There is no doubt that over the years Giants have been extremely consistent as far as the quarterback position is concerned. They have basically relied on the genius and talent of a single player. This has helped them to start each and every game on the right note and this has been so for the past 12 seasons and a half. However, when it comes to the quarter back of defense things are not the same and there is lack of consistency and stability quite clearly visible. There is excitement because Giants will be getting into the new season and for the seventh year in a row they will be starting the season with all new starting middle linebacker. With just a week remaining for things to get started, they still do not know who it will be. Therefore as far as forecasting the NFL spread is concerned, this point has to be taken into account.
The Likely Probabilities
Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard are the most likely players who are basically free agent recruitment. It is unlikely that Jasper Brinkley will be the middle linebacker. He was not able to make much of a mark in 2015 and was confined to the training camp most of the time. The real answer will perhaps have to wait till Giants actually get into the field. In other words unless Cowboys do take the field the answer will remain unanswered.
It also would depend on the package though Ben McAdoo had some hints as to who would start it. There are quite a few linebackers who could be talked about. There are however reasons to believe that Kelvin has a good chance because of his performance in the preseason games and also during his practice sessions. He also has been a great communicator.
Base Middle Linebacker
It also is possible that Sheppard could fit in as the base middle linebacker while Robinson could fill the role of middle linebacker. Giants also have B.J. Goodson, the rookie to fall back upon who could be a part of the regular team but is very much unlikely to feature in the opening few games. There are many who feel that he could feature in the next year’s opening games. If this happens it’d make him the either new player in the last 8 seasons. If he’s able to perform well the next few years, Giants would only be too happy.
What Is Their Overall Performance
As far as starting middle linebacker is concerned, Giants have an interesting record. Five out of the six total opening day starters are no longer present in the league. This includes the names of Jon Goff – 2010, Greg Jones – 2011, Chase Blackburn – 2012, 2014 Jon Beason and 2015 Uani Unga. Hence the sixth one is a question mark. This is because Giants have believed in playing the sub-packages with 3 safeties in 2013. That year Mark was considered to be the favorite starter until they decided to replace him with Beason in the month of October. Never after 2009 (since Antonio Pierce) have Giants opened the new season with the same job in two consecutive seasons.
In an ideal situation the offense would be better off with one quarterback staying under the center for the three downs. If the same thing could be repeated it could be the best thing to aspire for. This is what the feeling is of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Though it looks a distinct possibility now, the only answer could come when the event actually happens.