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Giants' Perry Fewell: Chase Blackburn is starting middle linebacker, but there will be competition

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It's been one of the looming questions surrounding the Giants this offseason: Who will be the middle linebacker?

That's usually been followed by: Does it even matter?

The most notable competition heading into the season will be who emerges as the team's two-down middle linebacker in the base set. Fewell said it is Chase Blackburn's spot now, but that can change. He expects Mark Herzlich, Greg Jones and traditional outside linebackers Michael Boley and newcomer Keith Rivers to compete for the position.

Fewell emphasized that Boley has the ability to play the role, but it's up for grabs.

"Whoever can take the bull by the horn and lead us will have the opportunity to step up to the plate," Fewell said.

Last season, the Giants played a sizable amount of packages with three safeties, having just two linebackers on the field and leaving a traditional middle linebacker off of it. Fewell said the team would like to continue providing a does of three-safety looks, but he believes the personnel in place at linebacker allow them to be more creative.

"We might have to redefine [the middle linebacker position] a little bit as we continue to evaluate what offenses are continuing to do in the national football league," Fewell said.

* * *

Rookie minicamp practices are usually displays of confusion, inefficiency and organized chaos as players attempt to learn on-the-fly. So it's not a surprise that one of the camp's standouts for the Giants has been a non-rookie.

Cornerback Brandon Bing, who spent last season on the Giants practice squad, had himself a strong couple days of camp and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was impressed, enough to create a nickname for the 5-foot-9 Rutgers product: "Bada" Bing.

"It's not a surprise because he's enthusiastic," Fewell said today. "He worked last year on the practice squad and then coming into this camp he's shown what he can do. We're excited about him competing for one of those jobs this spring and going into the fall. And he's picked up where he left off from practice, the playoffs, etc."

* * *

Julien Talley knew the Victor Cruz comparisons were coming. It's too easy. Both are from New Jersey, both attended UMass, both went undrafted and both signed with the Giants.

Talley isn't against it. If anything, he agrees: Talley believes he's the same type of player Cruz is.

"We're one in the same type player," said Talley, who is wearing the same No. 3 Cruz wore when he first got to the Giants. "We can stretch the field, get in and out of routes; speedy guys in the slot that can make plays."

Talley said "five or six" teams contacted him after the draft and got offers from at least three, but he chose the Giants he felt "comfortable" with the organization.

* * *

Seventh-round draft pick Markus Kuhn is not participating in camp because of a leg laceration he received while helping a friend move. The cut happened as he was carrying a box and a knife stuck through and sliced him. The cut required stitches.

* * *

Former Eagles center Jamaal Jackson said on Friday that he was participating in Giants minicamp to see what he had left in the tank. Apparently, he didn't have much.

After participating in both of yesterday's sessions, the eight-year veteran told the Giants that he decided to retire.

"He just said, 'Coach, I just don’t feel like my heart is in it,'” Tom Coughlin said.



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