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On leadership and linebackers

6/3/2014

We get back out to New York Giants OTAs on Thursday this week, but until then we have to rely on information the team puts out about who looks good in practice and who's playing in what roles. So here's a link to today's Giants.com OTA report, which mentions a few specifics. This one caught my eye:

4. Jameel McClain is a great wingman for Jon Beason at linebacker. He flashes the same leadership qualities and has a good eye for defensive adjustments, often barking out audibles based on what the offense is showing.

Obviously, it's no surprise that the team's official web site has positive things to say, but part of the reason the Giants signed McClain is that he's a veteran who's played at a high level in a winning organization (Baltimore) and has been a leader on defense in the past. Having lost Justin Tuck and Terrell Thomas, two of the more vocal on-field and off-field leaders their defense had, the Giants wanted to bring in someone who could help get and keep things organized. Antrel Rolle does a good job of that in the secondary, and Beason ran things in the front seven after coming over in the trade with Carolina, but the more help on this front, the better.

The Giants are obviously a roster in tremendous flux, and one of the major questions is the extent to which all of the new pieces will fit together. If McClain can be the kind of player and leader who can help with that, he'll have a value to them beyond what a lot of people may have been expecting when he signed.