New York Giants: Can the forgotten Avery Moss make an impact in 2019?

New York Giants, Avery Moss

What can New York Giants pass-rusher Avery Moss bring to the table during the 2019 season? Hopefully, more than practice squad reps.

Most of you probably don’t remember Avery Moss and the influence he’s had on the Giants…that’s right, he hasn’t had an influence. Moss spent all of 2018 on the practice squad on an average defense and barely played in his rookie season two years ago.

In fact, the chances of Moss making any sort of impact in 2019 are slim to none, but “never say never” a young apostle in Justin Bieber once said (joking!).

However, the Giants are thin on proven edge-rushers, which ultimately presents Moss with a small opportunity to break into the active roster and earn some playing time. In 2017, he started in two games, picking up 14 tackles and five quarterback hits. Not a bad bout of production but certainly nothing to write home about.

After what seemed to be a decent performance, Moss completely fell off the face of the earth, being buried by average players that earned the Giants a 23rd ranked defense last season. Not ideal for a player that seemed to have a spark to him in his rookie campaign.

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The New York Giants certainly presented Avery Moss with a hurdle:

The biggest challenge for Moss has been adapting to the outside linebacker role, something even Olivier Vernon stated he struggled with. The positioning and diversity of the position is much different than a tradition pass-rushing defensive end. That’s where his falloff occurred, but it’s possible he’s adapted to the position after a year learning the role in the shadows.

He will have a fair shot at making the team during training camp this offseason, and we should look to see if he’s developed a bit more awareness in shallow coverage and rushing the passer from an upright position. All of these factors play into the outside linebacker position.

 

New York Giants: Avery Moss Primed To Take On bigger Role In 2018

New York Giants, Avery Moss

Second-year defensive end, Avery Moss, is primed to take on a much bigger role for the New York Giants.

New defensive coordinator James Bettcher, has brought over a 3-4 defense from the Arizona Cardinals, which means Moss will likely have to make the transition to a outside linebacker. Another player also making this change is Olivier Vernon, who will look to increase his sack totals in a defense that saw Chandler Jones rack up 17 last season.

Moss is a long-limbed athlete with excellent range on the edge. His quickness and loose hips allows him to get around the edge and slide off blocks rather well. As a defensive end, he lacks some strength, but at linebacker he should be able to utilize his mobility to catch offensive lineman on the wrong foot.

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According to Giants.com:

“I think I can fit the role,” said Moss, who played in 11 games with two starts as a rookie. “I’ve got to learn a little bit of the drops [in coverage] and all that kind of good stuff that goes with it, but I think it will be fun in this new defense. … Those guys were defensive ends, so we’re all learning this together. It’s all new, so we’re going through the same mental struggle together and everything like that, so it’s good.”

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Dropping back into coverage will be Moss’s most significant challenge, since he primarily played as a DE throughout his collegiate and short professional career. Luckily, Moss has teammates like Kareem Martin to lean on during the learning process. Martin played OLB on the Cardinals with Bettcher, which will make the transition much easier for the Giants’ players making the transition.

“I can’t wait to congratulate and welcome the new guys to the team,” Moss said. “And then with the guys that came from Arizona, it’s great having those guys because they already have the mental background with the defense and they know everything, so it’s good to have that support system of help that’s right there with you.”

Finishing up his rookie season is a blessing for Moss, as he can now carry his developed talents into the 2018 season. He will look to increase his 2017 totals (14 total tackles) in the season ahead.