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Mailbag: Giants secondary, linebacker rotation 


Lou in New York: Is it safe to assume that the Giants' secondary is a force to be reckoned with, now that Adoree' Jackson and others have been added?

John Schmeelk: There are reasons to be very optimistic about the secondary. Safeties Logan Ryan, Julian Love, Xavier McKinney and Jabrill Peppers each have skillsets that allow them to play multiple positions, permitting defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to use a variety of formations on any given play. The Giants' corners are also capable of playing a variety of schemes. Last season, the defense heavily relied on pre-snap disguise to confuse opposing offenses. You could expect more of the same this year, except the addition of Jackson and others (along with an expected second-year improvement from Darnay Holmes) should allow them to utilize more man-to-man coverage, especially on third down. It is important to note that Ryan, Peppers and Bradberry have instilled a work ethic in this group that includes extra film study to enhance their preparation for every opponent.

Jeff in Connecticut: How will Patrick Graham deploy newcomers such as veteran LBs Ifeadi Odenigbo and Reggie Ragland during the season? How will Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith fit in to the equation and will their presence hinder the development of second-year pros Cam Brown, Tae Crowder, Carter Coughlin?

John Schmeelk: Ragland will compete with Tae Crowder and others for playing time inside next to Blake Martinez in the base 3-4 defense. Ragland is more of a downhill player while Crowder flashed some coverage ability last year. Odenigbo will likely be an edge player on early downs who can move inside as an interior rusher on passing downs as he goes after the quarterback. Coughlin worked as an edge player more often than not last year, but got some practice work inside, so he could compete at both spots. Brown would continue his role on special teams as they find a best fit for him on the defense. There will be a lot of competition on the edge between Ojulari, Smith, Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, and Ryan Anderson among others.

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