INDIANAPOLIS – Just moments after winning Super Bowl XLVI, former Falcons linebacker Michael reflected on his stay in Atlanta after being selected out of Southern Mississippi in the 2005 NFL draft.
“I thank Mr. [Arthur] Blank for giving me my first opportunity,” Boley said. “Obviously, if the Falcons don’t give me a shot I wouldn’t be here right now.”
Boley led the New York Giants with 10 tackles in their 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Boley was the 160th player selected in the 2005 draft. He was highly recommended by former director of college scouting Phil Emery, who was recently named the general manager of the Chicago Bears.
Boley broke into the starting lineup as a rookie as he started 11 of 16 games and was a key player on the defense until late in the 2008 season.
He lost his starting job to Coy Wire and was allowed to leave during free agency. The Giants snapped him up with a five-year, $25 million contract.
Somehow, Boley still looks back on his time with the Falcons fondly.
“It’s been a great journey,” Boley said.
He has become a key member of the Giants defense, which held the Falcons without any offensive points in their 24-2 victory in the wild-card round of the playoffs on Jan. 8.
“Michael Boley is an extension of me to a large degree because he communicates to the front and to the coverage guys,” Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. “He gets us in the right defenses. I can’t say enough about his football intelligence as well as his athletic ability.”
Boley was elated about the reaching the pinnacle of professional football.
“This is everyone’s dream, to be at this point and make it this far,” Boley said. “It’s what I had in mind when I came to the Giants. This is what I wanted. I know this team had the makeup to be champions again.”
Against the Patriots, the Giants weren’t in the clear until Tom Brady’s Hail Mary pass escaped the diving grasp of New England tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“I was screaming for joy,” Boley said. “I knew it was over. We were champs.”
New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said their victory over the Falcons was a key to their Super Bowl march.
“Defense, defense and defense,” Coughlin said when asked what the Giants took away from the victory over the Falcons. “They scored two points off a safety. So, I thought our defense was outstanding.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog