Two of the last three Giants wins have been sealed by a Chase Blackburn takeaway. He intercepted a pass in the end zone late against the Browns and he stripped Santana Moss in the final minute on Sunday.
“(He) plays hard, smart,” Tom Coughlin said of the starting middle linebacker. “He comes to try and make something happen to the ball.”
Many thought Blackburn’s place as starter at the beginning of camp was temporary and that second-year player Mark Herzlich would eventually take over that position. But Blackburn has proved nearly impossible to move from the position.
“He’s most difficult,” Coughlin said. “His acumen is so sharp. He takes great pride in the communication part of it.“
Still, Coughlin noted that Herzlich is learning a lot from Blackburn as his seldom-used understudy. Eventually, it sounds like the Giants plan to have Herzlich as their starter. Maybe later this season. Maybe next year.
“I think Mark will be a good middle backer going forward,” Coughlin said, “because he’s learning from a good one.”