One of the Patriots’ biggest concerns heading into Super Bowl 46 is their secondary. New England’s defensive backfield has been an issue all season long, but they have somehow found a way to overcome it week in and week out. They are particularly thin at cornerback, which is why Bill Belichick has converted slot receiver Juian Edelman into a corner. With the depth the Giants have at receiver, Belichick will need a Hall of Fame coaching performance to keep New York’s passing attack at bay. He knows it, we know it, and Mario Manningham knows it.
“I hope (Edelman is) out there when we play them,” Manningham said according to the Boston Herald. “I don’t want to sound like that, but you know what I mean. To our advantage, I hope he’s out there.
“It’s a different stage. This ain’t regular season. That ain’t your real position, so we’re going to try to expose you. It’s all or nothing now. That ain’t your position, this is the Super Bowl and we want you to play that position.”
Kyle Arrington’s eye injury in the AFC Championship game left the Patriots dangerously thin at corner, which resulted in Edelman having to cover Anquan Boldin. On the game’s final drive, that match-up almost cost New England a trip to the Super Bowl as Boldin caught four passes for 60 yards. When Manningham is at his best, the Giants have the best receiving corps in the NFL. Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Manningham will give the Patriots fits if they have to lean on Edelman. Manningham didn’t need to point that out for Belichick to be aware of it.