The New York Giants traded for LB Isaiah Simmons this preseason as they sought reinforcements on the defensive end. The 25-year-old spent the first four seasons of his career with the Arizona Cardinals. Now, in Week 2, Simmons will face his former team for the first time, and he could play a big role in New York’s gameplan.
Isaiah Simmons could see more playing time in Week 2
In Week 1, Simmons played only 15 total defensive snaps. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is still working Simmons into the game plan as he continues to learn the playbook and assimilate into the new system.
Simmons feels that he is ready to take on a larger, though, as he feels he has a firm grasp of the playbook.
“I got a really good grasp of the playbook, feel like, I learned it all for the most part,” Simmons said. “Still got a lot of learning to do. I don’t feel like I’ve mastered it by any means, but as time goes along, I feel like I’ll get an even better feel of the small nuances that are within every call. There’s the call, there’s the game inside the game and that’s what I really like to focus on mastering. So, I’ve learned the game. So now I’ve been focusing on the game that’s inside the game.”
With Simmons feeling more confident in his knowledge of the playbook, the Giants could rely on him to play a bigger role against the Cardinals on Sunday.
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The Giants can get creative with Simmons
While he is listed as an inside linebacker, Simmons is much more than that. Having played both linebacker, safety, and a bit of nickel corner during his time in Arizona, Simmons is dynamic as a player can be on defense. The Giants are expected to utilize his athleticism as a pass-rusher.
Standing in at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds with a 4.39s 40-yard-dash time, Simmons is an elite athlete. This athleticism will allow Martindale to get creative, moving his new Swiss Army Knife all across the lineup.
Simmons flashed his potential as a pass-rusher during the team’s preseason Week 3 matchup with the New York Jets. In that game, Simmons blitzed on all five of his snaps and nearly came away with a sack.
The Giants’ pass rush went dormant in Week 1, failing to pressure Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott. In Week 2, facing off against a Cardinals’ offense led by the inexperienced QB Joshua Dobbs, Martindale will want to send some heat. Simmons can play a valuable role as a blitzing off-ball linebacker, disrupting Dobbs and leading to big opportunities for the Giants’ defense.