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Eisen's Mailbag: Competition on the D-Line

How is Marvin Austin doing in that large group of defensive tackles? Is he making noticeable strides this season or just getting by in mediocrity?



Frankly, it's premature for me to answer this question. As I write this, the Giants have yet to practice in pads. It's impossible to judge linemen when they're wearing shorts and shells. Defensive line coach Robert Nunn said last week he has told Austin, "When the pads come on, he has to produce." This is an important training camp and preseason for Austin, who has a lot of competition at defensive tackle.

With teams around the league focusing on a fast-paced offense, how do the Giants defensive coaches plan on preparing for a fast-pace offensive team like the Eagles?

Dear Albert:
Chip Kelly is apparently going to bring his high-speed attack from Oregon to the NFL. The Giants' coaches extensively study al of their opponents in the offseason. Part of their scrutiny of the Eagles included watching tape of University of Oregon games when Kelly coached there. The Giants will have a sound defensive plan when they face Philadelphia. I find the wording of your question interesting (and you're far from the first to do it). But so many fans and reporters seem to wonder how NFL defenses are going to stop Kelly's offense. I would turn it around and suggest Kelly will have to figure out how to move the ball and score against sophisticated NFL defenses, including the Giants.

The Giants, for the most part, seem to select high-quality people for their roster, but who was the most difficult person you had to interview?

Dear Todd:
The quality of the person often has nothing to do with how easy or hard they are to interview. In the 1980s, Zeke Mowatt was a nice man, but he refused to talk to most reporters. Lawrence Taylor was terrific in interviews once he got rolling, but could be hard to approach. Offensive linemen Doug Riesenberg and Greg Bishop seldom talked to writers. Those are the toughest players to interview – the ones who simply don't want to talk.

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