It’s getting crowded on the Giants defensive roster, but when things sort themselves out, New York will have upgraded themselves with the acquisition of Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty.
Canty is listed as an end, but that’s because Dallas mostly played with three down linemen up front; in the Giants’ scheme, he’ll have someone to the outside of him and will most be playing defensive tackle. As Ralph Vacchiano suggested in the Daily News, he’ll probably be replacing Fred Robbins, four years his senior and is probably better now than Robbins ever was. Football Prospectus called Canty “a tough player with the vaunted huge motor that never quits.”
Linebacker Michael Boley, acquired from the Atlanta Falcons, is another matter. He’s one of the bigger gambles the Giants have taken in recent years. Two years ago Boley, who will be 27 when the seasons starts, was regarded as perhaps Atlanta’s best defensive player and an A-level strong side linebacker, recording three sacks, two interceptions and 93 tackles during the 2007 season. In 2008, after some off-season battery charges, he had zero sacks, one interception and just 62 tackles and didn’t appear as a major factor in the Falcons’ playoff push. The idea is that a player as talented as Boley can do better in a more nurturing environment with the Giants coaching staff. Well, as Bear Bryant always said, don’t ever give up on talent. If Boley clicks, the Giants start the season with a solid improvement on defense – and, unlike the Jets, the Giants defense got younger.