New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell apparently has quite the sense of humor. When asked about the difference he sees in this year's New York Giants defense over last, Fewell exclaimed (via Connor Orr of the Star-Ledger), "We've got bigger butts!" This is, of course, in reference to the additions of Shaun Rogers and Cullen Jenkins on the defensive line.
The expected answer to the question likely would have had something to do with the team's various defensive packages they've featured during the preseason, but Fewell's answer indirectly sheds light on what the Giants defense will look like in the upcoming season.
Putting such big bodies in the middle of the defensive line should help the Giants stop the run more effectively than they did last season. After finishing 25th in the NFL against the run, the team needed a facelift on the line. Healthy seasons from Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck will help, as will improved production from the team's linebackers. But run-stopping starts in the middle. If Jenkins and Rogers can push the opposition's linemen back and get into the backfield, the Giants run defense will be heavily improved.
Not just the run defense will be improved as a result of bigger bodies in the interior. If the defensive line can effectively create havoc in the backfield, then the linebackers and secondary can capitalize on opportunities when the quarterback is flushed from the pocket.
Plus, clogging up lanes on the interior prevents quarterbacks from holding the ball and running up the middle. They'll have to go outside if they choose to run, and that's exactly where the next level of the defense will be waiting.
Fewell certainly seems excited about his new-look defense, and it will largely be up to him to put the right personnel in the right position to succeed. If he can effectively stuff the run with Rogers and Jenkins up front, the entire defense will benefit and should see large improvements. Fans will only need to wait until Sunday to see how effective the defense has become.
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