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Shane Bowen hopes Giants’ defense will show speed, aggression, and “some violence”

The Giants have a new defensive coordinator. And that new defensive coordinator is looking for an old-school approach to the task of pursuing and tackling the guy with the ball, and of dealing with the guys blocking for him.

Shane Bowen, hired to replace Wink Martindale, recently explained his vision for the defense to Shaun O’Hara, for an item on the team’s official website.

“I’m hoping it’s going to be speed and aggressiveness,” Bowen said. “Regardless of scheme — everybody’s going to have scheme, we’re going to have plenty of scheme — but I want to make sure our guys are lined up, they know what to do, and they can play fast and aggressive ultimately. I want to maximize their abilities. I don’t want to paralyze them before the ball is even snapped by overthinking. They’re all here for a reason. God has blessed them with the skillset to be here. I want to make sure we can maximize that skillset and they’re able to maximize that skillset. But hopefully [it will be] fast, aggressive, you’ll see some violence from us and ultimately guys making plays.”

Bowen got the job after three seasons as the defensive coordinator with the Titans.

“To me, I think it starts with play style, demeanor, what we want to be defensively,” Bowen told O’Hara. “You think run game, you think physicality, you think toughness, and that’s what we want to be at all levels. I was blessed with some really good players down there [in Tennessee], no different than we are here, but the guys bought into it. They took ownership of it. And it’s unique. It’s great to stop the run, but you better be able to affect the quarterback just the same.

It sounds good, even if the use of the term “violence” might be frowned upon in some circles. Regardless, football is violent. It always has been. It always will be, unless and until they make it two-hand touch.

The league has been trying for nearly 15 years to remove the unnecessary violence from the game, in order to reduce injury. The changes have accumulated to make pro football look a lot different than it used to.

It’s good for the health of the players. But, still, the sport is premised on violence. Even if that creates some discomfort at 345 Park Avenue.

Here’s a thought, for anyone who becomes skittish about the violence inherent to pro football. Watch a UFC event. The level of brutality is stunning, but widely accepted.

Football, while not as graphic in the poundings delivered and received, has a basic level of violence that makes the game what it is. If/when the NFL ever goes too far in its effort to strip the violence from the game, a competitor that incorporates the rules as they used to be will emerge.

Regardless, there’s violence in football. Even if there’s less than there used to be. It’s fundamentally about one player exerting force on another, with the goal (from the offense’s perspective) to clear a path to gain yards and (from the defense’s perspective) to prevent that from happening.