NeMesiS Posted June 20, 2006 Share Posted June 20, 2006 Giants.com Seawright Hopes to Be Man on the Inside Young DT hopes to earn starting nose tackle spot. By Aron Angel, Giants.com June 19, 2006 East Rutherford, NJ - With defensive tackle Kendrick Clancy’s free agency departure to Arizona, the Giants have an opening at nose tackle this season. Giants coaches have indicated that the position is wide open. And with a handful of unproven youngsters in the mix, it should prove to be an interesting battle among this group of relative unknowns. “You never know how the cards are going to fall,” said defensive line coach Mike Waufle. “The best players play, so we’ll see. The good news is that we have some players that have some abilities and are going to be able to fit into those positions.” Defensive Coordinator Tim Lewis was quick to remind reporters that Clancy was a wild card before last season. “[Clancy] was unproven too,” Lewis said last week, when the assistant coaches were available to the media. “You guys had no idea who he was before last year.” Enter Jonas Seawright, a 6-4, 340-pound defensive tackle who spent last season on the team’s practice squad. This year, with a defensive tackle position up for grabs, it’s up to Seawright to separate himself from the rest of the pack and earn a roster spot. “May the best man win,” said Seawright, who joined the team in 2005 as an undrafted free agent from North Carolina. The coaches are taking a similar approach, entering next month’s training camp with a long list of names at defensive tackle. “We’ve got Fred [Robbins], William [Joseph], Jonas, and [Damane] Duckett,” said Lewis about the players competing for playing time at defensive tackle. Of those players, Joseph, a four-year veteran from Miami, has the most experience, starting at right defensive tackle in all 10 games he played during the regular season, as well as the Giants’ wild card game against Carolina. Joseph had 19 tackles and two sacks in those games, and is the favorite to keep his job in 2006. “You never know how the cards are going to fall. The best players play, so we’ll see." - Defensive line coach, Mike Waufle. On the left side, Duckett, a third-year pro, played in the team’s final eight games after being inactive for the first half of the season. Rookie Barry Cofield, a fourth-round draft pick from Northwestern, has been compared to Clancy, but is still untested in the pros. The 340-pound Seawright is the biggest force at defensive tackle. The coaches like his size and potential. “Seawright is a big, physical player that has showed some things, without pads, that he’s making the progress,” said Waufle. “It’s still camp. It’s still early yet, but he’s making some progress. Hopefully we’ll see him be where we think he’s going to go. He’s showed some outstanding technique and he’s showed that he has some abilities to move and hold his own inside, but it’s still early yet.” Waufle says the defensive tackle position is his top priority this offseason. “Last year in camp my biggest focus was developing those young defensive ends behind Michael [strahan] and Osi [umenyiora],” he said. “So now it’s going to be on the flip side. It’s going to be inside and it has been already. That’s all I’ve been doing in the offseason, working with the defensive tackles more, focusing more with them, getting their game up to par. So that’s what we have to do to be successful. “Clancy didn’t do much prior to last year and all of a sudden he had a great year. So that part of it is exciting. We’ll see how the progress comes. It’s a challenge for us. Sporting News has us ranked as the worst defensive tackles in the NFC. Well, that’s good. I love that. It’s a great challenge. I remind them of that, and that we have to keep working to get better and hold our own.” During the Giants’ three day mini-camp last week, the coaches did plenty of mixing and matching on the defensive line, experimenting with and testing some of their young linemen. Seawright, who spent the last couple of days playing primarily with the first team, and said he welcomes the challenge. “You’re out there with a bunch of stars and you’ve got to play to that level,” he said. Lewis liked what he saw from Seawright in his first glimpse of his new defense last week. “Jonas is big,” he said. “He’s a big kid. Young, enthusiastic, energetic. Learning the pro game. His endurance has gotten better. He’s stronger than he was when he first got here. He understands the defense better. He’s doing a good job. We’re just pushing him forward. He’s trying to learn how to play snap by snap, game by game and how to stay focused on the next play.” Assessing his own performance, Seawright was careful not praise himself too much, knowing he has a long way to go before he earns that starting spot alongside Strahan. “I was average,” he said. “I could have been better. I know my potential. I don’t think I displayed it all out there.” According to the coaching staff, part of achieving that potential will involve Seawright getting down to around 330 pounds by the start of training camp on July 27. “(I tell him to) just be the best player that you can be,” said Waufle. “Physically you want to be as fast as you can possibly be. I’m a big speed player. I don’t care how big you are, I want you fast. That’s number one. The NFL is a speed game, and that’s what I talk to him about all the time. You’ve got to be as fast as you can possibly be. So you’ve got to find that weight-I call it the sweet spot weight-where you can perform at the highest level for four quarters and into overtime and be effective.” “It’ll be down,” said Seawright of his weight. “I’ll probably get it down to 325, 330.” Exactly how he plans to lose that much weight in the month and a half before training camp is somewhat of a mystery, and Seawright isn’t revealing much. “It’s a secret,” he said about his workout regiment. “I can’t tell nobody. I’ll just be down, trust me.” Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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