Michael Boley would return to the weakside spot he had manned in 2009, veteran newcomer Keith Bulluck - signed as a free agent on July 26 - would play the middle and promising second-year pro Clint Sintim would take over on the strong side.
Jonathan Goff, then a third-year pro, was expected to reprise his role as a sub linebacker and special teams standout.
By the time the team broke camp three weeks later, the linebacker lineup had undergone extensive reshuffling. Boley remained on the weak side, though he was replaced as the starter in the opener by defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. Goff played well enough in camp and in the preseason to win the starting job in the middle, where he started all 16 games. Bulluck overcame an early-season toe injury to played in 12 games with eight starts. In seven of their 16 games, the Giants started an extra defensive back - safety Deon Grant - in place strongside linebacker.
Boley led the linebackers with 74 tackles (51 solo) and he had a sack, five quarterback hits and two passes defensed.
Goff became a steady force in the middle. He finished the season with 70 tackles (44 solo), 11 tackles for losses, a sack, two passes defensed and one forced fumble. He also had six special teams tackles.
Bulluck had 28 tackles (17 solo) and two interceptions. The picks increased his career total to 21 picks. At the conclusion of the 2010 season, that was the second-highest total among active linebackers, behind only Baltimore's Ray Lewis (30).
Sintim saw most of his action on special teams and suffered a season-ending torn ACL in a victory over Minnesota in Detroit on Dec. 13.
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