So here we are, a quarter of the way through the season, and the answer to the most pressing issue facing the Giants coming into this campaign is: Jonathan Goff.
Most of the hand-wringing this offseason and preseason had to do with the question of who would take over at middle linebacker. Antonio Pierce’s career ended thanks to the bulging disc in his neck and the bulging salary on the one year left on his Giants contract. The team looked hard in the draft for a starting-caliber middle linebacker who could step in and play. They brought veteran Keith Bulluck in a week before training camp and most expected him to eventually take the job over once he learned the system and the position and got his knee healthy.
But four games into the season, Jonathan Goff is firmly entrenched as the Giants’ starting middle linebacker. On Sunday night he had a terrific game with 10 tackles, got credit for half a sack when Jay Cutler ran out of bounds under his chase, had a borderline-illegal hit on backup Todd Collins that led to an interception (which was nullified by the penalty) and had another tackle for a loss.
I asked Goff what he thinks about having won the position and feeling comfortable in it.
“I just want to play,” he said.
Then I brought up the idea that some had expressed prior to the season, that Goff might not be up to the job. There were plenty of skeptics, myself included, who thought there were plenty of other directions for the Giants to go besides Goff.
“As far as I was concerned,” he said, “I thought all of that was old news.”
Goff certainly has made it that way.