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When the Seahawks signed Julian Love last Friday, the Giants lost a valuable component of their secondary — both in terms of production and his off-the-field leadership as a captain.
Bobby McCain is ready to help fill those shoes.
The ninth-year defensive back signed a one-year deal with the Giants on Tuesday after spending his first six seasons with the Dolphins and the last two with the Commanders.
“I’ll be looking to be the guy,” McCain, who has a chance to replace Love as one of the Giants’ two starting safeties alongside Xavier McKinney, said Thursday. “I’m coming here to play. I’m coming here to compete. And I’m coming here to win.”
McCain, 29, didn’t get to do much winning in Miami or Washington, but he’s now likely to become an integral part of an ascending Giants defense under veteran coordinator Wink Martindale, whose unit helped the franchise win a playoff game in January for the first time in 11 years.
The 5-foot-9, 196-pounder has started 87 of his 121 career NFL games. He has only missed nine games — none since 2019 — so his durability is appealing.
McCain is a versatile defensive back who started eight games at free safety and eight at cornerback for Washington in 2021, leading the team with four interceptions that year.
Last season, the highly experienced McCain played more than 90 percent of the defensive snaps when the Giants tied the Commanders and then won in Washington during a tight playoff race.
“We knew the games were going to be tough every time we played the Giants, especially this past year,” said McCain, who had 76 total tackles for Washington while Love led the Giants with 124. “You could tell things were a little bit different. Especially this past year, things were definitely different. I’m excited to just be here and compete. You can feel the competitive nature when you walk in the building, so I’m just excited to be here.”
McCain said he has studied Martindale’s schemes since Martindale was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore from 2018-21, so he is plenty familiar with Martindale’s aggressive tendencies. The Giants led the NFL with a 43.9 percent blitz rate in 2022.
“He plays with DBs on the field. You can’t complain if you’re a DB in this defense,” McCain said. “I like to blitz. I can do it all. I can cover, blitz. You name it, I can do it.”
McCain, a fifth-round pick out of Memphis in 2015, is excited to go to work with McKinney, a second-round pick out of Alabama in 2020 who has been one of the NFL’s bright young safeties. McKinney’s trajectory was stalled last season by an ATV accident that sidelined him for seven games.
“There are things that we can both help each other with — whether it’s via on the field, via off the field,” McCain said. “I know he’s a really good player. He’s going to continue being a good player in this league. And just us being able to communicate, we’ve already been in contact and been in touch. And us being able to communicate will help each other and it’ll help us go a long way.”
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