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Giants’ Spencer Paysinger on Linebackers: It’s Natural for Fans to Fear the Unknown

August 13th, 2013 at 10:30 AM
By Dan Benton

Since the start of the offseason, fans of the New York Giants have been open and honest about their concern over the current crop of Big Blue linebackers. After all, long gone are the days of Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson and Carl Banks. But even after what appeared to be a sub par performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers, head coach Tom Coughlin praised the unit and said there were "flashes" of things to come.

Still, for the most part, fans disagreed. But third-year linebacker Spencer Paysinger feels that's merely a product of fearing the unknown.

“I mean, it’s natural for fans to kind of fear the unknown,” Spencer Paysinger told the Daily News. “Obviously the Giants have a great legacy in terms of linebackers and this is kind of scary territory for them because they don’t have a big-name linebacker to come in and pretty much set the tone. … But just a word to the public: We have some capable guys.”

Fellow linebacker Mark Herzlich reiterated those statements, suggesting the overbearing criticism is due in large part to lacking a big name.

“I think that people may not know our names, but that doesn’t matter to us,” Herzlich said. “If we get the job done and we make those plays, that’s all we really care about. I think we have the talent, we have the size, we have the ability in the room to do all that.”

The next chance the unit will have to make a name for themselves comes on Sunday night as Big Blue plays host to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: Football, Mark Herzlich, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Spencer Paysinger, Tom Coughlin

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36 Responses to “Giants’ Spencer Paysinger on Linebackers: It’s Natural for Fans to Fear the Unknown”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    Last comment in regard to backup quarterbacks and why we have to carry three QBs on the roster, and in response to Jim’s comment about Griffen and Cousins. If there were no Rex Grossman there would have been no Cousins. Shanahan did NOT trust a rookie as his only backup for his starter and neither will any other coach who hasn’t concluded from the start that his team is going nowhere that season.

    If you think you can compete you are not throwing a rookie out there to try to win a few games while your starter recuperates.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      They had two rookies as their top 2 QBs so having one vet needed. We have a vet already in Eli. Teams do keep young unproven backups. Bmore had Tyrod Taylor as their only backup to Flacco last year. Graham Harrell was Aaron Rodgers backup last year. Of course it’s a risk. But if Carr continues to look as he has last preseason and this preseason his value on a roster with Eli isn’t worth it to me.

      •  Dan Peterson says:

        Goat, I agree with this. I actually hope Nassib shows real promise in the remaining preseason so that we don’t have to keep Carr (or Painter, I guess) on the roster.

        I like Carr and his service to the team over the years, but he isn’t very good. Nassib could easily match his addition to the roster. Eli doesn’t need a vet backup or a mentor, he IS that guy.

        Plus, we would save a little coin cutting Carr and Painter. Not a ton, but thinking to the Nicks contract every bit counts if we are going to make an early offer.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    As to the linebackers, long way to go.

    I have said frequently that I like Paysinger. Williams is clearly a very good choice on passing downs and as a good option against running quarterbacks with serious speed. Herzlich has the defense down pat. I think Conner can be a good run-stopper.

    I’m a bit concerned about where Rivers plays. He has a lot of talent, but is it best used at SAM? He may not be big enough to play there.

    It would be HUGE if Curry can prove himself and get plugged in at SAM. He has the size to be a stud there. That’s a very much open issue at this point. I wonder if Tracy gets tried there again. They’ll clearly want him on the team but I don’t think with Moore’s play that Tracy has a spot in the DE rotation.

    The other three are mysteries right now. Muasau has good size and huge motivation (remember his life story?). I know little about Sabino, and not much more about Bosworth.

    I’m anxious to see how this group does over the next few weeks. Should be very interesting, if nothing else.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think passing wise with Williams and Rivers or Paysinger or LBs are good. The issues is running downs. Conner is good vs the run but so bad vs the pass that I feel like play actions will murder us with Conner starting. Herzlich knows the defense but he has to make more plays. If we go with Rivers at SLB I don’t think we can also afford to start Williams because that’s 2 OLBs that aren’t strong at the point of attack. I think the best combination might be Rivers and Curry. Paysinger has played well and deserves time but Rivers is probably our best WLB. Williams size on early downs really hurts in comparison to Rivers. Our most natural SLB is Curry, he’s the most physical but he might have the instincts.

      I do think 3-4 looks can be used to get less LBs on the field. You play Jenkins, Joseph and Hankins along with JPP and Kiwi or Moore then you have a natural 3-4 front DL and OLB wise.

      I think the 3-4 looks make Tracy’s roster spot a lot safer.

  3.  BigBlueGiant says:

    It’s concerning to me that none of the LB’s have secured their spot in a starting lineup.

    And its not us fearing the unknown, it’s more like fearing the known with this group of plug in’s.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      There has been ONE game!!!

      Let’s see what we’ve got over the next few before we start even approaching conclusions about the group.

      I’ve followed Paysinger for years (since he was a sophomore at Oregon). The kid is a playmaker, which I’ve been saying for a long time here without anyone listening. Then this off-season he apparently gained 15 pounds. I think he will be a very solid, all-around linebacker. We’ll see, but I think we have at least one good one in him.

      I think Rivers has as much talent as any weakside linebacker around. But that won’t be where he’ll play, and that worries me. If not for that rather large problem I’d say we have at least TWO solid players at linebacker.

      But I’m willing to sit back and have these guys show me something. There’s time.

    •  demo3356 says:

      I think we are going to see a ton of different looks from Fewell this season, with many limiting how many actual LB’s see the field. I see a bunch of 3/4 looks with Kiwi and Moore as the OLB’s and a bunch of big nickel looks with a 3rd safety on the field. Last year we led the NFL in defensive snaps with 5 or more Db’s on the field with somewhere in the vicinity of 60%. I expect that number to be higher this season.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Agreed, and one thing I think CAN be said: among Williams, Rivers and Paysinger we have a pair who can adapt quite well to nickel and dime sets with third safeties.

        In years past our linebackers have been burned on passing plays every bit as much as in the running game. I think there will be MUCH less of that this season. It is stoutness against the run that will be the issue.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          Didn’t see GOATs post above when I wrote this. Basically agree.

        •  demo3356 says:

          Agreed 100%, also Curry, Herz and Conner should be stout against the run. Fewell has plenty to work with. Just needs to put them in best position to be successful.

    •  Dan Peterson says:

      I really don’t think it matters who ‘starts’ at LB. It would be nice to have a great player there that you never want off the field, but we don’t We have several guys who all bring different things to the game. We’ll substitute a lot. No big deal.

  4.  demo3356 says:

    Couple of things after catching up on the last 4-5 threads
    It is normal practice in NFL to carry 3 QB’s. NYG were a rarity in carrying 2 the last few years. With a 4th round pick in Nassib not being a PS squad option and not being ready to start in an emergency, we are going to keep 3 QB’s this year. Best if folks just accept it and stop blathering about it.
    We shouldn’t freak out about Where a Rookie who missed a week with a concussion is lining up 1 week into preseason. The 5 best Lineman will be starting week one. Once Pugh is ready and outplaying Deihl, he will start over him

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Don’t come on here and be logical. It ruins everything.

      •  demo3356 says:

        LOL. cant help it.. I LMFAO at all the freaking out about sh*t that is common sense..

        •  JimStoll says:

          you guys are fighting straw men. no one is arguing that they won’t keep 3; only that they ought not to.
          just because many teams keep 3 doesn’t make it a great decision
          it is an absolute waste of a roster spot
          as for a team with a really good starter, it would be great if you had a great back-up just in case
          does anyone really think Carr is that?
          Painter?
          would you really care if they weren’t here and Eli went down and Nassib had to step in?
          do you really think Carr could pull a Jeff Hostetler with this defense?

          •  demo3356 says:

            Its not a complete waste bro.. It is common practice. We are grooming a young QB with a very high ceiling. He is much more valuable than the 53rd guy that he bounces for the final roster spot. He is NOWHERE ready to run this complex offensive system as a rookie. Carr can keep the ship afloat for a few weeks if god forbid Eli goes down.

            •  JimStoll says:

              I agree with the former premise, not the latter
              Carr is dreadful
              if eli goes down he will wilt like an unwatered pansy in the hot August sun

              probably a better question is whether the Giants feel that Nassib’s development would be retarded if he got the snot beaten out of him instead of Carr

              I seem to recall a time when we had Kurt Warner and still found the will to play a rookie by week 10 when we were 5-4, our starter was healthy, and we were ostensibly fighting for a playoff spot

              that rookie didn’t look too ready as I recall (and as his 1-5 record ultimately showed), but he played

              •  demo3356 says:

                LOL!! You mean the franchise QB that we drafted #1 and traded 4 picks for? That is totally different man. I dont care either way, but I’m telling you WE ARE CARRYING 3 QB’S THIS YEAR. It sucks that Ramses Barden or our 6th safety, 9th OL or 8th stiff LB wont make the roster because of this. I’ll try not to lose any sleep over it and you should do the same:-)

                •  JimStoll says:

                  don’t diss our 9th DB or 8th LB who are likely to see significant play time after TT’s 12th ACL or the first 7 LBs prove they are no better than the 8th!!

                  my point on eli was he wasn’t ready

    •  GOAT56 says:

      It has been normal practice to carry 3 QBs but if you look the last few seasons many more teams are carrying 2 QBs. This situation might not fit. Nassib has to play well for us to keep his as our only backup and hasn’t so far. But there’s still time.

      I don’t think it’s that simple that we will play our best 5 OL players. Players need reps at positions. Pugh doesn’t have long to clearly outplay Diehl. The concussion hurt Pugh’s chances. If Diehl is playing solid I don’t think our coaches aren’t just going to jump Pugh. The Jet’s game will show if Pugh has a chance. If Pugh doesn’t get first team reps with the starters playing over a half then it’s clearly Diehl’s job.

      •  JimStoll says:

        if Diehl plays solidly who cares if Pugh plays?
        that’s not really the issue. the issue is Pugh will not have the time to show he can perform, Diehl will play and unless he plays worse than he has over the past 3 seasons, his substandard play will be good enough — or so it seems

      •  demo3356 says:

        Pugh is a first round pick. He wil bounce Deihls **** the second he shows the Coaches he’s ready.Last year TC gave journeyman Sean Locklear the job over him till he tore up his knee. The 5 best will play, as there is enough versatility amongst our unit for a guy like Booth to go to RT if Brewer flashes at Guard.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          Really? Our first round picks aren’t given anything around here. TC didn’t give Diehl’s job to Lockear. Diehl got hurt, Lockear played well and then TC decided to keep him in. If Diehl doesn’t get hurt Lockear is not playing.

          Boothe is not a starting RT. Guys can play different positions and if there are injuries doing the season we have flexibility. But we are not just putting our best 5 OL out there if players are at positions they haven’t even practiced at.

          •  demo3356 says:

            Never aid he would be “Given” anything. I said when the coaches felt he was ready. Thats whey he is working with 2nd team now, because even though he us a first round pick, he has to earn the spot.His talent gap is too much for Deihl to hold him off.

            •  GOAT56 says:

              I hope you’re right but it seems like the same thing that was said about Wilson last year.

              •  demo3356 says:

                um, we’re not comparing the abilities and really solid performances of Bradshaw and Brown last year to that of the 2013 David Deihl are we?

  5.  demo3356 says:

    yes a few more teams have gone with 2 QB’s when their starter is a guy who stays healthy, but THIS season we will be carrying 3. No way a Rookie will have our system down and be ready to be primary backup this year. Since he’s way to valuable to put on practice squad we will have to carry either Carr or Painter as a buffer for this year. Not sure why this is hard to grasp

    •  GOAT56 says:

      The concept isn’t hard. But Carr has to show he can still play. What’s the point of experience if you’re not using it to play well? Painter is just a silly option IMO because he can’t play. Bring Sage out of retirement way before having Painter line up as our #2. No backup QB will run the system the same way Eli has, KG will have to modify the system if we have to play another QB.

      •  demo3356 says:

        I think Carr is serviceable. Better than Painter and Rosenfels.I cant waste anymore time or effort on this subject. Folks can debate all they want, 3 of the 4 qb’s currently on the roster will be on the Roster week 1. The only question is Carr or Painter and I say Carr is 5-1 over Painter right now

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Carr just DID show he can still play. You may not like his throwing motion, or his failure to make the read on the defender on his first throw, or the trajectory on a few of his middle throws, but he also managed a bunch of completions and showed he fully knows the offense.

        Painter didn’t do so badly either, but of course by then the defenders were palookas.

        Keep in mind, too, that one of the significant functions of the backup is to provide a good facsimile of the quarterback the defense will see the next game as they practice. David Carr can still motor around the field (as he showed when he was chased to his right on Saturday). Given the number of highly mobile quarterbacks they will face this season his value to the team goes beyond his play on the field and holding the clipboard. People tend to forget that.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          I wasn’t impressed with how Carr played. I think against a first string defense his inaccuracy can cause issues. But he has a few games to play better. Even on his worse day he’s still a better option than Painter.

          I do think your point about being able serve some good scout tams looks because he’s athletic is a good point. That makes sense.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Jim, did you REALLY just compare Nassib to Eli Manning as a draft pick coming into the league? C’mon. One was thought by not only the Giants but many others to be ticketed to be a GREAT quarterback who could lead the franchise for 12-15 years. The other is a very nice prospect who may become a very good starter in the NFL.

    The coaches put Eli under center his rookie year because they wanted him to gain enough experience to take them to the playoffs in his second year and go to greater glory thereafter. Mission accomplished.

    There’s absolutely no comparison to be made here.

    Anyway, why keep arguing? We’re keeping three QBs and Carr is probably going to be #2. Like it or not, that’s gonna happen. So why waste energy fighting it? Better to think about the ramifications elsewhere on the roster.

  7.  F0XLIN says:

    Sounds like good news on the Rolle front from the beats tweets. Also Sash said he breathed a sigh of relief when he spoke to Rolle last night

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