Thursday, November 1, 2012
Giants eager to use three-safety look
By Matt Ehalt
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Stevie Brown is bringing back the three-safety look to the Giants.
Brown, originally a backup, has been starting alongside Antrel Rolle and leads the league in takeaways. Regular starting strong safety Kenny Phillips will return this week from a sprained knee.
"Really because Stevie has emerged and come on like this, it gives me more ideas to have the three-safety package," Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "And now we can go forward with that."
As the Giants made their run to the Super Bowl last year, the team used a three-safety package of Rolle, Phillips and Deon Grant. It proved to be quite successful and helped cover up for some of the team's inefficiencies at other areas of the defense. Rolle played in the slot, Grant played in the box and Phillips played deep.
The team tried to incorporate that package earlier this season, with linebacker Jacquian Williams alternating as a big safety, but he has missed the last two weeks with a knee injury.
Brown, who has five interceptions, has made it difficult for the Giants to take him off the field. Throw in Phillips' return and the Giants have a package, so they don’t have to choose between which of their three safeties they want off the field on any play.
"Our plans can totally focus on, hey, we have a three-safeties package with three good players in there," Fewell said.
Brown, who has seven takeaways, believes having three safeties on the field could work for the team. Ever since taking over for Phillips in October, Brown has had a knack for finding the ball in key spots, including big interceptions in the wins over Cleveland, Washington and Dallas. He had two picks and a fumble recovery last week against Dallas.
"I feel like we can all run, we can all cover well, we can all do different things so you might never know what's coming," Brown said. "We could be in man coverage, we could be coming out in different-type zones, we could be blitzing, and I feel like we all are interchangeable."