New York Giants: What does LB Deone Bucannon bring to Big Blue?

New York Giants, Deone Bucannon

The New York Giants signed former Arizona Cardinal and Tampa Bay Cardinals linebacker, Deone Bucannon, on Tuesday afternoon, filling a position of need with a familiar player.

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher worked with Bucannon earlier in his career in Arizona, where he enjoyed some of his best seasons. The former first-round pick will pick up the role Tae Davis was supposed to fill this season before being benched and stashed away for a rainy day.

Bettcher utilizes a position called the “money backer,” which is essentially a blend of a tradition linebacker and outside linebacker. It requires a robust and fast player who can rush the passer but also drop back into coverage — something Bucannon has done in the past.

The fifth-year player has played strong safety in the past, giving him knowledge of multiple positions, which is beneficial for Big Blue, who will hope to plug him in right away alongside Alec Ogletree and David Mayo in the middle of the field. His influence can be valuable, but he’s three seasons from a productive campaign. While the Buccaneers cut him, the reasoning will give you more justification for his quality.

Bucannon was cut to enable a third-round compensatory pick selection for Tampa Bay, which was more valuable than the linebacker. Take the tidbit of information as you will, but he can fill a needed role for the Giants and has plenty of experience with Bettcher on defense.

The New York Giants are developing the linebacker position but are ways away:

With Ryan Connelly quickly establishing himself as the top linebacker on the team as a rookie, it puts Ogletree on the trade-block this season and could potentially send him on his way next offseason. Bucannon can help in the middle of the field and create confusion for defenses, and if he can regain his form from the past, there could be an argument to be made for a possible contract extension.

Of course, we need to see what the linebacker has to offer in live-action before we make any judgment calls.

Did the New York Giants find a stud defender in David Mayo?

New York Giants, David Mayo

After rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly went down in week three for the New York Giants with a torn ACL, linebacker David Mayo subsequently filled his spot. The expectations for the position dropped to a low-point, but Mayo has risen to the occasion and played well despite the lack of confidence in his abilities.

When you hear the name David Mayo around the Giants, his mentality, intelligence, and tenacity are all part of the conversation. He’s the definition of an all-around solid player, and he’s played that way in the last few weeks. Handling the middle of the defense while Connelly is out wasn’t precisely what Mayo envisioned his role being this season, but he has had experience doing so before with the Carolina Panthers. In fact, it seems as if he enjoys the duties.

Where has David Mayo contributed to the New York Giants?

Mayo has not only showed he’s of value on the field, but he’s an asset in the locker-room as well, acting as a voice of reason and helping his teammates develop into better players. He’s precisely the type of player general manager Dave Gettleman went out to find in an attempt to shift the atmospheric pressure in the club-house. Interestingly enough, Mayo was a former disciple of Gettleman, so the GM knew exactly what he was getting. That’s the benefit of experience.

This past offseason, however, Mayo signed a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers but was later cut after moving his family out to the west coast. It was a blessing in disguise considering where he ended up — calling the shots on the Giants defense and showing he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.

“A part of being a pro is even when you don’t know when your opportunity is going to come, you have to be ready when your opportunity does come up,” the linebacker said. “That’s what I’ve focused on my entire career.”

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher even raved about Mayo’s work ethic:

“I love what David Mayo has done, I really do,” Bettcher said. “He’s come and worked his tail off. David’s another guy that loves the game. This guy really loves the game, he’s tough, he’s physical.”

In his five-year career, Mayo has already set career highs in nearly every category. He currently sits at 30 combined tackles, 18 solos, 0.5 sacks, and 1.0 QB hit. Those numbers don’t necessarily jump off a screen and poke you in the eyes, but his 12 totals tackles last week, and two fourth-down stops justify the decision made by Gettleman to sign him.

Mayo is quickly becoming accustomed to the defense and is seemingly thriving in the role. That’s a massive benefit to a team that lacks depth at nearly every position. The Giants will likely extend him and utilize his talents in a reserve role once Connelly returns in 2020.

New York Giants news, 10/13 – Giants running out of time to sign veteran linebacker

New York Giants, Deone Bucannon

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

The New York Giants enjoyed a surprisingly solid performance from linebacker David Mayo on Thursday night against the New England Patriots, as he recorded several stops on third down and even contributed in two turnovers on downs against Tom Brady.

However, that doesn’t mean the Giants shouldn’t be in hot pursuit over former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defender, Deone Bucannon. The James Bettcher product enjoyed his best seasons with the current Giants defensive coordinator. Bucannon racked up 82 combined tackles, one interception, two forced fumbles and two tackles for a loss over 12 games in 2017. That was his final season with Bettcher before the DC joined the Giants.

His familiarity with the system makes him a glaring gem for Big Blue and general manager Dave Gettleman, even after signing running back Javorius Allen. The available cap-space might hinder Gettleman’s ability to sign Bucannon, who was on a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Bucs before being released. The reason he was let go is that the Bucs will now earn a third-round compensatory pick next draft — it wasn’t play related.

With Alec Ogletree, Tae Davis, and Nate Stupar featuring at the linebacker position alongside Mayo, the Giants are not secure in the middle of the defense whatsoever. They must upgrade the position eventually, which is why taking a flier on Bucannon is a great idea.

The issue is available cap-space, as the Giants are now down to around $2 million and will be reluctant to spend a majority of it on signing a linebacker for half the season. For argument’s sake, giving him a chance is not a bad idea considering the success he has had in the past with Bettcher. If he proves to be successful once again, extending him for next season would be a great move, especially considering how cost-effective he would be for a starter.


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The New York Giants’ Defense Will Have Its Hands Full Against Minnesota

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers

The New York Giants are on a two-game win streak and are looking to make it three today against the Minnesota Vikings. New York sits with a 2-2 record. If the Giants win today, they will have their first winning record since 2016. It is a crucial game for the Giants.

But this will be no easy matchup for the Gmen. The Minnesota Vikings have been struggling this season, but their offense has enough talent to create some trouble for the Giants’ defense.

The Vikings’ Strong Running Game

The Vikings have been dependant on their running game so far this season. Third-year running back Dalvin Cook is having a breakout season and keeping the Vikings’ offense together. Dalvin has received 20 or more touches in each of the Vikings’ first four games this season.

Through these first four weeks, Cook has accumulated 410 rushing yards, good for second-best in the league. Dalvin is also leading the league with 5 rushing touchdowns so far.

The Giants will have a tough time matching up against the Vikings’ run game today. They are incredibly thin at linebacker after losing Ryan Connelly, Alec Ogletree, and Tae Davis to injury. The Giants will start David Mayo at linebacker. He had a solid performance in week four, but the Giants will need him to build on that in order to defend Dalvin Cook.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, Dalvin Cook’s dominance has not led to many wins. The Vikings are 2-2, just like the Giants. This is obviously not Cook’s fault. The Vikings’ passing attack is to blame for their even record.

The Struggling Passing Game Ready To Break Out

The Minnesota Vikings are 2-2. They can thank Dalvin Cook for those two wins, but could also blame Kirk Cousins for those two losses, as many fans have. Fans have given Kirk criticism for missing open receivers:

This had led to a lot of frustration within the Vikings’ locker room. This frustration has leaked out to the public. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has been open with his frustration via social media and the Vikings’ other primary receiver, Adam Thielen, expressed his frustration in an interview.

Thielen criticized the Vikings for being “one-dimensional” on offense. The Vikings’ offensive struggles have been surprising because Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs were one of the league’s best wide receiver duos in the NFL last year, combining for 2,394 yards and 18 touchdowns. So far, however, the Vikings’ receivers have not lived up to expectations.

Many expect this to change in week five against the Giants. The Vikings are expected to open up their offense and try to get Thielen and Diggs heavily involved in order to fix their offensive inconsistency. The Giants’ defense is a favorable matchup for Minnesota’s offense.

The Giants’ defense allowed their opponents to have huge offensive performances in each of the first three games of the season. New York allowed the Cowboys to gain 405 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air, then allowed Josh Allen to throw for 237, and then allowed Jameis Winston to toss an impressive 355 and 3 touchdowns. The Vikings are aware of this and will look to be the next offense with a breakout game against the Giants.

Fortunately for New York, their defense stepped up big in week four. The Giants allowed the Redskins to gain only 121 yards through the air. The Giants also forced the Redskins to throw 4 total interceptions. In week five, it will be interesting to see which side prevails: the improving Giants’ defense, or the struggling Vikings’ offense.

The New York Giants are in trouble on defense ahead of clash against Vikings

New York Giants, Giants, NYG, Ryan Connelly

The New York Giants could be in big trouble on defense against the Minnesota Vikings, primarily at the linebacker position where they are down three starters. Ryan Connelly tore his ACL last Sunday against the Washington Redskins in the fourth quarter, after tallying a sack and interception in the contest.

The New York Giants lost a key contributor on defense:

Connelly has emerged as the team’s top linebacker, and losing him will be significant to the quality of the unit. The Wisconsin product had earned 20 combine tackles, ten assisted, one sack, and two interceptions. He has been stellar in every facet of the game and developed very quickly. His instinctual play and ability to shoot gaps are two attributes that make Connelly a serviceable starter for the foreseeable future.

He will return next season and hopefully be able to pick up right where he left off. In the meantime, the New York Giants have Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis on the roster, both of which will miss Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. That will leave backup David Mayo to be the featured player in the middle of the defense for the Giants. After being cut by the San Francisco 49ers on August 31, Mayo was picked up just three days later.

“When the Giants called, I was pretty excited,” he added, per the NY Post. “It was a good fit and I was happy to come.”

It is expected that Mayo will be the MIC linebacker and controller of the defense. He will be communicating with the defensive coordinator James Bettcher and relaying calls to his teammates, a task that was formally held by Ryan Connelly.

“I’ve done it plenty of times. I’m comfortable with it,” said Mayo, who had eight tackles against the Redskins. “I feel good about calling plays and setting the fronts and all that stuff. If it’s me, I’ll be ready.”

While mayo has experience being the communicator of the defense, he is still new to the unit and is not the first option. This could result in porous play in the middle of the field for Big Blue, and I imagine the Vikings utilizing their talents to expose that deficiency.

New York Giants Change Mind On Waiving B.J. Goodson, Trade Him Instead

New York Giants linebacker, B.J. Goodson.

In a strange turn of events, it looks like B.J. Goodson isn’t going to be waived by the Giants after all. The player was supposedly going to be waived following the end of the preseason, where other players managed to stand out more at the linebacker position and unseat the veteran who ha started for the past couple of years with the Giants, but a late offer from the Packers will allow the team to get something for Goodson instead of letting him go for nothing.

The terms of the deal haven’t been reported yet, but the trade definitely doesn’t include another player – it’s more likely a draft pick in the lower rounds.

Goodson, a product of the Clemson Tigers, was drafted in the fourth round in 2016 by the Giants and has played with the team until this trade, becoming a regular player on defense and a starter within the Giants’ group of linebackers. Linebacker play, though, hasn’t been one of the strongest points in recent seasons and Goodson found himself falling behind enough that before the Packers offered a trade, the team intended to move on from Goodson entirely by waiving him.

With the new roster space, the Giants have signed former Dave Gettleman draft pick David Mayo, who was taken in the fifth round by the Carolina Panthers in 2015 and played with the team up until 2019 when Mayo became a free agent and signed with the 49ers before being released during the team’s final cuts. Mayo played in all 16 games last season for the Panthers and started three of them, registering 14 total tackles during the regular season.

Time will tell whether or not Mayo is good enough to stay on the team and get in the rotation, but the signing can’t hurt – and the Giants will be happy to get something in return for Goodson, a player they were intending to let go for nothing.