Ben McAdoo said the Giants are practicing at “thud tempo.” That means giving players a pop but not wrapping them up and tackling them to the ground.
Of course, sometimes players do leave their feet. And it seems as if every day for the past three days as the Giants have been escalating the contact, linebacker B.J. Goodson has taken a ball-carrier off his feet.
“B.J.,” McAdoo said, “is good at thudding.”
The second-year player certainly seems to be bringing a physicality to the middle linebacker position that was missing last year. While the major concern regarding Goodson stepping into the starting role was and likely still revolves around his leadership and ability to make the calls and checks at the line of scrimmage, he’s showing that hitting people is not a problem.
Unless, of course, you are the one he’s hitting.
“B.J. there, it’s his first season as a starter so maybe he is trying to make a point or something, I don’t know,” running back Orleans Darkwa said after being lit up by the linebacker on a screen pass. Darkwa was visibly shaken and taken to the side for evaluation, but he returned to practice.
McAdoo said that Goodson’s hit there — and the others he has delivered in camp — are within the boundaries of this camp’s protocols.
“The backs need to feel it, the linebackers need to feel it,” McAdoo said. “There needs to be contact there.”
There are others who have been delivering big hits, too. On Thursday safety Landon Collins came up and de-cleated running back Paul Perkins with a shoulder in the hole. But the standout as far as physicality so far has been Goodson.
“He’s been hungry for a while and he’s coming in and trying to take that role,” defensive end Olivier Vernon said of Goodson, who played just 14 defensive snaps last season as a rookie. “He’s going to be physical, that’s what we like. To be a part of this defense, you’ve got to be physical.”
To be part of the team, it’s looking that way too. As Darkwa learned.
“As backs, I try to tell the group be ready for it,” he said of getting hit. “But you’ve got to let yourself be known as well.”
The more Giants good at thudding, the better they will likely be when the real tackling starts.