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For seventh straight year, Giants open with new middle linebacker

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 15: Jasper Brinkley #53 of the New York Giants and his teammate Devon Kennard celebrate a tackle against the New England Patriots during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 15, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants released linebacker Jasper Brinkley this week to make room for quarterback Josh Johnson on the 53-man roster, which means he won’t be their seventh starting middle linebacker in seven years.

Brinkley was the starter at middle linebacker for much of the 2015 season. Antonio Pierce in 2009 was the last player to make a repeat appearance in the middle of the defense.

Brinkley was preceded by Uani ‘Unga, Mark Herzlich, Jon Beason, Chase Blackburn, Greg Jones and Jonathan Goff. Herzlich is the only player on that list currently on an active roster. This year’s addition to the list will be Kelvin Sheppard or Keenan Robinson.

“It depends on what package we’re in,” coach Ben McAdoo said, via Newsday. “We can throw a variety of linebackers out there. I think Kelvin has definitely earned an opportunity. He showed well in the preseason games and has done well in practice. He’s a great communicator and we’re excited to have him here.”

Injuries have helped propel the revolving door at linebacker as has the team’s reluctance to use draft picks in the first few rounds on linebackers. Mileage will vary on how much connection to draw between that lack of continuity and the Giants’ overall defensive issues in recent years, but there’s no doubt that the Giants have to put an end to that trend even as the linebacker one continues.

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9 Responses to “For seventh straight year, Giants open with new middle linebacker”
  1. captainwhodat says: Sep 7, 2016 8:33 AM

    no wonder they continue to decline defensively…

  2. mindelm42 says: Sep 7, 2016 9:10 AM

    You think Reese has something to do with that? He won’t draft middle linebackers. Which is why HE should’ve been fired when TC was let go. Apparently this year he has decided to disregard the OL.

  3. kyleprofootballtalk says: Sep 7, 2016 1:27 PM

    It actually shooould change again next year (if things go well) and BJ Goodson develops. First LB drafted that looks half decent in awhile, it’d be good for someone to grow with the other young D guys.

  4. bitw44 says: Sep 7, 2016 3:19 PM

    Jerry Reese is really, really stubborn. Or is it arrogance?

    Probably a little bit of both.

  5. gfan8611 says: Sep 7, 2016 4:32 PM

    Believe it or not younger Giants fans but there was a day once upon a time when the thought of facing the Giants linebackers made opponent’s blood run cold. Now they are giddy at the prospect because nobody in this organization has been able to identify an above average LB for quite some time.

  6. blynch67 says: Sep 7, 2016 6:41 PM

    Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks on the outside, Harry Carson and Gary Reasons inside. And a young Pepper Johnson… Teams were scared.

  7. demskinsbaby says: Sep 7, 2016 7:49 PM

    Nobody has ever been scared of the Giants. Actually, the main reason you won your last two SuperBowl were because every team y’all played felt it was a push.. Then your defense showed up. It wasn’t Eli at all.

  8. danwahl80 says: Sep 8, 2016 4:36 AM

    demskinsbaby says:
    Sep 7, 2016 7:49 PM

    Nobody has ever been scared of the Giants. Actually, the main reason you won your last two SuperBowl were because every team y’all played felt it was a push.. Then your defense showed up. It wasn’t Eli at all.

    *****************************************

    Nah, it wasn’t Eli leading the game winning drive in both of those Super Bowls, winning the MVP in both of those Super Bowls. That must have been someone else. What an idiotic statement. But what can you expect from the fan of a team that hasn’t been relevant in 25 years.

  9. n0hopeleft says: Sep 10, 2016 7:32 AM

    Go buy the Giants superbowl DVDs and watch the throws that Eli makes, on the road no less. You are high if you think Eli didn’t lead his team to those rings.

    On top of that, Eli is better than any Skins QB in history. Oh, and LT snapped the face of your franchise’s leg like a twig – and I think it’s funny.

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