New York Giants news, 11/28 – Is Julian Love the future at free safety?

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

The New York Giants’ mentality towards the 2019 season was to develop their youth and provide them with essential live-action experience. Rookies, such has DeAndre Baker, Corey Ballentine, Dexter Lawrence, and Oshane Ximines, have all been utilized frequently this season on defense.

However, Julian Love, cornerback out of Notre Dame, has been absent the entire season, as a precaution for his transition from cornerback to free safety. The Giants have kept him protected from live-action, allowing him to learn from Antoine Bethea and progress mentality within the position. In week 12, though, he was given the green light to enjoy some time on the field with the first team.

Love earned 55% of defensive snaps against the Chicago Bears, coming down with an interception on an errant Mitchell Trubisky throw. He finished the day with an 80.1 grade, according to PFF. He did not allow a reception in coverage during his 42 snaps, which is stellar, considering how porous Bethea has been in coverage this season.

Bethea is currently the 24th ranked safety, per PFF. His 71.9 rating tells the story in regards to his coverage abilities, but his 79.8 grade against the run is what has made him effective at times. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher has utilized him closer to the line of scrimmage in recent weeks to supplement his weak coverage skills. He recorded an interception on the first play of the game against the Dallas Cowboys in week 9, lined up about five yards off the LOS.

I expect to see Love in an expanded role moving forward, as the New York Giants seem ready to instill their confidence in the rookie defensive back. He has undoubtedly earned the opportunity to see more reps in coverage, and his development should be a priority for head coach Pat Shurmur and James Bettcher.


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