Chandler has been with the team since 2018. He came out of Temple as an undrafted free agent. He made the 53-man roster last two seasons when Pat Shurmur was still the head coach. In the time of need when Landon Collins and Jabrill Peppers were injured, he stepped in.
However, it is a new situation now. The new coaching staff has implemented a defensive back based scheme under the new defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham. Nate Ebner, Xavier McKinney (currently injured), JaQuarius Landrews, James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, Montre Hartage, Dravon Askew-Henry, KeiVarae Russell, Brandon Williams, Chris Williamson, Jarren Williamson, and Prince Smith were some new bodies brought onto the roster this summer to compete for spots.
New coaching in staff is in place. Chandler has to impress not just on special teams, but on defense as well to get onto the roster.
Why is he on the roster bubble?
As much as an asset Sean Chandler has been on special teams, he has had situations where he has had to fill in at the safety spot. Landon Collins tore his rotator cuff in 2018 and Jabrill Peppers had a transverse process fracture in 2019. He was not a starter in those situations but filled in on some snaps for the starting safeties.
However, in those situations, he was not very good. In 2018, he allowed eight receptions on ten targets (80% completion percentage). He allowed a 152.1 passer rating, 204 yards one touchdown on those eight receptions.
He showed a slight improvement in 2019. Though he went from playing 13% of the snaps to 3% of the snaps in 2019, he allowed two receptions on two targets. On those two receptions, he allowed a 118.1 passer rating, 26 yards, and zero touchdowns.
Though he showed a slight improvement from 2018-2019, this camp matters most. If he makes the roster, he will have more opportunities on third down, knowing how Patrick Graham is with six defensive backs on 3rd down. His play will also be prized on special teams.
How can he make the roster?
With a loaded defensive backs room, Sean Chandler has to make an impact that will earn him a roster spot. Though practice squads are 16 players this year and this is Chandler’s last year of eligibility, he would rather choose the active roster.
During these final practices and in the scrimmage on Thursday, he needs to showcase his ability to play the field. That includes knowing the playbook, tackling and covering receivers, tight ends, or running backs.
He also needs to showcase his prized special teams skillset on kickoffs and punts. Michael Thomas and Antonio Hamilton are on different teams now. Cody Core is out for the year with an Achilles tear. So it will be up to Chandler to step up and be the Matthew Slater of the Giants special teams. He will be competing against Elijaah Penny, Devante Downs, Josiah Tauaefa amongst others for that role.