Guest Floyd The Barber Posted May 17, 2006 Share Posted May 17, 2006 New York Giants Giants' defensive tackles won't get it done in 2006 By Connor J. Byrne on May 17, 2006 01:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | RSS New York Giants Email Alerts Subscribe to other teams The New York Giants are regarded by most as one of the NFC's biggest contenders, but their weakness at the defensive tackle position may hinder them from reaching their ultimate goal in 2006. The two starting tackles are nowhere near elite, nor is the Giants' depth at the position. The left defensive tackle, Fred Robbins, has been in the league for six years, but he's never shown the ability to be a dominant force at the position. The 325-pounder has never accumulated more than 39 tackles in a season, which he did in 2004. Last season, the 29-year-old piled up just 26 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Defensive tackles aren't necessarily known for their massive amounts of takedowns, but Robbins still leaves a lot to be desired. He's the type of player who may be a terrific backup somewhere; nevertheless, he isn't an ideal starter. Opposite Robbins, the Giants bring former University of Miami standout William Joseph. A first-round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, Joseph has never lived up the hype brought upon him by being a 25th overall selection. In 39 career games Joseph has totaled just 51 tackles and five sacks. At 315 pounds Joseph has solid size, speed and potential, but he hasn't at all been worthy of where he was selected thus far in his career. In fact, he's among few lousy first-round picks in general manager Ernie Accorsi's era in New York. As mentioned earlier, the Giants' depth at the defensive tackle position also leaves a lot to be desired. Damane Duckett and Barry Cofield are New York's current contingency plans, and if you're wondering who that tandem is, you're not alone. The 25-year-old Duckett has appeared in just 14 games in his first two NFL seasons, accumulating a total of six tackles. The East Carolina product has spent both years with the Giants, so he knows the team's defensive system, which is a positive. Unfortunately, the 300-pounder hasn't shown enough ability to earn any semblance of decent playing time. However, should Robbins go down because of an injury next season, he'll start. Joseph's backup, Cofield, will be a rookie next season. The former Northwestern star was selected recently by the Giants in the fourth round of the draft, and he may be a nice option for New York in the future. At 309 pounds, Cofield's good for defensive coordinator Tim Lewis' system because it tends to use smaller tackles. Cofield's 4.94 40-yard dash at February's scouting combine demonstrates his athleticism. However, Cofield's rawness may prevent him from overtaking Joseph or Robbins as a starter next season. Much like Duckett, he'll be thrown to the wolves if one of the starters goes down with an injury. For right now, it appears the New York Giants ' defensive tackles are a major cause for concern entering next season. If the defense fails to play up to its expected level, it'll most likely be thanks to Robbins and Joseph holding it back. The Giants were able to get away with their tackles last season, since Kendrick Clancy was on the roster. Now that he's gone, it'll be a whole lot tougher. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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