Chase Blackburn's incredible path from the couch (and a possible substitute teaching gig) to Super Bowl XLVI was one of the best stories surrounding the New York Giants' playoff run next year. It looks like Blackburn's cinderella story will continue for another season.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell confirmed over the weekend that Blackburn is slated to open the offseason as the team's starting middle linebacker. The spot has been the source of a lot of speculation this offseason.
General manager Jerry Reese mentioned weakside linebacker Michael Boley as a candidate to start in the middle earlier this offseason. That idea hasn't gained a lot of traction with Fewell, but Blackburn will face a lot of competition.
"(Mark) Herzlich will have an opportunity to compete for that role. Greg Jones will have an opportunity to compete for that role,â Fewell said, via the New York Daily News. âAnd we're not opposed to putting Keith Rivers, giving him an opportunity to compete for that role. So there's going to be competition."
It's hard to imagine Blackburn repeating his success from a year ago, where he was a tackling machine in the playoffs. (And famously picked off Tom Brady). It's also hard for us to see this as some huge weakness on the Giants depth chart.
That's what we heard all of last year, and things worked out pretty well.
UPDATE: The New York Daily News caught up to Blackburn and got his reaction to Fewell's comments ...
âIâve just got to continue to work hard and get better every day so I can keep that spot,â Blackburn said. âYouâve got to take it in stride. You canât be complacent with it. You canât be happy about it. Iâve got to continue to work and get better. Thereâs a lot of things I can work on. Yeah this is my 8th season, but if youâre done improving youâre done in this game. Thereâs a lot of room for improvementâ