New York Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree, acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, wants Giants fans to know that they’re getting a guy who leads by example but who will also speak up as need be
“I’m more of a lead by example guy,” Ogletree said during a conference call with the Giants media Thursday. “Your actions speak louder than words do, but at the same time, if something needs to be said, I don’t have a problem saying it and getting guys to do the right thing.”
The Giants are no doubt counting on Ogletree to help reinforce the leadership in a locker room last year that began to fall apart at the seams between the disagreements between teammates (Landon Collins and Eli Apple) that spilled to the public, and the alleged questionable effort of guys like offensive linemen Bobby Hart (no longer with the team)and Ereck Flowers.
Ogletree is also hoping to bring some stability to the defense which last year thanks to injuries cycled through linebackers.
“I’d say with me coming in and helping out as far as leadership goes and just being a good linebacker for those guys and helping them out in that area,” he said. “I definitely think the sky is the limit. It’s going to be a fun, fun thing for sure. I’m definitely excited to get there and get to work with those guys.”
Ogletree, who will be an inside linebacker in new defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s 3-4 base defense, said that the transition shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for him personally, not after he spent the 2017 season in Wade Phillips 3-4 scheme.
“James basically told me [the scheme] is a lot of what I came from,” Ogletree said. “He’s the type of guy who knows how to use his players and get guys to play. I’m just an extension of him. We’ll get on the same page and get to work together, it’s definitely going to be a good thing.
“I’ve seen some of his work, because he was in the same division as me. I know those guys had a great defense. He’s definitely looking to bring that to New York.”
Ogletree, who has already begun trying to help Bettcher by trying to recruit former Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu to the Giants, believes that the addition of the Honey Badger, whom Ogletree got to see up close and personal given the Rams and Cardinals are in the same division, would give the Giants defense an extra pop.
“I think he’d have a big impact on this defense,” Ogletree said. “Of course, I’ve been in the division with him. Just seeing his body of work, playing against him in college, I know the kind of football player he is. I definitely think he’d bring a lot to the table, for sure.”
Ogletree, whose sideline hit of Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in a game against the Rams and Giants in 2014 ignited a sideline brawl on the Giants sideline, said that ugly incident that resulted in the ejection of then Giants defensive end Damontre Moore and receiver Preston Parker, and Rams defensive lineman William Hayes is water under the bridge.
“That happened 3-4 years ago. We’ve seen each other since then. There’s never been any bad blood. It’s football. It happens,” Ogletree said.
Ogletree in fact revealed that Beckham was one of the first of his new teammates to reach out to welcome him to the team and that the receiver sent Ogletree a video of the incident. He was like, ‘We’re going after it every day at practice,’ And I was like, ‘Oh, yeah.’ So it was all good.”