In 2011, the Giants brought in an older veteran safety by the name of Deion Grant, who ended up playing a vital role in that team's Super Bowl championship.
While no one is quite ready to declare this 2019 Giants team a Super Bowl contender, general manager Dave Gettleman filled defensive coordinator James Bettcher's need for experienced safeties.
Enter Antoine Bethea, who has prior experience playing for James Bettcher when the two were with the Arizona Cardinals, is being counted on to be that guy who, along with fellow newcomer Jabrill Peppers will be responsible for getting the defense lined up,
A three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, Bethea has shown no signs of slowing down despite being 34 years old. He's recorded over 100 tackles in two of his last three seasons (2016, 2018).
In his only season with Bettcher while with the Cardinals, Bethea started six of the 15 games he appeared in and racked up 57 total tackles, 9 passes defensed and a career-high five interceptions.
With the Giants having revamped their defense in the off-season, guys like Bethea are going to be instrumental in training the younger guys to the nuances of Bettcher's defense.
Luckily, that's a role Bethea is embracing.
"Being a veteran in this league, that's what your job entails," he said. "I've seen a lot. Coming in here doing the things I'm going to do, trying to bring these young guys along as fast as I can."
So far, so good. Although it's early, Bethea is starting to see signs of the old Bettcher "attacking, aggressive style" of defense here with the Giants.
"Yeah, for sure. Again, we got some new guys out there, including myself. The continuity playing out there with each other is going to help, but I can see some similarities (with) Arizona."
One under-the-radar thing that Bethea will offer this Giants defense given his experience is versatility. Bettcher is counting on both Bethea and strong safety Jabrill Peppers to occasionally flip roles, depending on the coverage called. Such versatility should help with disguising the coverage.
"It helps a lot, even going in week-to-week playing against your opponent," Bethea said of his versatility. "A lot of times, you'll have a down safety and a back safety, but being that we've both played down and we've both played back, we can disguise our defense, help our defense, and confuse the opposing quarterback."
Bethea is particularly looking forward to teaming up with Peppers, with whom he's already developed a strong chemistry.
"So far, so good. It's the off-season, training is all about OTAs, sitting in the film room, talking and dissecting different things. Obviously going out there on the field, seeing how he sees things, and seeing how he plays--I think it's going to be a good connection between the two of us," he said.
"I think we can play off each other very well."
The Giants are certainly counting on them doing so.