Cancer survivor Herzlich lands spot in Giants' LB corps

Associated Press
Sept. 4, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- On a day usually marked by disappointment, the New York Giants had one of the early feel-good stories of the NFL season. They gave cancer survivor Mark Herzlich a job, at least for now.

The young man who no one wanted to take a gamble on in April's NFL draft because of his bout with a rare form of bone cancer now is a member of the Giants.

"Well it is 6:03pm an I am still a Giant God Is Good," Herzlich tweeted Saturday after no one asked him to turn in his Giants playbook.

How long Herzlich will stay with the team remains to seen, but the former Boston College linebacker, who was signed as a free agent, at least can say he made the final cut.

"Herzlich didn't bat an eye the whole camp," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said after making his roster moves. "Physically, he did everything you asked and more. I saw him improve literally week by week. He can play multiple positions. He's very smart. He does an outstanding job on special teams. He's told one time and he goes and does it."

Herzlich, a 23-year-old from Wayne, Pa., had six tackles, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble during the preseason, and he looked good on special teams -- a weakness for the Giants in recent seasons.

Herzlich believed he did all he could to make the team in training camp, adding that he still saw room for improvement.

It's clear that Herzlich was on the roster bubble, and teams always make moves before their season opener. So it's uncertain if he'll be on the roster for the Sept. 11 season opener at Washington.

Herzlich was one of four rookie linebackers to make the Giants' roster, joining fifth-rounder Greg Jones, sixth-rounder Jacquian Williams and free agent Spencer Paysinger.