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Groundhog Day, UltimateNYG-style

It must be Groundhog Day if this NY Giants blog asks again- what are the Giants going to do to draft a LBer?!

Do you really think the LBer in the 21st Century NFL has gone the way of the buggy whip?  Don’t ask the Steelers that question.

3 years ago, fresh after WINNING the Super Bowl, we asked aloud about this franchise’s dedication to defense… we asked about the lack of commitment to the position of Linebacker.  And so here we are, 3 years later, with Clint Sintim arguably a bust in progress.  We have watched more linebackers go through undrafted.  This past draft, it was particularly painful to watch us take Linval Joseph.  Joseph is a DL who we still like VERY MUCH and must be patient with, despite seeing him in street clothes for a majority of his rookie season.  The problem was that Daryl Washington, another LBer who we eyed last offseason, was available in the 2nd round and was not taken.  Whisenhunt and the Cardinals immediately traded up and took Washington with the next pick after Joseph.  And Washington has been a very impressive rookie on a very bad Arizona defense.

The story of Washington is a reminder of the lack of commitment that the Giants have shown to this position. 

As happens every year in the NFL, the media love to anoint the Super Bowl teams as the blueprint for success.  Every year brings a new flavor.  So all of a sudden being a Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker is a good thing.  And I guess being Hawk or Matthews on Green Bay works too, eh?  

Linebacker NEVER went out of vogue.  

The owner’s son says we need help at LBer.  Oh, really?  Ya think?  

(Pittsburgh’s Keith) Butler has been the linebackers coach for eight seasons — an eternity by N.F.L. standards, especially considering he has worked for two head coaches — and he looks for two things when studying college linebackers: whether they can run and whether they can hit. Those things, Butler said, he cannot teach.

WHETHER THEY CAN RUN AND HIT?!!! Hmmm… maybe the Giants lack LBers who can run and hit because the Steelers are taking all of them?!!! 

Why do you need to run?  Because the 21st Century passing league did not outlaw Linebacker, it just changed his job description to cover and blitz.  So if you can’t run you can’t keep up with the route runner in coverage.  And if you can’t run, you can’t get to the QB in time to pressure or sack him.

Why do you need to hit?  Because it is football, and this game is still about intimidation and punishment.

Oh, one more thing.  Butler is 55 years old, so he is probably a little late for coordinator and head coaching consideration.  But do you think for one second that this kind of guy could be around somewhere as a 35 year old stadium rat somewhere?  Of course he is, they are out there, and they are the future of the NFL.  And 55 years or not, I’d take my chances with him as my next Defensive Coordinator.  He certainly understands at least one important thing- linebackers.