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'No Name' linebacker group ready to lead Giants into the new season

Over the years, the New York Giants have been blessed with great linebackers.

Guys like Sam Huff, Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson and Jesse Armstead earned multiple Pro Bowl selections holding down the linebacker spot for the Giants.

But, as the 2013 season approaches and with the preseason opener set for Saturday in Pittsburgh, the Giants are featuring a group of virtual unknowns at the position.

Two of last year's starting linebackers, Michael Boley (Atlanta) and Chase Blackburn (Carolina), are gone, while the third, Mathias Kiwanuka, has been moved back to defensive end to offset All-Pro Jason Pierre-Paul's back injury.

That means when the Giants kick off the season Sept. 8 at Dallas, there will be an entirely new linebacker corps, made up of undrafted free agents, late-round draft picks and veterans trying to prove themselves by getting a second chance.