Dissecting the losses; who steps up?

As you are all aware, the Giants lost CB’s Terrell Thomas, Brian Witherspoon and DT Marvin Austin all to season ending injuries. Let’s take a closer look into each loss and see who has to step up to mitigate some of the damage.

The Loss: 

CB Terrell Thomas: He’s clearly the biggest loss of the bunch. Thomas was arguably the Giants #1 corner, and was ready to have a pro-bowl season. He was only one of four players in the NFL to have 5 interceptions in the last two years. That’s pretty impressive. He also led the Giants with 101 tackles last season, too. With the hopeful emergence of Prince Amukamara at first, Thomas would have been allowed to go to slot and blitz more, something he’s actually more comfortable with. With Thomas out for the season with a Torn ACL, the Giants will lose a lot of production.

CB Brian Witherspoon: When Amukamara went down, Witherspoon was battling CB Michael Coe for the fourth corner spot. When Terrell Thomas went down, Witherspoon was looking like the teams third corner. Then he went down. And out. Witherspoon, who was a nice training camp surprise, was waived/injured. The Giants will lose some production on the defensive side of the ball, but more importantly on special teams, where Witherspoon tremendous value.

Who Steps Up? 

Aaron Ross: Obviously, with the loss of Thomas for the season and with Amukamara out until at-least Week 4, the Giants will need the former first-round pick to step up. What a difference a few injuries can make, though. He went from potentially fighting to be the teams fourth corner, to being the starter. The Giants need Ross to step up, and I mean big time.

Michael Coe: With the emergence of Brian Witherspoon, Coe looked to be on the outside looking in. With Witherspoon out for the season, Coe has a shot to be the teams 4th corner. He needs to improve on special teams in order for the team to feel confident in keeping him and not signing another veteran free agent.

Brian Williams: The newest Giant will provide veteran experience and depth. Williams is a terrific blitzer in the slot, which will provide defensive coordinator Perry Fewell with some added options to arsenal. The one thing the Giants love is his durability, like S Deon Grant. Williams has played in 128 regular season games, starting in 99 of them. William’s has played for the Vikings (2002-05), Jaguars (2006-08) and Falcons (2009-10). He has 19 career interceptions, but more importantly, he played in all 16 games last season.

Another free agent? Rumor has it the Giants might ink one more corner to help bloster the secondary. Could it be Lito Sheppard? Maybe Dre’ Bly? We shall see.

The Loss:

DT Marvin Austin: The Giants second-round pick was dusting off some the rust. He was preparing to play in his first meaningful game in almost two years. He’ll have to wait another year. Austin suffered a Torn Pectoral muscle, which will require surgery. Austin showed flashes. He was a first-round talent and fell right to their laps in the second round. But not playing football for almost two years showed. He wasn’t going to get many reps on the field anyway. With DT’s Chris Canty, Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard ahead of him, he wasn’t going to see much action. He’ll hurt depth wise.

Who steps up?

Rocky Bernard: Originally cut after not being able to redo his deal, Bernard was unemployed. A weak market for Barnard and a lack of depth for the Giants and the two are back together. Bernard has looked good so far. He’ll get much more time on the field this season.

Gabe Watson: With Austin out, Watson has a chance to see the field this season. Especially in goal-line situations with his massive frame. The former nose tackle might be used in run-stuffing situations. Watson and Joseph could clog up the middle, that’s for sure.

Dark Horse: Jimmy Kennedy: The recently signed Giant is healthy. The former first-round pick has a chance to make the roster. If he does, he might just contruivte. Kennedy feels confident, and. comfortable. If Kennedy can stay healthy, he might make a difference. He knows this might be his last shot.

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