Jay Bromley grew up in Queens.
So he knows what it’s supposed to look like. How it’s supposed to work.
“I grew up watching the Giants with [Michael] Strahan and Osi [Umenyiora] and [Justin] Tuck, Freddie Robbins, guys like that,” Bromley said, each of who won the Super Bowl with the Giants. “I grew up watching guys like that so I understand what the importance of the defensive line is to this team in particular, to this culture.”
The last few years though, the line hasn’t been like that. In 2014, they were terrible against the run. In 2015, they struggled to get sacks. The once vaunted aspect of the Giants’ defense, the identity of those championship teams, was suddenly a liability.
Now, though, Bromley believes they can return to prominence. On paper, the team has a talented front line that includes new additions Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon, a healthy Johnathan Hankins, and a Jason Pierre-Paul who should be better as he grows more comfortable playing with his damaged right hand.
Behind them, at defensive tackle, is Bromley, a third-round pick entering his third season and looking to make an impact.
“Being a part of that is something I look forward to in the future,” he said of the dominating defensive lines of the recent past. “We just want to continue to work hard as a group, push each other so we can be the best that we can be. When we do that, we know we’re the most important position on the field and we make everybody else’s job a little easier.”
Bromley has lost 10 pounds in an effort to make his own job a little easier. After playing between 310 and 315 pounds the past two years, he is down to 300 and the weight loss is noticeable. Now, he said, the challenge is to take his new body and turn it into football shape.
“Three hundred will be really good for me,” he said. “That was always me. When I played my best, that was my best number, 300. Get to 310, 315, that’s a little bit too much… Hopefully I gain some quickness and some speed with a little bit less weight and get more of a natural feeling of a pass-rusher. Back to kind of what got me here.”
And, what might allow him to stay. Bromley said he knows that the third season can be a make-or-break year for a lot of players. After two seasons in relative anonymity, he’s hoping he can make an impact this year.
What does he want the Giants to think about him when the 2016 season is over?
“Jay Bromley, man, we need that guy,” he said. “I guess that’s the best way I can put it. That’s the best I can hope for.”