Shortly after linebacker Chase Blackburn signed with the Carolina Panthers in May, his former teammate, Spencer Paysinger, reached out to him in an effort to obtain a holy grail: Blackburn's notebook, which contains, perhaps, some of the most detailed information about the New York Giants' defensive and special teams schemes known to exist.
“I remember when he signed with Carolina, I sent him a message,” Paysinger said. “I said, ‘Let me get your notebook so I can study.’ Because the coaches always talk about how he’s a master note-taker.”
The request was denied, however. Despite his love of all things Big Blue, Blackburn knew a week three game against his former team loomed. As such, he opted to keep the notebook so that he and his new team would be fully prepared by the time New York came to town.
“I’ve gotta keep it for when I play you guys," Blackburn told Paysinger.
With that detailed information in enemy hands, the Giants know they are going to need to make some changes this Sunday. And not just on defense, but special teams as well.
“[He is] probably one of the smartest guys I’ve ever been around,” special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said. "You do have to be aware that he does know all of the return schemes, coverage schemes and calls. … So you have to make adjustments that way.”
Unfortunately for the Giants, Blackburn isn't the only person on the Carolina Panthers sideline who knows a little something about their schemes and playbook. Former wide receiver Domenik Hixon also now calls Carolina home, and is just as familiar with the offensive system as Blackburn is with the defensive system. And, of course, both played important roles for the Giants on special teams.
Oh, and there's also the matter of former Giants Senior Pro Personnel Analyst, Dave Gettleman, who is now the Panthers' General Manager.
Needless to say, the Panthers are about as familiar with the Giants and everything they do as one opposing team could possibly be.
Photo credit: Mike Gannon
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