Transitioning from a James Bettcher lead defense to a Patrick Graham scheme will be simpler than you think. Former New York Giants player Avery Moss stated that Bettcher’s defense was one of the most difficult he’s ever had to learn. However, playing for Miami last season, Graham’s is much more manageable and utilizes basic concepts at an elevated level.
— Donny Darko (@DonDouglastha) August 11, 2020
The entire unit will be different in 2020, from the way they line up and who is being featured at specific positions. Players like rookie Xavier McKinney and safety Jabrill Peppers have the diversity to change positions and give different looks throughout the course of a game. New head coach Joe Judge believes Peppers can be used in multiple ways.
Jabrill Peppers’ trainer, Brian Walker, spoke to the NY Post several weeks ago, indicating that he could play cornerback in 2020. He compared his frame to the likes of Stephon Gilmore and Byron Jones — a lofty comparison but an interesting one, nonetheless. He specifically thinks, “cornerback could be Peppers’ best NFL position.”
“You could see him with a Gilmore — same shape, same body — where he could lock down a half [of the field],” Walker said. “This staff is used to having really good, really strong cornerbacks. Personally, I feel like he could make the jump like Jones. Both athletic guys. They just needed more time to develop in terms of technique.” – Brian Walker via the NY Post
How will the New York Giants deploy Jabrill Peppers?
“We’re going to give him a swing of the bat at a lot of things,’’ coach Joe Judge said. “We’re going to shake it out week by week. However our opponent matches us up, he’ll be ready to take on a different position for us.’’
The Giants will utilize Peppers depending on their matchups, whether opposing offenses are run-heavy or pass-heavy. Peppers has experience in coverage and stopping the run in the box. While we might expect him to play strong safety predominately with the Giants, he has the build and athleticism to change positions at any moment. That’s part of the unpredictability factor the Giants are trying to incorporate into their new defense.
Despite Peppers going down with a season-ending hip injury on a punt return, it seems the Giants haven’t ruled out using him in that way.
“In terms of his spot on the defense, I’m not trying to be evasive on this, but it’s going to be whatever we need him to do right there,’’ Judge said. “With his skill set, he’s going to factor into a lot of sub packages. Traditionally, you’ve seen him play a lot in the box in different schemes and roles. He has that body type that still fits that. But he’s going to have to be able to play the deep part of the field as well as the box for us.’’
Jabrill has experience at both free and strong safety, giving him the ability to play multiple positions. While he hasn’t earned any live snaps at cornerback, the Giants are desperately looking for a CB2, and it couldn’t hurt to try him out there during training camp. There’s a lot left to do before the first regular-season game on September 14, but I fully expect things to look much different in 2020.
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