Boley: 'I'm still the outside linebacker'

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
11:08
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Earlier in the offseason, Giants GM Jerry Reese hinted that veteran outside linebacker Michael Boley could shift to the middle -- a position the team needs to fill.

But right now Chase Blackburn is there, and Boley is on the outside -- something he doesn't foresee changing right now.

"I'm still the outside linebacker," he said by phone on Wednesday. "But as things go, you never know. Once camp gets going, you never know what coach has planned. So right now, I'm just happy to have a job."

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has said Blackburn is currently his starting middle linebacker. But Boley and Keith Rivers could see reps at middle linebacker in training camp as the Giants explore their options. Mark Herzlich and Greg Jones also are on the MLB depth chart although Jones saw time at third-team strong-side linebacker in minicamp.

Boley called OTAs and minicamp "not as strenuous as our previous offseason," but he said the deep class of talent at linebacker has intensified things.

"Oh yeah, there's definitely a lot of competition, especially with the different rule changes," he said. "Right now, the offseason roster goes from 80 to 90, so there are more guys. And once you have more guys at each position, it gives people more competition, which I think is a good thing."

Boley said Keith Rivers, the Giants' latest arrival who was brought in via a trade in April for a fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft, is standing out as well.

"He came in and he's done some tremendous work," he said. "He's picked up things pretty well."

Boley will be entering the fourth year of his five-year, $25 million deal that he signed back in 2009. He finished last season as the second-leading tackler on the team (93), behind Antrel Rolle (96), and he had a team-high 10 tackles during the Giants' 21-17 Super Bowl XLVI win over the Patriots in February.

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