Just over a year ago, Calvin Munson was simply hoping he would have a chance to make a National Football League roster after being passed over in the 2017 NFL draft.
Fast forward to this summer and the world is a lot different for the former Francis Howell/San Diego State star.
Munson, who was signed by the New York Giants just a few days after the draft last spring, made the Giants opening day roster last fall and eventually got on the field as a special teams player and defensive starter.
As the Giants opened training camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey, last week, Munson said he is looking forward to being back on the field and trying to improve upon what he was able to do last season as a rookie.
“I think I did alright. I think as a team we struggled a bit last year, but we have filled a lot of spots in the off-season and we’re excited to go. The new coaches have done a tremendous job of just trying to get us back on track.”
As a rookie last year, Munson was slated originally to play primarily special teams on the punt coverage, punt return and kick off return units.
His role became dramatically more involved early in the season when he was pressed into service in week two as the Giants starting middle linebacker against the Detroit Lions. He made eight total tackles and racked up his first career sack in that game. It was the first of five starts Munson would have at middle linebacker. He ended up playing in 14 games for the Giants last season.
Playing at middle inside [Mike] linebacker was a big adjustment for Munson coming in as a rookie from the college game, but he felt he had a decent impact at the position.
“Everybody is bigger, faster, stronger and the [defensive] scheme was a little more intense and there are more responsibilities for the Mike linebacker at that level,” Munson said. “I think I got a little more comfortable as the season went on [but] I still have a lot of things to improve on.”
As training camp gets rolling, Munson expects his special teams’ role to be a constant again this summer and fall and he is expecting to be much more comfortable with the Giants defensive scheme with new defensive coordinator James Bettcher taking over the Giants defense.
“First and foremost, I’ve got to know the playbook inside and out and know everything about that to give me a good chance,” Munson said. “I’ve got to be able to play fast and physical and do my job.”
Munson expects the linebacker group to be much more active and effective in making plays on the ball.
“We kind of switched up our scheme a little bit this year with some new assets,” Munson said. So, I think our approach is going to be good and we’re going to get after some people.”