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LB, Michael Boley signed (official)

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LB, Michael Boley signed (official)

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:25 pm
FEBRUARY 28, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Giants never made a formal announcement, but everyone knew they wanted to upgrade themselves at linebacker this offseason. Today, they did just that on the second day of the free agency signing period when they secured Michael Boley, who played his first four NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Giants improved their LB's on Saturday by signing free agent Michael Boley
Boley, 26, is 6-3 and perhaps 15 pounds above his listed weight of 223. A product of Southern Mississippi, he played primarily the strong side in Atlanta but will be the weakside backer in the Giants’ defense.

“We see him as a WIL,” Coach Tom Coughlin said. “With Michael Boley, we’ve addressed a position of need. We feel we have brought to the New York Giants an athletic, versatile linebacker. He’s a guy that has not been used a lot in blitzing or pressure, because they’ve used him in coverage. He can cover, but we think we can take advantage of his speed. He is fast and athletic. I think we can call upon him to be involved in coverage and to be a pressure linebacker. He’s also a special teams player; he played on the punt team and the punt return team, so we know we can get good value out of that.”

Boley played in all 64 games with 53 starts for the Falcons the previous four years. He had 365 tackles (260 solo), 6.0 sacks, five interceptions, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 28 passes defensed.

“Michael is a three-down player who is durable and athletic,” general manager Jerry Reese said. “He is a fast playmaker who can play both SAM and WIL. Michael will immediately upgrade our speed on defense.”

Boley said he is energized by joining a team that has made the playoffs each of the last four seasons, the NFL’s second-longest active streak.

“I’m excited,” Boley said. “It’s a new beginning. This is a great team and a great organization. I’m looking forward to getting started here.”

Boley said he also relishes the opportunity to line up on the weak side. Last year, Gerris Wilkinson, Bryan Kehl and Chase Blackburn all started at WIL for the Giants, the only one of the 22 offensive and defensive positions to have three different starters.

“It’s a different feel,” Boley said. “I did a lot of blitzing in college. In Atlanta, I played the WIL in our sub package. I think it’s going to be great for me. If the coaches want me to blitz, I’ll blitz. If they want me to cover, I’ll cover. Doing all those different things is going to be great.”

Boley joined the Falcons as a fifth-round draft choice in 2005, the 160th overall selection. As a rookie he played in all 16 games with 11 starts and finished with 60 tackles. The following season he started 14 games and had 90 tackles (including 13 in a game at New Orleans), 3.0 sacks and two interceptions.

Boley’s finest season was in 2007, when he started all 16 games and finished second on the team with a career-high 125 tackles (88 solo), 3.0 sacks, two interceptions, seven passes defensed and three forced fumbles. He led Atlanta with five double-digit tackle performances. Boley had all three sacks in the first half of a Thanksgiving night game vs. Indianapolis.

Last season, Boley started 12 regular season games and the Falcons’ NFC Wild Card Game at Arizona. He posted 90 tackles (65 solo) and added an interception.

Boley, who was born on Aug. 24, 1982, was a safety, wide receiver and running back at Elkmont High School in Alabama. At Southern Mississippi, he recorded 423 career tackles, 28.5 sacks and was a three-time All-Conference USA first-team selection. Boley was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, when he also received the Conerly Trophy (named for former Giants great Charlie Conerly) as the best college football player in Mississippi.

After living his entire life in the South, Boley is moving to the metropolitan area.

“It’s really going to be different,” Boley said. “I’ve never lived up north before. It’s going to take some adjusting to get used to. I came up here once some years ago; my mom is a nurse and she was up here working for a couple of months. That’s the only time I’ve been to New York. I liked it, going to see the sights and the different things in the city.”

The Giants’ offseason conditioning program begins on March 16 and Boley intends to be a regular participant.

“As soon as we get started, I’ll be here,” Boley said. “I want to come in and get to work. It’s a new team and I want to get here early and get a jump on things. We have to get better. It’s a whole new season coming up and a lot of teams have been getting better already.”

With Boley on board, the Giants are one of those teams.

As Coughlin said, “I think we’ve helped ourselves today.”

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Re: LB, Michael Boley signed (official)

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:39 am

It means that Clark, Kehl and Wilkinson will be likely competing for our starting SLB spot

Thats pretty good depth imho
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