Osi is back. The Giants defensive line looks strong and deep; Big Blue hopes will rest on improvement to the unit GM Jerry Reese said “seemed to get worn down” in a sluggish end to the 2008 season.
And thus far every report from Giants camp is gushing about the new-look defensive line. Osi Umenyiora, fully recovered from his knee injury, is joined at the end position by Justin Tuck, who comes off a monster 2008 campaign. These two stalwarts sandwich tackles Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield in the projected starting lineup. But what makes the overall D-line roster fearsome is the great talent in the second string: Mathias Kiwanuka, Jay Alford, and the tremendous Chris Canty, newly acquired from Dallas.
The “two first teams” concept on D-line not only offers the depth to rotate fresh bodies into the game in the Giants regular 4-3 scheme, but we're actually now hearing crazy talk out of the mouth of Tom Coughlin about a 5-1-5 alignment. This look keeps Kiwanuka in the lineup along with Umenyiora and Tuck. Coughlin, no doubt in an attempt to sound mysterious and intimidating to other teams, told the Bergen Record the Giants “were just getting started playing around with this stuff.” I know if I had all these guys on my team playing Nerf football in the yard, I would certainly line them all up front together and let 'em loose.
I'm drinkin' the Kool Aid on this one Giants fans. The talent is obviously there (assuming injuries to Robbins and Osi are things of the past) and the depth is a good thing if someone does go down. The camaraderie and competition among the D-liners in camp exudes the flavor of an effective unit in the dominating Big Blue defensive tradition.
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Written by Mark Reichman