Greg Jones wants a fair fight at middle linebacker
Earlier this week, Mark Herzlich told reporters that he expects to win the middle linebacker job in training camp. That’s not outlandish. The job was his for a small sample of weeks in 2011 before his sprained ankle against the Saints cost him the rest of his rookie season.
But there are others who will be competing for the job, including Greg Jones and veteran Chase Blackburn (plus the possibility of moving Michael Boley to that spot). Jones said last night that he’s looking forward to the competition.
“I just hope everyone gets a fair shot,” the second-year player said at the ESPN the Mag pre-draft party.
Jones (and Herzlich for that matter) were part of a rookie class that was hampered by a lack of offseason work last summer. The lockout prevented them from being with the team and it showed in their production on the field. Jones, though, wound up being the starting middle linebacker on opening day, just a few days after Jonathan Goff tore his ACL in a practice accident.
“I think all of us needed the extra learning,” Jones said. “A lot of guys were thrown in the fire early. Now we’re back and learning from the ground up again. It’s been good. I feel very confident going into this season.”
But it’s still crowded and the Giants can only have one middle linebacker – if that considering how often they play sub packages. Jones said the fact that all of the competitors have experience starting will make for an exciting challenge.
“We’ve all started, we all can start, and we just have to make it through the season,” Jones said. “I started for a while but I wanted to have more reps, get a full game in there just to show what I can do. Now with the extra learning I feel like I can do that and be able to prove myself.”