The Giant Insider Online

B.J. Goodson aiming for big season in Year Three with Giants

New York Giants’ middle linebacker B.J. Goodson is a tackling machine. The third-year player out of Clemson, who was the leading tackler on the team that lost the National Championship Game to Alabama in 2016, has brought that productivity to the Giants.

After playing predominately on special teams as a rookie in 2016, Goodson was handed the job as the Giants’ starting middle linebacker in 2017. He opened the season with an 18-tackle performance against the Cowboys but injuries to his shin and ankle limited him to just seven games.

Still, his performance and efficiency did not escape the eye of the folks at Pro Football Focus, who ranked him third in combined tackling efficiency among NFL inside linebackers (fifth in running game efficiency and fourth against the pass).

Tackling efficiency is measured by the number of attempted tackles per missed tackle. Goodson was third at 26 behind Jacksonville’s Paul Posluszny (28) and Seattle’s Bobby Wagner (44.3).

Goodson will no longer man the middle alone. The Giants are switching to a 3-4 base defense and he will be joined by veteran Alec Ogletree, who will take over the defensive signal calling from Goodson this year.

“Yeah, I’ll have the mic,” said Ogletree. “But B.J. does an excellent job of relaying the message as well, so we definitely bounce off each other in relaying the message to the defense, and it definitely helps me out a lot. And I think it helps him out, too.”

Goodson is embracing Ogletree’s arrival. With defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s new defense, the duo is poised to do great things together but the two are keeping their expectations are somewhat tempered.

“It’s like having another MIKE in the game. It’s a difference and it makes it take a little bit of pressure off,” said Goodson. “I don’t want to give away too much. But, it’s fun. I’m looking forward to us as a unit playing fast, playing hard, just being hard-nosed and being about that Giant culture.”

And staying healthy, which has been a huge hurdle for the Giants the past decade or so. But Goodson will enter Year 3 hoping to be a key part of the defense in the middle.

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