Giants’ Micah McFadden confident he’s come a long way entering second year

Micah McFadden can laugh about it now, because of how far he has come. 

But last season, it wasn’t funny.

It was difficult for the inside linebacker to sit through a film session that involved him. 

“A lot of times it was tough for me to watch film,” McFadden recalled on Monday. “Just because I didn’t feel like I was comfortable and I could see on tape, the way I was moving, the way I was guessing on things.” 

McFadden, a fifth-round pick out of Indiana a year ago, has come a long way since then, to the point he is considered the favorite to start next to Bobby Okereke when the games count for real starting on Sept. 10.

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said as much recently, that McFadden is “leading” Darrian Beavers in the competition.

He is so much more comfortable in Martindale’s defense compared to a year ago.

Micah McFadden feels a lot more comfortable now entering his second season with the Giants.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

He is sure of himself and confident, believing he belongs. 

“Especially on the field, you stop thinking so much about your personal responsibilities and start thinking about how you fit on the defense, how you communicate, and on top of that, how you start seeing the offense,” the 6-foot-2, 232-pound linebacker said. “It’s easier to play fast when you know what’s about to come.

“Obviously when you can stop thinking about, ‘OK, I just go to do this, I got to blitz here, I got to play this gap, cover this guy,’ it’s a lot easier when you can start anticipating things before they happen. 

“When I got back at OTAs, I started to get back into running the defense, running the blitz and feeling the coverage drops. I felt myself slowing down a little bit and I felt more comfortable within the defense. During the offseason, I thought about it a lot and I wanted to expect myself to make those improvements.” 

McFadden did enjoy a productive rookie year, producing 59 tackles, including six for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble.

This offseason was about making sure he was ready to earn a starting spot.

He spent a lot of time working on technique with fellow inside linebackers like Alex Anzalone of the Lions and Zaire Franklin of the Colts in his hometown of Tampa, Fla. 

Micah McFadden
Micah McFadden could start at inside linebacker for the Giants this season.

“I can see improvements and I can see things that I’m getting better at. Now it’s what can I find that I don’t like on film?” McFadden said. “What are the little things [I need to do better]? Why did I step like this, why did I react to that? … Now it’s about thinking fast and understanding your responsibilities once the bullets are flying.”

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