New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul exploded onto the NFL scene in just his second season, racking up 16.5 sacks en route to an All-Pro selection. However, it has been anything but smooth sailing from there.
A relentless barrage of double teams and crippling injuries have hampered Pierre-Paul in his last two seasons. He has a total of just 8.5 sacks over that span. Last offseason, Pierre-Paul was recovering from back surgery and would later miss the final five games of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury.
It seems that Pierre-Paul is once again 100 percent healthy and he is just itching for the regular season to kick off. Pierre-Paul is once again looking forward to showing off his talents and re-proving to the world why he was worth a first-round draft pick in 2010. ESPN New York’s Dan Graziano reported the following quote from Pierre-Paul in an article yesterday:
“When your body’s fresh, you can put all of that behind you and pretend it never happened,” the Giants’ defensive end said after minicamp practice Wednesday. “I’ve got something to prove this year. I want to shut a lot of people up. I know what I can bring to the table. I know what I can do. It’s going to be crazy.”
The Giants are really going to need a monster year from Pierre-Paul in the wake of Justin Tuck’s departure. New York added Robert Ayers this offseason but that was basically the extent of the attention given to the pass rush.
New York’s other defensive ends are Mathias Kiwanuka and Damontre Moore. Kiwanuka wasn’t much of a factor last season and Moore saw limited minutes as a rookie. The Giants are hoping for Moore to develop into a solid player, especially as Kiwanuka is entering the latter part of his career.
Without Tuck, last year would have been a much greater disaster than it already was. New York will need the 2011 version of Pierre-Paul lined up on the defensive line this season. He will need shed the rust on the field and also assume more of a leadership along the defensive front.