It may seem G-Men faithful would like to forget this year’s preseason.
Before the preseason, Jason Pierre-Paul gets injured. Then, during preseason, starters David Diehl, Antrel Rolle, Henry Hynoski, David Baas, and Victor Cruz all suffer injuries hindering their preseason activities. New additions Justin Pugh and Damontre Moore also sustained injuries. And now, the Giants reliable option in the secondary, Stevie Brown, tears his left ACL and as a result, is out for the rest of the 2013 season.
Oh where do I even begin?
First off, Brown’s injury doesn’t mean the Giants aren’t able to contend for a Super Bowl. Terrell Thomas was touted to be an integral component of the Giants defense in 2011, but Thomas, like Brown, tore his ACL. That year, the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl. Does it mean lightning will strike twice? Possibly, but just because Brown is out for the season, no panic button on the Giants playoff aspirations should be pushed.
However…Brown is the best safety in the NFC East and the anchor of the Giants secondary. Brown hauled in 8 interceptions on a secondary that struggled throughout the 2012 season. This season was setting up to be a redemption year for the Giants secondary with Brown leading the charge. Now, the secondary must step up in a big way to fill in the gaping hole left by Brown.
The person who needs to step up the most is Prince Amukamara. Amukamara is the confident youngster who sees himself to be ‘the best cornerback in the NFL’ this season. So, with the departure of the Giants best defensive back, Amukamara has to be the person who becomes the surprise of the season.
Corey Webster has done a great job for the Giants, but he isn’t the same Corey Webster who helped propel the Giants to victory in Super Bowl XLII. Aaron Ross has been on a rollercoaster his entire career. Terrell Thomas is coming back from two knee surgeries and Aaron Ross has been on a rollercoaster his entire career.
You can see why the loss of Stevie Brown is huge and why Amukamara needs to be the surprise this year.
As to who will replace Brown, the Giants don’t have many options. Will Hill will be serving a four game suspension and Ryan Mundy hasn’t seen much playing time as a starter in his NFL career. Mundy played backup to Pittsburgh Steelers All-Stars Troy Polomalu and Ryan Clark, so the Giants are hopeful Mundy learned well from the Steelers.
Fun fact: Mundy used to play landlord for Brown back at the University of Michigan, when Brown was a freshman and decided to crash at Mundy’s place.
The loss of Brown is a big one. The best safety in the NFC East and a silver lining in a struggling secondary won’t suit up for battle this season. Yet, it provides opportunity for players to step up to replace Brown’s significance. This setback is just that, a setback. The Giants have persevered before and Brown would love nothing more than to watch his team go all the way.
The gift of a Super Bowl can help heal a lost season and provide motivation for future seasons in Brown’s career.