The Giants starting defensive line--B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Dexter Lawrence--has a lot of promise that the trio has yet to fulfill as a group.

However, the group, much like the rest of the Giants defense, has hit upon some struggles as part of the growing pains process, struggles that Giants defensive line coach Gary Emanuel hopes will eventually smooth themselves out.

Last week against the Arizona Cardinals, the Giants’ defensive front was part of a run defense that surrendered 156 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

Emanuel said his guys need to do better to help improve the Giants’ 26th-ranked defense against the run lower its weekly average of allowing 131.4 rushing yards to opponents.

“Just keeping A-gap leverage, getting off blocks, setting edges,” said Emanuel in outlining what the defensive front might have done to help slow down the run.

Then there is the matter of the pass rush by that defensive front. Although the Giants have gotten some production from edge Markus Golden, second-year man B.J. Hill, who last year finished second on the defense with 5.5 sacks as part of 27 pressures, has thus far yet to record a sack among his ten pressures through seven games.

The Giants’ starting defensive three-man front as a whole has 2.5 sacks, two by Lawrence and a half-sack credited to Tomlinson.

“Right now, it’s still early,” Emanuel said. “We still have over half of the season to go. Sometimes sacks come in bunches. Sometimes you can get pressure, but you don’t get the sack.”

Emanuel does like the effort being put forth by Hill, Lawrence, and Tomlinson in trying to improve their craft and to become more consistent.

“We have to go out there and work every day, trying to get better, improve our technique, pad level, point in the gap responsibilities, trying to stop the run and rush the quarterback,” the coach said.

“It takes all 11. It’s not just the interior, it’s everybody that could have done better. We can tackle better. We can play better in general.” 

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