By Rich Tandler
I had several readers ask me questions about what the performance of Chris Neild (pictured sacking Eli Manning) might mean in terms of his future playing time. This one was typical and it came on Twitter from @WittRealty:
Since Nield was so impressive any chance Cofield plays more at DE?
The short answer is no, at least in the near term. Cofield will play some end but it will not be due to the emergence of Neild as a pass-rushing threat. He will play end on some snaps when there is no nose tackle. It is possible that he will line up as a tackle in if they go to a 4-3 look. Jim Haslett and company will move him around some.
For the most part, however, if Neild is in the game, Cofield is out getting a rest on the sideline. That was the plan going into the season and the coaches are not going to alter it in any major way due to one good game by a rookie. Not to say that Neild’s two sacks were a fluke but he has to show that he can get the job done consistently if the coaches are going to rethink their substitution pattern.
If Neild performs in such a way that makes it impossible to keep him off of the field, they will make adjustments. That could lead to some alignments that have Neild at nose and Cofield at end.
But we are a long way from that happening. Neild played eight snaps against the Giants and he probably won’t play much more than that this week against the Cardinals. That is his role right now while Cofield is the nose tackle.