Former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi once said that a team can never have too many pass rushers.
The Giants, in their last two Super Bowl championships (XXLII and XLVI), proved that adage to be true when they sent a barrage of pass rushers against then New England quarterback Tom Brady, racking up 17 quarterback hits and 7.0 sacks in those two games.
So it’s only fitting that the nominee for the Giants’ best-kept secret heading into 2022 training camp, according to Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report, is EDGE Quincy Roche.
Notes Moton of his selection:
Clearly, the New York Giants hit on their 2021 second-round pick in Azeez Ojulari, who led the team in sacks (eight) and pressures (27) last year. But we shouldn't overlook Quincy Roche, whom the team claimed off waivers before the start of the previous season.
Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter missed three games between Weeks 8 and 11, and Roche took advantage of an expanded workload on the edge. The latter started in the absence of the former and logged 13 tackles, two for loss, three quarterback hits, and a sack in that short stretch.
Despite Carter's return, Roche still occasionally made impact plays at or behind the line of scrimmage and finished the campaign with 38 tackles, five for loss, 2.5 sacks, and seven pressures while on the field for 42 percent of the defensive snaps.
Carter signed with the Atlanta Falcons, but the Giants selected Kayvon Thibodeaux with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 draft. Roche won't see a significant increase in his snap count behind Ojulari and the rookie, though he can add another layer to Big Blue's pass rush in a rotational role.
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Roche was a welcome addition to the Giants defense, especially with the team not having fourth-round pick Elerson Smith available to start the season due to a lingering hamstring injury.
Roche is not the quickest edge on the team, but it’s worth noting that two of his 2.5 sacks came in big spots due to his delivering a tough, powerful presence to the field.
New York Giants outside linebacker Quincy Roche (95) reacts after a sack against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at MetLife Stadium.
New York Giants outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari (51) and outside linebacker Quincy Roche (95) sack Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4).
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) throws the ball under pressure from New York Giants line backer Quincy Roche (95).
Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of his game is how disciplined he was for a rookie—he always played under control, which can’t always be said for young rookies looking to set the world on fire at any given opportunity.
Roche’s discipline allowed him to hold his contain against the read option and close down on those plays at the right moment.
His lack of quickness didn’t do him any favors in coverage, where at times, he looked clunky. However, he was always alert out there, and there’s no question that his physical style of play appears to be an ideal fit for this new Giants defense that is planning on being physically imposing.
But is there a place for Roche on the roster? If the current Giants regime agrees with Accorsi’s statement of never having too many pass rushers--and it would be hard to fathom it doesn't-the thought of having Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Leonard Williams, Elerson Smith, and Roche gives the franchise its deepest group of pass rushers in quite some time.