Headlined by Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants' 2010 draft yielded another addition to the heralded defensive line, but at the less visible position of defensive tackle.
That suited Linval Joseph just fine as the second-round draft choice put his head down and went to work each day as a rookie behind starters Chris Canty and Barry Cofield. There he learned and waited his turn, playing in six games with a handful of tackles.
Opportunity knocked soon afterwards when Cofield left for Washington prior to last season, and Joseph stepped up to the challenge, earning a starting role en route to a world championship.
Joseph enters the 2012 campaign with a cemented spot on the defense. But with the status of Chris Canty, Marvin Austin and Shaun Rogers up in the air, Joseph's role becomes that much greater as the Sept. 5 opener approaches.
The outside world will see which direction the front office goes when the roster is cut down to 75 on Monday and finalized to 53 on Friday. Regardless, Joseph believes the depth will be there.
"Even with the injuries, we've got more bodies now," Joseph said before Sunday's practice. "I feel like we have enough guys, I do believe that."
And as his stature continues to grow on the team, he'll be another coach in the meeting room and on the field in the meantime.
"I just want to help the newer guys because they need help, want help," Joseph said. "So I just want to make them come along and get better every day and every game. They look good."
In 2011, Joseph played in all 20 games (19 starts including playoffs) and had a breakout performance with nine solo tackles in the team's valiant – but losing – effort against the Packers in the regular season.
Another highlight for the East Carolina product came in the first-ever postseason game in MetLife Stadium against the Falcons. Along with Michael Boley, Joseph stonewalled quarterback Matt Ryan behind the line of scrimmage on a fourth-down sneak in the second quarter, deflating Atlanta's 13-play drive and igniting the Giants' 24-2 rout.
Joseph was asked if he has solidified himself within the organization, given his part in the Super Bowl run.
"I wouldn't call it that," Joseph said. "I'm just playing my role. I just do what I do for the Giants and do it the best I can."