For B.J. Goodson, not much is going to change with the new look to the New York Giants defense. It still comes down, the third-year linebacker says, to stopping the other team.
After years of running a 4-3 defense, the Giants are switching to a 3-4, a subtle shift in their alignment that changes things for the returning members of this unit. For Goodson, a returning middle linebacker, it means very little.
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Even though schematically and assignment wise it does change things up for him, Goodson said that overall the switch to a 3-4 defense isn’t all that big of a deal.
“Honestly, for me, it doesn’t matter what type of defense it is. Scheme doesn’t really matter to me,” Goodson said on Sunday. “Line up, and I have an offensive lineman in front of me, the ball behind the offensive lineman, win against the man I’m against, and make the tackle.”
It is humble, almost underwhelming material from Goodson yet it underscores just how small of a change the defensive shift is for some members of this team. There is no denying though that Goodson will be counted on heavily this year, especially after his growth at linebacker last year.
Limited to seven games last year after an ankle injury cut short a very promising second season in the NFL, Goodson still managed 53 tackles and a forced fumble for the Giants. He is a rising piece of this Giants defense, a thick body with quick reactions and a knack for keying in on offensive playcalls early in a set.
His production in a season cut in half due to an ankle injury is a ray of light as the Giants look to rebuild this defense.
This offseason, the Giants didn’t make too many moves in free agency, especially not on the defensive side of the ball. But one of those additions was Alec Ogletree, who will likely line up next to Goodson this season.
Like Goodson, Ogletree is a productive and solid player who will be counted on this season to lift the Giants defense back to respectability.
“Ever since he got here, we have been gelling, so to speak. Our relationship is great and it correlates on and off the field, like I said in previous interviews,” Goodson said. “He’s from Georgia, I’m from South Carolina, we’re right there and our relationship is great.”