Sunday, December 11, 2011
Blackburn is Chase-ing a dream
By Ian Begley
Sure, Chase Blackburn wants to beat the Cowboys on Sunday night. But he also wants to prove his own team wrong.
You see, Blackburn was a valuable reserve linebacker for the Giants from 2005-2010, serving as Big Blue's special-teams captain last season.
But the Giants chose not to keep him around this year. Instead, they opted to go with four rookies to fill the void on special teams and in sub packages.
So Blackburn spent the past three months working out at home and occasionally taking a look at the Giants' playbook. All the while, he was hoping for another shot with the Giants -- or any NFL team for that matter.
"In my mind, it was like, I just want to get back, whenever it was possible," Blackburn said.
The possibility arose earlier this month.
The Giants needed to add depth to their injury-depleted linebacker spot before the Packers game.
So they called Blackburn. He started practicing just three days before the Giants' showdown against Green Bay.
Blackburn's last down in the NFL was on Jan. 2, 2011. But he played like he hadn't missed a step -- let alone 11 months -- against the Packers.
The 28 year-old veteran intercepted Aaron Rodgers midway through the second quarter to set up a Giants touchdown. He's only the fifth player pic off Rodgers this season.
He also made seven tackles (three solo) and made his presence felt on special teams. He even called a few plays in the defensive huddle.
Not bad for a guy who was at home in Ohio watching football on his couch a week earlier.
"We just signed chase on Wednesday here is making special teams tackles, getting a pick on defense," David Diehl said earlier this week. "That's the way this team has responded the entire year."
With linebackers Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger out for the second straight week, Blackburn will likely see plenty of snaps against Dallas on Sunday.
And he's looking forward to the challenge.
Sure, he wants to beat Dallas. But a part of him also wants to show the Giants that they made a mistake in not bringing him back earlier this year.
"That’s what I’m trying to prove," Blackburn said. "I'm not saying they did; it was their decision to make. But that’s what I'm on the field for, to prove that it was a mistake for them not to have me [here] earlier this year."