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Giants LBs: I was wrong


mastershake
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Before the season started, I speculated that the Giants LBs would be the weak link of the defense. I'm very happy to say I was woefully wrong. The LBs on this team have actually been pretty decent.

 

Robinson, Casillas, Kennard, Sheppard, and we even saw BJ Goodson getting in a little last night.

 

No real pro bowlers, but they're definitely holding their own as solid starters mixed in with this defense.

 

Your thoughts?

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Casillas is a strong leader and he makes up for any lack of athletic ability with a pretty intense motor. I've been super impressed with that guy, he's a winner and you can't teach that.

 

I agree... and he's surpassed my expectations. I can't recall what I said exactly, but prior to the season, I believe I claimed he was a backup at best. Clearly wrong on my part.

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I still think Casillas is an average guy. TEs routinely destroy him, and he still takes 2-3 bad angles to ballcarriers each game. On the other hand, he also shows up for 2-3 nice tackles per game too, so he's better than the Pop Warner players we trot out each year.

 

LB is still the weak link, but they're B-, C+ players for once instead of D- guys.

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Still the weak link of the defense indeed.

 

Casillas is fast and most importantly proven durable this year. Kennard I believe has hit his peak and coverage will never be his thing. Sheppard is a stop gap player.

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Kennard has played well. Robinson has been very, very good. Casillas has made plays. The Giants have allowed only 3 TDs to tight ends on the season, the 5th fewest in the NFL. Part of that is Landon Collins, part of that is the linebackers. To be fair, they've also allowed the 6th most yards in the NFL to TEs. But I'd rather it be more yards and fewer TDs than the reverse, and I think most of you would agree. Really the only tight ends that have had big yardage games against us this season have been Ladarius Green (110), Eifert (96), and Ertz (97). They also have allowed the 5th fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL at 90.1 yards per game, and have allowed only 9 rushing TDs, only 7 other teams have allowed fewer.

 

They have played great team defense, the linebackers have certainly been overshadowed by the seasons that Collins, Jenkins, Vernon, Snacks, and JPP (pre-injury) have been having, but every game you see them making big plays. They have a number of them that will be free agents after the season and they need to bring a couple of these guys back. Robinson, Sheppard, Herzlich, and Pinkins will all be free agents. Several others after the 2017 season. I would like Robinson and possibly Herzlich (special teams/depth) back for next year.

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the thing that strikes me about this group of linebackers is that they all have situational strengths. Robinson, unusually good coverage guy for a man of his size. Kennard, good at the point of attack and rushing the passer. Sheppard, downhill bruiser. Casillas, a bit more of an overall guy, best of the group going sideline to sideline. Its a group that is better than the sum of its parts.

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When Casillas stopped Terrence West on that 4th and goal from the 1 against Baltimore ..........it just about saved our season.

 

we were 2-3 ( and it reminded me a bit of that crazy goaline stand v the Skins in the 07/08 season in week 3 when we were 0-2 and went on to win a Championship )

 

a heroic moment that made this D believe in itself

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