Alec Ogletree will be asked to do more than just play linebacker for Giants

From ESPN - March 16, 2018

Whatever the New York Giants did last year on defense, it didnt work. They imploded, finishing 31st in the league in total defense and having three cornerbacks suspended because of their conduct.

New general manager Dave Gettlemans answers to last years problems began with a trade for middle linebacker Alec Ogletree. He was the captain for the Los Angeles Rams' defense, and he's going to be asked to do much of the same for the Giants.

Were very excited to have made the trade for Alec, Gettleman said in a statement after the trade became official. He gives us our defensive quarterback. He was a two-time captain with the Rams, voted on by his teammates. Hes a leader, and thats very important to us. Just as important, hes a quality three-down Mike linebacker. Were just thrilled to have him.

The way it was explained to Ogletree is that he will be asked to do a lot of what he did with the Rams. They played in a 3-4 defense last season and he was allowed to roam sideline to sideline to make plays.

It wasnt always flawless -- the thought was that the Rams traded him, in part, because he wasnt a natural fit in their defense -- but Ogletree remained a respected figure among teammates. Several of them, including star running back Todd Gurley, expressed their displeasure with the move on social media. It showed where Ogletree stood in that locker room.

Im more of a lead-by-example guy, he said. Your actions speak louder than words do. But at the same time, if something needs to be said, I dont have a problem saying it and getting guys to do the right thing.

The Giants needed that. B.J. Goodson, a second-year player at the time, started last season at middle linebacker. He struggled to remain healthy. Defensive captain Jonathan Casillas was a respected voice on the field and in the locker room, but he also didnt make it through the season and was constantly banged up. The Giants were left short on linebackers and leaders.

Ogletree, 26, will try to fill the void that Gettleman believes existed. The common thread among most of the Giants' signings and acquisitions this offseason is that theyre considered quality locker room influences.


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