As the New York Giants prepare to report to training camp in just nine days, the team still has several question marks on the roster. Each starting linebacker position is up for grabs, Ryan Nassib will attempt to steal the backup quarterback spot from veteran David Carr, while Justin Pugh will have to prove himself worthy of a first-round draft pick.
But flying under the radar has been the competition at kicker, where 11-year veteran Josh Brown will compete with Dave Buehler to replace Lawrence Tynes, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today. Brown told the Star-Ledger that he welcomes the opportunity to play for the Giants.
"It is what it is: A competition," Brown said. "I want the job and he wants the job. I've got to use what I can to my advantage — I've got years of experience. I don't have to give him all the answers. I notice a lot of things. I see a lot of things. Dave has done a good job, and he's powerful. Very powerful. And he's young. There is no conniving and dishonesty. Just two guys competing at the highest level and whoever the coaches are comfortable with and have the most trust in is going to get the job."
In four games last season with the Bengals, Brown hit 11 of 12 field goals, four of which came from 40-plus yard out. In the team's playoff loss to the Houston Texans, Brown converted each of his two field goal tries.
By comparison, Buehler is eight years younger than Brown, but did not play in the NFL last season. In 2010 with the Dallas Cowboys, he made 6 field goals of 50-yards or more. Buehler is known for his immense leg strength, but not for his accuracy.
Even with a fierce competition coming up, Brown says that playing for the Giants offers him the best opportunity at playing in the NFL this season.
"There's not a whole lot that is unattractive, when you talk about the Giants," Brown said. "You know, there was a vacant spot here. That is attractive. At 34, going on my 11th year, I wanna go somewhere I have the best opportunity to be the man. And this was that best opportunity."
It's hard to tell if that's a shot at Buehler or not, but in all likelihood Brown is just being honest. If he can't beat out a guy who wasn't even in the NFL last season, he probably doesn't deserve to play in the league anymore. The Giants have required a clutch kick to get the team to each of its last two Super Bowls, so this competition will undoubtedly have a major impact on the outcome of Big Blue's 2013 season.
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