Jameel McClain ready to step up in Jon Beason's absence - Metro US

Jameel McClain ready to step up in Jon Beason’s absence

Jameel McClain
Jameel McClain says the whole defense needs to step up after duds against Philadel
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The Giants have begun preparation for Monday night’s game against the Colts’ high-powered offense with JameelMcClain stepping into the critical middle linebacker spot vacated by the injured Jon Beason.

McClain said he’s excited to help the defense right the ship after losses to the Eagles and Cowboys, but realizes he won’t be the sole answer in corralling Andrew Luck.

“My role is my role, it won’t change,” said McClain. “I just need to go in there and play wherever necessary. I don’t know what it changes as far as my leadership role. I think I’ll still be myself. The Colts, I’ve been breaking them down [since the bye week]. I’ve been getting into them, because I’m a football guy. And what I see is a good football team, obviously. And with Luck, I don’t know if there’s one best way to attack him and get to him. But one thing I know is that you have to count on all 11 men on the field and everybody needs to know where they’re supposed to be.”

The losses at Philadelphia and Dallas featured a defense that had holes at every level. New York has allowed 448 and 423 yards in successive games, and now comes a Colts outfit that is ranked in the top 3 in the league. The last time the Giants allowed at least 420 yards in consecutive games was in October of 2012. Both of those games were actually Giants’ wins, but if they yield that many yards to Luck and Co., it’ll likely spell their third straight defeat.

Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said he’s optimistic that trend ends Monday night and that the Giants can turn things around and make thinks difficult for the Colts’ offense.

“I’m absolutely staying positive. We all are. It’s never our jobs to panic. Yes, for us there’s been injuries and whatever, but the fact remains we still have enough talent to win,” said Kiwanuka. “I still believe we have enough of a championship caliber in this locker room and that if we give 100 percent and go out there and put in the work, we’ll change the recent perception.”

Big Blue notes …

» It looks like the Giants will need to score first against the Colts, as they’re 3-0 in games of which they were the first to tally and 0-4 when the opponent scores first.

» Should quarterback Eli Manning start on Monday night, he’ll tie Phil Simms’s franchise mark with his 159th regular season start. Manning’s 158 starts place him fourth among active quarterbacks. His 158 starts may actually be more impressive than his quarterback contemporaries, as they are consecutive —and the most in the league, regardless of position.

» The Giants have allowed at least 400 yards four times in their first seven games — a rare inglorious feat that hasn’t happened since 1948.

»Running back Rashad Jennings (knee) will likely sit out another game, as Coughlin noted the veteran is “not ready to go.”

» Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) was back practicing.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.

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