It’s a whole new Giants world for one-time leader

There was a time not long ago that it appeared as if B.J. Goodson had earned a spot on “The Voice.’’ This had nothing to do with his ability to carry a tune and everything to do with his ability to carry to his teammates the message imparted by the defensive coordinator.

Goodson was the coach on the field, the man in the middle, the player with the radio transmitter in his helmet, entrusted with relaying the defensive call coming into his ears to the defensive players in the huddle. When the need arose to change the play once he deciphered what the opposing offense was cooking up, Goodson barked out those instructions for all to hear.

No longer is Goodson the point-man and no longer will he be needed as the great communicator on the field. The Giants do not have one man in the middle, they have two, with Goodson and Alec Ogletree as the starting inside linebackers in their 3-4 front. Ogletree, based on his experience — he’s entering his sixth NFL season — and his track record with the Rams, is the new leader of the defense. His is the voice that will be heard as he alerts his new teammates the wishes of James Bettcher, the new defensive coordinator.

For now, Goodson has been silenced and that, he admits, is an adjustment he must make.

“It is,’’ Goodson said Tuesday after the Giants fourth organized team activity practice of the spring. “But I’m embracing it and I’m enjoying it.’’

Really, what choice does he have? At this time last year, the Giants were raving about Goodson’s leadership initiative and his prowess putting in motion the attack former coordinator Steve Spagnuolo wanted to see on the field.

There was so much promise after Goodson embarked on his second NFL season as the starting middle linebacker and chased nearly everything down in the opener, amassing 18 tackles — 14 solo — in a loss to the Cowboys. Goodson played so hard and so fiercely that he suffered a lower leg injury and missed the next two games. So it went for him during a 2017 season to forget. On the field, off the field, suffering an ankle injury, rehabbing, missing practice, starting a game but not finishing it. He appeared in only seven games before finally landing on injured reserve.

Goodson is not interested in harping on all that went wrong. He called it “part of the game,’’ and preferred to focus on a happier thought: Tuesday was his 25th birthday.

“A clean slate, but just pressing forward, day after day, and obviously today is a great day,’’ he said. “I’m feeling great, and that’s all that matters — pressing forward day-by-day and getting better.’’

Goodson is receiving a fresh start in that his physical ailments are healed and the new coaching regime is reaping the benefits of his sideline-to-sideline hustle and nasty on-field disposition.

“It’s a clean slate all the way around, so the guys that were injured a year ago are fighting their way back to get healthy again,’’ head coach Pat Shurmur said, “and some of those injuries are not things they’re going to repeat.’’

Shurmur said Goodson “has been doing really well out here.’’

The Giants envision Ogletree and Goodson controlling the middle of the field. This tag-team approach is new for Goodson, but he senses it could be good for him.

“It’s like having another [middle linebacker] in the game,’’ Goodson said. “It’s a difference and it makes it take a little bit of pressure off. Also when one is a little off, it’s great that we have the other one there to have one’s back. It’s great.’’

Goodson, a 2016 fourth-round pick from Clemson, realizes Ogletree is an established, proven player and the trade to get him from the Rams did not come at the expense of his own spot in the lineup. There is room for two, and now Goodson must show he can stay healthy and flash the playmaking ability he displayed early last season.

“I’m looking forward to us as a unit playing fast, playing hard,’’ Goodson said. “Just being hard-nosed and being about that Giant culture.’’

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