York decides before making any decisions. 

Even if they have to part ways with Plaxico, there are several solutions that can be made, including using the draft or trading for a proven talent (Braylon Edwards and Anquan Boldin come to mind). Sit tight, fellow fans, and let the experts do their jobs.

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