Two elements are in place to help the Giants defense improve from its dismal ranking of 31st last season: Butts and blitzes.
The first one is certainly the most obvious, if not the most giggle-inducing. Asked today how his defense will look different, coordinator Perry Fewell pointed immediately to the backsides of his defensive tackles.
“We’ve got bigger butts!” Fewell said excitedly. “Sean Rodgers is in there. Cullen Jenkins. The butts are a lot bigger. So yeah, it looks different.”
And let’s not forget the new butts of rookie Johnathan Hankins and veteran Mike Patterson, not to mention the return of Linval Joseph’s imposing derriere.
“I think it’s a huge factor in helping us be a better run defense,” Fewell said of the beefed up line. “The mass, the size, the strength is noticeably different for us.”
Here's a story I wrote earlier this week on the same topic, minus the specific reference to guys' butts.
On the outside, though, butts do you no good. The Giants had a disappointing season in rushing passers and this year it seems they may be relying more on players other than defensive ends.
“We believe that not only just the guys up front, but our guys at linebacker can help us improve on those numbers,” Fewell said. “We’re not just putting that on the front guys. We’re putting that on the whole defense to improve those numbers.”
Fewell has never been a blitz-happy play-caller. That may be changing this year as he tinkers with the scheme.
“We just want to be aggressive,” he said. “We want to take the fight to our opponent and we’ll use all the weapons we can possibly use in order to be an aggressive defense.”