The understudy role is nothing new for Giants safety Ryan Mundy, who is in his first year with the team after playing the first four years of his career in Pittsburgh. And it’s one he’s more than willing to embrace.
“We’re not sure of the timetable of Antrel’s return, but this is a role that I’m very familiar with, “ Mundy said today. “My time in Pittsburgh, I was a primary backup to Troy (Polamalu) and Ryan (Clark), so this is a role I know how to function in and how to prepare for.”
Being somewhat new though to the Giants, Mundy is more than likely going to have to increase his learning of the Giants defense to improve his comfort level in his specific responsibilities, which he said are a work in progress.
“Every day I’m in here working hard trying to better my understanding of the defense. It’s an exciting process. Everyone’s been very helpful from the get-go, my teammates. And I think I have a pretty good grasp, but it’s not where I want to be yet,” he said.
One of the challenges that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell mentioned for Mundy was building his communication level with Stevie Brown, the Giants other starting safety. However, Mundy said he thinks this process will go a lot smoother given that the two men have familiarity with each other that originated before their time together as Giants teammates.
“I think me and Steve have a unique situation because I knew Steve from a long time ago,” Mundy said. “He was a freshman when I was a senior at Michigan so having that rapport and that relationship and knowing each other for a few years definitely makes our transition on the field a little easier. I’m just trying to fit in and whatever he and Antrel were doing, I’m just trying to follow suit.”
While Mundy isn’t as familiar with the three safety set that the giants use a lot – he said that the Steelers rarely used that formation – he was looking forward to being a part of it with the Giants.
“From the outside looking in from a defensive perspective, you see three safeties on the field and you’re really not sure what they’re running,” Mundy said. “So once I came here on my visit and met with (safeties) Coach (David) Merritt and (defensive coordinator) Coach (Perry) Fewell and got a bit better understanding of that, it was exciting for me because they thought I could fill that role. We had a discussion about that and here I am.”
“You have to keep the offense off-balance and you don’t want to be static and line up to one side of the formation all the time so it’s best if you know all the positions and responsibilities in every defense because the more you can do, the better off you’ll be.”