Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Reaction: Patterson adds more muscle
By Ohm Youngmisuk
John Mara said he wanted to see his team get stronger against the run. Clearly, GM Jerry Reese heard the team's co-owner.
Reese added yet another defensive tackle by signing Mike Patterson on Wednesday.
Patterson is the second Eagles free-agent defensive tackle to move north in the division, joining Cullen Jenkins.
Mike Patterson leaves the Eagles after eight seasons.
The Giants finished 31st in total defense and 25th against the run last season, something that clearly did not sit well with Mara.
"Nobody was more disappointed than me, believe me," Mara said on a SiriusNFL radio interview last month. "We need to retool a little bit, and we have started to do that. We need to get a little better on both sides of the ball on the line of scrimmage."
"We need to re-establish that toughness on the front," Mara added. "Teams ran the ball too easily against us, in my opinion. That is an area of concern, and our offensive line ... that performance needs to get a little better, too."
While the numbers on Patterson's contract have yet to emerge, the Giants likely are taking a minimal financial risk. Their free-agency blueprint has been to add as many veterans who can help at low cost. Reese signed left guard Kevin Boothe, cornerback Aaron Ross, tight end Brandon Myers and linebackers Keith Rivers and Dan Connor to cap-friendly one-year deals.
There is a health question, since both Patterson and Rogers come with recent medical history. Patterson underwent brain surgery in January 2012 to repair an arteriovenous malformation -- a tangle of blood vessels discovered when the defensive tackle had a seizure in camp in 2011. Patterson, 29, was cleared and played in 15 games in 2011 with the help of medication, but he played in just five games last season before being placed on the reserve/non-football illness list last year with pneumonia.
Rogers missed all of last season with a blood clot.
But by adding Patterson to the mix, the Giants now have plenty of depth and bodies up front to surround starter Linval Joseph. They also still have young defensive tackles Marvin Austin and Markus Kuhn.
Figure the Giants, who allowed 100 yards rushing or more in 10 games last season, to start Joseph and Jenkins and then rotate Patterson and Rogers if they are healthy.
We'll have to see how it all shakes out in camp. But the Giants certainly look like they beefed up their front line to stop the run.