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Giants face another 3-4 defense before opening season against 4-3 teams

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Giants face another 3-4 defense before opening season against 4-3 teams

Post  Big_Pete on Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:33 pm


Giants face another 3-4 defense before opening season against 4-3 teams
Published: Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 2:55 PM Updated: Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 4:09 PM
Zach Berman/The Star-Ledger Zach Berman/The Star-Ledger

Eli Manning, wireMitch Stringer/US PresswireEli Manning and the Giants face another 3-4 defensive front on Thursday against the New England Patriots.

When the Giants play the New England Patriots on Thursday in their final preseason game, it will be the fourth game against a 3-4 defensive front. The Giants do not face a 3-4 in the regular season until the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7, which means they spend the six games of of the season playing against a defensive alignment they have not yet seen live.

Coach Tom Coughlin did not view this as a hindrance because the four preseason opponents bring a linebacker to the line of scrimmage to rush.

“They all play some form of over, as well, so even though you’re looking at a 3-4, a lot of it is reduced until the weak side becomes an under-front,” Coughlin said. “Many, many of them have the diamond front where all three are covered inside and many of them play the over.”

Coughlin spun the frequency of 3-4 defenses in the preseason into a positive, similarly to way he viewed the Giants’ struggles against the Ravens’ no-huddle offense. It provides the team a look they do not see in practice, and thus better prepares them for the season.

“The one thing that the 3-4 teams bring to the table, because of the multiple linebacker approach, is the versatility that they have with their sub packages and the multiple personnel arrangements that they can put forth on the field, which causes you an awful lot of preparation and a lot of thought process goes into your protections,” Coughlin said. “It couldn’t be better us, because the more difficult it is right now, the better it is.”

Quarterback Eli Manning independently expressed satisfaction about playing another 3-4 defense. Although the front portion of the schedule includes 4-3 defenses, the Redskins’ recent transition to a 3-4 now means two of the Giants three opponents in the NFC East play a 3-4.

Manning experiences the 4-3 in practice every day, and because the Giants do not overly prepare for preseason games, he still sees the 4-3 front in live drills. The only exposure to 3-4 defenses during preseason comes with scout reps, so Manning viewed the repeated live work as a benefit.

“I think it will prepare us getting this work in the preseason just down the line,” Manning said. “A lot of it is still four down, and there’s learning concepts, and it’s just good for the young guys to know what’s going on.”

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