New York Giants defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson spent the offseason trying to learn a new defensive playbook and how to play the ukulele. The former Alabama standout spent the offseason at his home in New Jersey, where he participated in the Giants’ online offseason program. The NFL limited its teams to virtual work this offseason because of the coronavirus pandemic.Tomlinson said he thought he had a good grasp on the new coaching staff’s defensive plan. But on the ukulele, Tomlinson pointed out: “I’m pretty big, and the ukulele is pretty small.”“This is one of the things I’ve been trying to pick up in quarantine,” Tomlinson said. “So one day you’ll probably hear me play that. No time soon, though. I got a lot to work on.”Brandon Graham, the Giants’ incoming defensive coordinator, was Tomlinson’s position coach during his rookie season with New York. “The techniques pretty much remind me of my Alabama days,” Tomlinson said during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio last week. “You can only pick up so much on virtual meetings and things like that, so I feel like I’ve picked up the playbook pretty well over the virtual meetings.”The defensive tackle said there’s no substitute for on-the-field work, particularly at his position.“The experience and just being on the football field and going through drills and things like that can’t really be replaced,” Tomlinson said. “Just going against another person on the field every day makes you a whole better player. …“The closer you are to the ball, the quicker your reaction has to be. Your technique has to be precise. If you take one wrong step, it could be a bad play and bad down for you and the whole defense, so working on and critiquing your technique day in and day out is pretty crucial. You have to drill it in day in and day out even when you’re not even practicing.”Tomlinson has attempted to stay in shape this offseason in a weight room that he set up in his garage.Tomlinson is preparing for his fourth season in the NFL – and the final year of his rookie contract, signed after the Giants selected him in the second round of the 2017 draft.Tomlinson has started every game of his NFL career. In 2019, he recorded 49 tackles and reached career highs with 3.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss while playing 596 defensive snaps, 54 percent of New York’s total. Tomlinson also played a career-high 163 special-teams snaps.The NFL’s Next Gen Stats credited Tomlinson with 19 tackles that held an opposing ball-carrier to zero or negative yards last season, which ranked third in the league.The Giants’ defense as a whole wasn’t as highly ranked. Only two teams gave up more points in 2019 than New York.During the offseason, the Giants brought in free agents James Bradberry and Blake Martinez to bolster their defense. A former Pleasant Grove High School and Samford standout, Bradberry had been a starting cornerback for the Carolina Panthers since entering the NFL as a second-round draft pick in 2016. Martinez will become New York’s middle linebacker after making 443 tackles for the Green Bay Packers over the past three seasons.JAMES BRADBERRY WILL MISS PLAYING AGAINST JULIO JONESThe Giants also used seven of their 10 draft picks in April on defensive players, starting with Alabama safety Xavier McKinney in the second round.“I’m super excited to play with everybody we brought in,” Tomlinson said, “and I’m just hoping everything clears up so that we can get back to training camp, get the pads on and get used to working together.”Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.MORE NFL:· You could own Bradley Bozeman’s RV· Quarterback Cam Newton returning to NFL· Jerry Jeudy, Darius Slayton mixing offseason quarterbacks· Derrick Brown stepping into gap for Carolina Panthers· Titans teammates supporting UAB’s first NFL player in cancer fight· Will Mark Ingram be the Ravens’ No. 1 running back in 2020?· Ha Ha Clinton-Dix says bears ‘scared the life out of me’· Mack Wilson ‘improved with every rep he had’ as an NFL rookie· Uncle Gregg expects ‘big jump’ from Quinnen Williams· Watch Jonah Williams preparing for his delayed NFL debut· Ravens ready to see how D.J. Fluker fits in run-heavy offense· Former Patriots assistant sees 2 differences between Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham· Derrick Henry tells Kevin Hart about football at Alabama· Cowboys’ Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has close encounter with bears (and not the football kind)· Tua Tagovailoa draws response from Shania Twain· Roman Harper chosen for New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame



Source link