McBride the unsung hero of Giants' CBs

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
4:05
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants didn't just add Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Walter Thurmond and Zack Bowman to their stable of cornerbacks this offseason.

They also re-signed Trumaine McBride.

That move didn't create nearly as much buzz, but McBride was one of the team's most valuable players a season ago and has looked great thus far in training camp.

McBride picked off Ryan Nassib at the end of practice Tuesday, and it wasn't McBride's first interception of camp, either.

"[McBride] intercepts the ball and runs 80 yards every day, and they tell me he can’t play," coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday. "I’m looking at them like, 'Who’s got the two heads here?'"

The "they" Coughlin was referring to is the Giants' medical staff, which held McBride out of the team's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills. McBride underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his hip in January, so the doctors want to ease him into game action.

McBride won't play Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, either, but hopes to play a week later in Indianapolis. In the meantime, he continues to stand out in practice.

"I wouldn’t say [I feel] 100 percent," McBride said Wednesday, "but I feel good."

Two years ago, believe it or not, McBride, 28, was out of the NFL after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars at the end of training camp. He sat out the entire 2012 season after playing five years in the league with the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals and Jaguars.

The Giants signed him in January 2013, and the move paid huge dividends when Corey Webster struggled to get onto the field due to injury (and performed poorly when he was on the field). McBride ended up playing in 15 games, starting 10, and performing quite well, including a pair of interceptions -- despite suffering the hip injury sometime in the middle of the season and playing through it.

McBride said some other teams pursued him in free agency, but he decided to re-up with the Giants for two years and nearly $3 million in early March.

"My heart was here," McBride said. "We did have other teams that I talked to. But I just felt like being here was the best case for me. ... Being here [already], the scheme, the staff, and just a great organization overall. I really didn’t want to leave that structure."

The structure of the Giants' secondary has certainly changed, however. Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara are the clear-cut starters at cornerback, and Thurmond has been installed as the team's nickelback. McBride is currently listed as one of the Giants' second-string corners, along with Thurmond, with Bowman and Jayron Hosley listed as the third-stringers behind them.

Barring an injury, McBride probably won't start a game this season. But he'll see some action, is one heck of an insurance policy, and says he's not worried about playing time.

"Whether I’m first, second or third on the depth chart, my goal every day, every practice is to get better and just make plays," McBride said. "I can’t worry about if I’m starting or if I’m a backup. Me personally, my mind frame every day is just to go out and make plays."

And he's doing exactly that.
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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