Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giants 'D' Continues to Jell Well

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giants 'D' Continues to Jell Well

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Mark Ingram's eyes began darting the closer Landon Collins crept to the line of scrimmage.

The Saints running back had a choice to make in the first quarter last Sunday.

Collins to the left of him, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the right and Ingram was stuck in the middle, forced to choose.

Whichever direction he went, the Giants were going to win.

"He actually saw me coming. The running back saw both of us coming," Collins recalled. "If you look at the film, he looked both ways, like, six times. He didn't know which one to come get, so he took the one that was closer to the backfield and DRC was definitely closer because I had to come way around. He saw me, but he had to pick a side."

Ingram chose Rodgers-Cromartie and Collins promptly decked Drew Brees for his first career sack in the first quarter of the Giants' 16-13 victory over the Saints last Sunday.

The Giants were forced to be creative defensively out of necessity last season, and the end results were disastrous, statistically and on the scoreboard. They got caught with personnel mismatches and finished with the NFL's worst-ranked defense.

This season, the Giants are being creative because they can be, thanks in part to the trust they have in the coverage ability of Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple and Rodgers-Cromartie, plus the attention paid to an already-disruptive defensive front.

"That's coming, and I think coaches and players, everybody's feeling that way," Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said after Thursday's practice. "A lot of it has to do with the guys jelling together, and I think our guys have been jelling really well. I've mentioned this before: When I watch out there on the field, I watch and I listen for communication ... they're figuring things out, they're unwinding things on their own.

"Sometimes we don't even have to walk over and say anything - they've got it figured out. …

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