Fans can be tough. They pick on players relentlessly, some deservingly and some not. Alec Ogletree needs help on a defense that continues to shrink.
Alec Ogletree is a good player. He has had his ups and downs as a New York Giant, but I find him the least of the issues on this defense. I also appreciate his professionalism. He comes to work, leads on the field and is trying to figure out how to make this Giants team better. He is still the leader on one of the youngest teams in the NFL.
Last year I felt he was over pursuing, getting washed out in the flow of the blocking scheme, missing the ball carrier lanes. However he did have 5 Interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. The more I watched Betther’s system, the more I just scratched my head. How is the middle linebacker making game-changing plays in coverage, but lost in the run game…his No.1 priority? While this system is based in a 3/4, it can switch to a 4/3 hybrid, yet this team has never had the Linebackers to run this scheme.
2019 Season: Ogletree started off rough.
- Week 1-3: 12 tackles | 0 sacks
Ogletree sat out with week 4 & 5 with a hamstring injury he sustained in the Tampa Bay game. Since his return in week 6, he has been one of the most productive players on the defense. The defense scheme still doesn’t work, the blitz dominated coordinator has all but disappeared and he still refused to make in-game adjustments. Weekly, the fans ask the football Gods why Julian Love can’t get on the field…yet Hailey continues to get torched relentlessly.
- Weeks 6-8: 26 tackles | 1 sack
Whether you like it or not this defense was not built to succeed. Bettcher seemed like a great choice from the start as the former Cardinals coordinator dominated the NFL with an attacking style, blitz-happy defense, That has all but disappeared. The linebackers brought in where past their prime and were not impact players. The draft was stellar; however was gaining momentum from inside out with players like Hill, McIntosh, Lawrence, Tomlinson a holdover from Reese and now Leonard Williams.
This team needs help on the outside, whether it be scheme or talent. Golden, Carter, and Ximinies have the talent, but Bettcher needs to let them go. At 2-6 these players need to be turned on. Outside pressure flushes the play inside where players like Ogletree can do their job. This defense also lost rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly who impressing with every new week.
So let’s evaluate the situation. Some players, including Alec Ogletree are doing the best they can, with what they have to work with. Hill was great when Snacks was here and when Tomlinson moved to the middle. Somehow Bettcher seems to have lost the ability to put Hill in a good spot, to be the impact player he was just one year ago. Ximines needs to be coached up. He seems to have the skill, yet he doesn’t seem to be getting the coaching. The same for Carter. Last week Bettcher had 8 defensive backs on the field. It doesn’t work. Stop being cute…play football.
Connelly and Ogletree together would be ideal. If healthy, this will be Connelly’s defense in 2020, but during this rebuild, the current inside linebacker will continue to need help especially with the Dallas Cowboys coming town on Monday Night.