‘I take pride in it’

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There are bigger safeties, faster safeties, safeties who hit harder and safeties who come away with more impact plays. When it comes to wrapping up a ball carrier and taking him to the turf, Julian Love does not have to take a back seat to anyone at his position.

“I appreciate that,’’ Love said. “I take pride in it.’’

What Love does exceedingly well is make the tackle. He has been on the field for 754 defensive snaps this season, and his missed-tackle total stands at three. In his first three seasons with the Giants, Love had just 13 missed tackles. His snap counts are up in 2022, and his missed tackles are down.

“I always say I take pride in my tackling, and I think it’s serious,’’ Love said. “I attribute it to being just a kid playing pickup ball all the time. It’s like, you’ve got to be a good tackler. If you weren’t, you were seen as the soft kid in the neighborhood. So, I took it seriously. I work at it. I really grind away at it.’’

Giants safety Julian Love tackles Cee Dee Lamb during a game against the Cowboys earlier in the season.
AP

Love is an indispensable player for the Giants, even more so since Xavier McKinney went out at the bye week with fractured fingers on his left hand. Love played so many snaps (105, counting special teams) in the 20-20 tie with the Commanders last week that coach Brian Daboll gave him a “vet day’’ on Wednesday. He held Love out of practice for extra, and deserved, rest.

There will be no rest on Sunday, as Love must protect the back end of the defense against an Eagles attack equally adept at passing or running for yards and points. Secure tackling will again be a must. Love, a 2019 fifth-round draft pick from Notre Dame, has to get a grip the way he has so often this season.

“In college as a corner, I was probably the most efficient on my team,’’ Love said. “It goes back to high school. I think it’s just not being afraid to be physical. Also, I don’t look it, but I pack some strength. I really kind of go at it in the weight room, so I’m able to deceive people with what I bring to the table on tackles.’’

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