An awful lot of time has been spent glorifying the new offensive targets that the New York Giants acquired this offseason. But a defense that came into its own at the midpoint of last season can potentially take the next step.
Or in the words of one big member of the unit, the defense and this secondary can be “special.”
The Giants have some solid pieces in the secondary, a unit that was led by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in recent years and added cornerback Janoris Jenkins via free agency and Eli Apple as a first-round pick last year. Then Landon Collins emerged as one of the top safeties in the NFL. All in all, there is depth and talent in the back end.
“I think that we can be special. I think that we started something last year,” Rodgers-Cromartie said on Wednesday. “The main thing is that we are coming back and everybody is together and we are in the same system. So once you know your system and you know your guys, it makes it that much easier to play.”
It was a dramatic turnaround a season ago for the Giants, who in 2015 had one of the worst-ranked defenses in the NFL for a couple years running. But last year the group really turned around, the new additions blending in with the current talent to help key the Giants to their first playoff appearance since 2011.
That loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC wild-card game stung, but Rodgers-Cromartie said that the team has a “short memory” and will move on.
As for goals or certain numbers, the cornerback won’t add to that discussion. The important number he said is improving on last year’s record and not being caught up in things like last year’s defense that allowed 17.8 points per game.
“I can’t tell you. I am just trying to see W’s,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “But if you look at the best defenses, it is all around that 16-, 17-point area, so anything in there is good.”