When Mark Herzlich signed with the Giants as an undrafted rookie in 2011, just making the team was viewed as a big achievement for a player whose college career had been derailed by cancer. Two years later, Herzlich’s sights are set on the next step in his career.
So far Herzlich has primarily been a backup and special teams player, but he believes he’s going to earn the starting middle linebacker job this season.
“I think [a starting job is] mine to secure,” Herzlich told the New York Post. “I don’t think anyone is handing anybody anything, but I feel like if I work hard and play well, then I have a good shot at hopefully making a difference for the team.”
Herzlich worked with the first-string defense at minicamp, and he said that was a big step toward getting the job in the regular season.
“It not only built my confidence in my communication skills getting together with the ones,” he said, “but built confidence among the other guys playing with the ones that I can lead the defense and be vocal and get everybody lined up and play fast.”
Last year’s starting middle linebacker, Chase Blackburn, is now in Carolina, which leaves Herzlich competing with Dan Connor for the starting spot. Herzlich appears to be the favorite.