Ok, Seriously: What The Hell Do We Do At Middle Linebacker?

Now that Jon Goff is out for the season, the Giants need a replacement at middle linebacker. Before we find out who that might be, let’s take a step back.

The linebacker unit has been weak for years. They’ve had good players, for sure, but never a cohesive, solid unit. This year could have been that. Michael Boley is solid, with the ability to be a difference maker. Mathias Kiwanuka can obviously rush the passer. And Jon Goff is solid. Not great. Solid.

But now Goff is hurt. And out for the year. And the Jints don’t have a middle ‘backer.

They could re-sign Kawika Mitchell, as reports seem to indicate. But he’s a weak side linebacker. He’s not a middle backer. He’ll provide depth. But he’s not the answer at middle linebacker.

They could promote Greg Jones, the 6th round rookie out of Michigan State. Jones has been excellent on special teams so far, but he’s only played MIKE against 2nd and 3rd teamers. Can he step in right away?

They could sign Lofa Tatupa, who used to be terrific in Seattle, but injuries have slowed him down, and there’s a reason he’s unsigned.

They could re-sign Phil Dillard, who was just released. Not exactly someone you want starting at linebacker.

They could re-sign Keith Bulluck, who knows the system. That would not be a bad option.

Most likely, they will re-sign Mitchell or Bulluck, and play a lot of three safety looks. They will emphasize the pass rush more than ever, bringing guys from around the corner.  Guys like Deon Grant and Antrel Rolle will be incredibly important.

But we can’t say this enough: This is a huge loss. Goff is not an all-star, but he’s solid and more importantly, he’s better than the other options. The Giants are going to throw things at the wall and see what sticks. Not exactly what you would want heading into the season.

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6 Responses to “Ok, Seriously: What The Hell Do We Do At Middle Linebacker?”

  1. David says:

    We put one foot in front of the other and see how we handle adversity. There’s no magic elixr. Just hard ass work.

    • Jason C. says:

      Lies, there is a magic elixir, the Eagles have it, they had a player with a mysterious blood disease that was rumored to be anything from mono to cancer to aids, and other guy that had a brain hemorrhage and both guys are good to go for week 1, Steve Smith says he’s ready to go too.

  2. Mark says:

    Why wont they consider Dhani Jones, the guy is better and more productive than Mitchell and Bulluck? Plus he played for the Giants back in 01

  3. Jason C. says:

    I honestly think Tatupu is the right move, he’s a leader on the field who may have lost a step, sounds a lot like a guy named Antonio Pierce when we brought him in. Unfortunately I don’t see it happening, looks like Greg Jones starts and I’m fine with that as I’d like to see what the kid has, I think his upside is much higher than Goff’s, but what happens when he tears his ACL??

  4. jce says:

    Applause to Ed Valentine when he says, Giants fans need
    to stop crying about all the injuries. It’s Jones turn
    to play and make mistakes and learn. The injuries are history
    you just move forward.

  5. Big Daddy says:

    If Jones does well I guess Reese is a genius, if not then Reese is a bum. Giant fans crack me up, so emotional. The issue is that we have for too long ignored the linebacker position…BUT the reason is that the college game does NOT produce great linebackers anymore. The reason for that is most college DEs should be linebackers. They are undersized compared to the NFL, SO NFL teams must gamble on drafting college DEs and linebackers hoping they will be NFL quality. Some take a few years as they never had to drop into coverage as DEs do even some college LBs just rush the passer.

    So please look at the big picture, college does not produce many quality NFL type linebackers. That’s one reason IMO a 3-4 defense can be superior in the NFL, it’s easier to get quality personnel for a 3-4.

    So don’t kill Reese for not drafting linebackers, the college ranks are thin to begin with. Many college players are playing out of position and have to learn how to play other positions they are more suited for. That takes time. Many college safeties should actually be playing the WILL, they have enough size and speed. So they can’t make it in the NFL as a safety, too slow and not good enough in coverage and they are not used to playing linebacker so it’s a foriegn position and they cannot compete coming stright out of college as a safety.

    In the older style 4-3 Kiwi would be a GREAT MLB but seems more suited to the SAM now. They should never have moved him back to DE, end of story. Reese has always come up with some quick fixes and drafted OK linebacker wise. He has been trying to hit the jackpot without using and possibly wasting a high round pick. He used a second round pick on Sintim and that has not worked out so well. So it’s really all a crap shoot. Lets hope Reese hit the jackpot with Jones and Herzlich.

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