I’ve gotten lots of emails and comments about the Giants defense. Of course, everyone and their mother wants Bill Sheridan fired. I think he will be tomorrow. The common theme I see is fans wanting to see a change to a 3-4 defense. For those unfamiliar, a 3-4 defense has 3 down lineman, and 4 linebackers, instead of the traditional 4-3. I’m a fan of 3-4. If I was starting a team from scratch, that’s what I would employ. But, looking at this roster, can the Giants do it? Let’s explore.
I’ll start with the defensive line. The most important position in a 3-4 is the nose tackle. Chris Canty played some NT in Dallas, but he was more of an end. The Giants need a big body, someone like Shaun Rogers, or Haloti Ngata out there. Canty is a perfect 3-4 end. I’m more worried about the defensive ends. Defensive ends in a 3-4 don’t rush the passer as much. They hold up offensive lineman. These are usually “two-gap” defensive ends. Two-gap defenders take up two gaps on the offensive line. These are usually reserved for the big boys. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are not two-gap defenders. Neither is suited for two gap roles. Canty is, so that’s one end taken up. Who’s the other? And is that player in the draft or free agency? Not sure.
We talk a lot about the pass rushing ends in a 3-4. LT. DeMarcus Ware. I think Osi can do it. Kiwanuka can. Tuck probably not. In a 3-4, Tuck may the odd man out. The middle linebackers are taken care of. If Pierce comes back, his lack of athleticism could be hidden in a 3-4. I think Goff and Blackburn would be adequate.
So, in order to change to a 3-4, you’d need a nose tackle and one more defensive end. You wouldn’t really have a place for Justin Tuck. For nose tackles, there is Terrence Cody from Alabama entering the draft. Dude is big–6-5, 365. Will he be available at 17? Don’t know. There are some 3-4 linebackers. Johnny Jolly of Green Bay would fit as a 3-4 end. He’s a free agent, but who knows with the CBA talks. The point is this. Transitioning to a 3-4 defense will be tough. There are missing pieces, and with the uncertainty of the CBA, getting those pieces in free agency may be difficult. Should they try it? Maybe. I wouldn’t be opposed. But, it’s not a cinch. Oh, and Romeo Crennel is not available.