Cooper Taylor made a very positive impression on his position coach in Sunday's game against the Bills. Not only did he have an interception at the end of the first half, but also he led the team with eight tackles by the end of the night.
Giants safeties coach Dave Merritt praised Taylor for playing with more confidence than he did as a rookie last season, for giving himself a "more masculine" physique this offseason, and for being aware of how the defense was supposed to run when he was on the field.
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But, there's a but.
It's great that Taylor is advancing as a defensive player, but his role on this year's team if all goes according to plan will not be playing alongside Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown in the secondary. He'll be a special-teamer. And that's where Taylor messed up on Sunday.
It was Taylor who whiffed on the block that allowed the Bills to block Steve Weatherford's second-quarter punt.
"He just didn't block the guy," Tom Coughlin said. "It was a one-on-one, the player just ran around him. Now that's a good special teams player he played against, he's a good one. But still, it was one-on-one, it was a breakdown. It's a technical thing that can be corrected."
Coughlin said the good will be evaluated with the bad in Taylor's case, as with all of the players.
"You correct everything," Coughlin said. "You look at everything that occurs to that player in the game, defensively and on special teams, grade every play and you say, 'This is not good enough and it's going to have to improve.'
"He's got to be a contributor on teams," Coughlin said. "Yeah, he does. He has to be. He knows it."