New York Giants: Safety Nat Berhe In Line To Earn Roster Spot After Solid Preseason Debut
Anthony Gruppuso, USATSI

After missing out on his sophomore season in the NFL, New York Giants’ safety Nat Berhe looks to be back in full force and with a vengeance.

In 2015, a blood clot in his calf prevented Nat Berhe from competing in an especially thin starting safety battle for the New York Giants.

Several other Giants’ safetys have returned to the fold from injury also, but Berhe is standing out from the pack. Though the starting strong safety position is Landon Collins’ job to lose, don’t count out Berhe as just a backup. He has the talent to be a valuable member of Big Blue’ defensive backfield in 2016.

The former fifth round pick showed a glimpse of what he can bring to the table on the field. He put together a strong outing against the Miami Dolphins in New York’s first preseason contest. His tackling prowess was on full display, as he showed why the coaching staff has dubbed him “The Missile.”

Berhe stood out in the preseason opener.

Berhe finished the game with four tackles, two of them solo. His reaction time was excellent, as he diagnosed plays quickly to bring down runners at or near the line of scrimmage.

Here Berhe comes from the second level on a great angle to give the running back nowhere to go. His quickness to the football forces a loss of yardage for the offense. Defensive tackle Romeo Okwara closes in nicely from the other side, but it’s a play made by Berhe. He does a great job taking out the runners legs to make sure he doesn’t go anywhere.

Here is a dive up the middle where a quick pressure by Louis Nix forces the back to cut towards the left side. Berhe reads the change of direction and again comes up to make the play.

He gets help cleaning up the tackle from linebacker BJ Goodson, but Berhe is the first to make contact. Again, he makes the tackle low to ensure he brings the runner down. If Berhe doesn’t make the original hit, a one yard gain could become a five yard gain. It’s the difference between a succesful and unsuccesful run play in the NFL.

Berhe’s comments following the game show he’s ready for a big time role.

“I just wanted to focus on playing fast and attacking within my assignment. My goal was to set a tone on defense, I want to be a bully back there. I had been away from the game since last preseason so I was excited to play an actual game,” said Berhe on his performance. “I was literally tearing up during the national anthem because of what I had been through.”

As for how he will compete for a role in the Giants defense going forward, Berhe noted, “Each week I’m just competing to play in this defense and then let the chips fall where they may. I think I had a really good first game back, I’m going to continue to just build on that.”

It’s a small sample size, but if he keeps up this level of play, we should be seeing a lot more of Nat Berhe this season.

NEXT: Eli Manning Talks About The Importance Of Preseason

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