Twenty-six-year old safety Stevie Brown would have likely followed up his breakout 2012 season with more of the same outstanding play had he not been sidelined by an ACL tear for the entire 2013 season. There was a variety of reasons why the Giants’ couldn’t quite get a handle on the season (makeshift offensive line, lack of consistency at running back, weak linebacker core, etc.). Still, one of the few things that held up to the test was the secondary. Defensive captain Antrel Rolle characteristically stepped up, filling any role necessary to maintain respectability for the Giants’ defense, and the rest of the secondary largely followed suit. The integration of Ryan Mundy, Will Hill, and a healthy Prince Amukamara were key factors in the defense, holding opponents to only 383 points in the season.
With that said, an active Stevie Brown would’ve still had a significant impact on the strength of the Big Blue secondary. In 2012, his first season with the Giants, Brown recorded 76 tackles, 11 deflected passes and 8 interceptions in only 11 starts. The year prior, Brown only played eight games in Indy, recording just five tackles. The dramatic increase in performance indicates we haven’t seen the extent of his potential just yet. Beyond the numbers, all Giants fans have observed Stevie Brown’s playmaking ability. Brown is seemingly around the ball no matter where on the field something is happening. Whether its scooping up a loose ball or assisting on a clutch tackle, Brown has proven to be a playmaker, plain and simple, and that’s a commodity the Giants would be wise not to lose.
This past season, the G-Men combined for 17 interceptions compared to the 29 they gave up. That had a lot to do with the extreme pressure Eli Manning faced each week, but at the end of the day, turnovers matter. An underestimated factor in winning ballgames falls on the shoulders of the secondary to come up and make big plays. It is no secret that the Giants are in a rebuilding phase, and General Manager Jerry Reese has said he may not resign any of the pending Giants free agents in order to focus on that rebuilding. Although the reasoning for this statement is clear, it may be worthwhile to consider resigning certain players that are on the younger side and hold high value, such as Stevie Brown.
In closing, when Brandon Jacobs made his return to NY last season, there was some calling for Stevie Brown to return the #27 to him. That didn’t happen. Why not? It is because Stevie Brown has earned not only the number on his back but also his spot on this team. Despite being ahead of schedule in his recovery process, no news concerning a possible contract for Brown has been heard since preliminary discussions began on Feb. 3. The Giants might be able to score a steal in the fifth year safety, as he has many years ahead of him and a huge expanse of potential.
Eber is a member of
the class of 2017.