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New York Giants’ Osi Umenyiora: “I Feel Like I’m the Best DE in the League”

July 24th, 2012 at 12:30 PM
By Dan Benton

When it comes to New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, confidence has never been an issue. Throughout the duration of his nine-year NFL career, Umenyiora has often compared himself to the league's elite and considered himself one of the premiere pass rushers in the game. It was that line of thinking that led to lengthy contract dispute, which only recently ended by way of a restructured deal in 2012.

While attending an event at M&M's World in Manhattan on Tuesday, Umenyiora reiterated that faith in his ability, saying he still believes he's one of the best in the game.

"I feel like I'm the best DE in the league and when I go out there I feel I must play that way," Umenyiora said.

Contrary to popular belief, Umenyiora has never been one to be criticized for having a poor work ethic. Head coach Tom Coughlin, even throughout the duration of Osi's contract dispute with the team, has always revered #72 as one of the hardest workers on the team. In order to be the best, you must prepare like the best … and to his credit, Osi has always done that.

Umenyiora, although vocal, is also an upstanding citizen off of the field. Run-ins with the law have been non-existent for the veteran, so when he returned home from a trip to Africa, he was stunned to see just how many players had been arrested in recent weeks. He called the situations "ridiculous" and did not sugar coat his feelings on the matter.

"People need to be more focused and more grateful for what it is that they have," he said. "Coming from where I came from and seeing what I saw, all that poverty, people who have nothing, they would cut off both their legs to be given the opportunity that these people have. To be messing around like that is real unfortunate."

And who should NFL players model themselves after? Believe it or not, Umenyiora feels it's New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow who sets the best example of what athletes should strive to be.

"I know everybody likes to make fun of Tim Tebow, talk about him, but he sets an outstanding example," Umenyiora said. "I think if more people would focus and try to be like him and carry themselves the way he does, I think this league could be better."

Also…

Tags: Football, New York, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, Osi Umenyiora, Tim Tebow, Tom Coughlin

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15 Responses to “New York Giants’ Osi Umenyiora: “I Feel Like I’m the Best DE in the League””

  1.  F0XLIN says:

    I heard Tim Tebow is a womanizer

  2.  purorock says:

    Be more like Tebow? That’s like giving all the credit to a child and overlooking the parents who raised him.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    If they keep a stat for sacks per snap played in passing situations I’m going to guess that Mr. Umeniyora will be right around the top of that list at season’s end. Osi, barring injury, is going to have a monster year. He’ll get his money. Probably not from us, but he’ll get it.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    I like Tebow (as a person). Sue me.

    I think this is no act. And while I cannot say I feel completely comfortable with the religion-on-his-sleeve bit, I truly believe that he is no hypocrite and feels “called” to move people to faith. I don’t share his beliefs and I don’t love his methods, but he is a really good young man who deserves respect, not ridicule.

    As an aside, I think he will help the Jets this season. He isn’t by any means a classic quarterback, but he IS a football player and a winner and he will make some serious contributions of one sort or another. Too bad, because I’d love to see the Jets finish fourth in their conference.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I agree with your Tebow thoughts as a person. I agree if he stays as a backup he can be a good utility player. But the concern is the pressure he will cause if Sanchez struggles and/or the Jets aren’t winning.

  5.  norm says:

    Re: the Austin discussion in the previous thread.

    While the most “logical” assumption is that 2012 will likely be a redshirt year for Austin, it’s still quite possible that he gets more playing time than would otherwise be warranted by his relative lack of seasoning.

    Bear in mind that the Giants have NO OTHER defensive tackles on the roster with Austin’s pass rushing skills. Canty is a space eater; so are Landfill and Rogers. Bernard was at one time an above average pass rusher – but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Right now, he’s nothing more than a depth guy who is still able to get to the opposing QB on just a handful of occasions a year.

    The Giants recognize the need for an interior pass rush. But the way they’ve primarily been able to generate any over the past several seasons has been by shifting Tuck (and sometimes JPP) to the inside. And while that’s largely been successful from a results standpoint, it’s no secret that it’s also taken its toll on Tuck, health-wise. I’d think that they’d be reluctant to subject their prized young DE to similar wear and tear going forward.

    Enter Marvin Austin. This year, if he is able to demonstrate even some of the inside pass rushing ability that once prompted Warren Sapp to compare Austin favorably to himself. it would obviate the need to shift Tuck and JPP inside as often. I’d hope that the coaches would be willing to tolerate whatever rookie mistakes would surely be forthcoming as a result of using Austin on a limited basis in the interests of keeping their star DEs – and the linchpins of their defensive front – healthier and happier for a greater percentage of the season.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I agree Austin can be effective in that manner. However, I don’t think it’s that we are forced to use Tuck, JPP or even Kiwi as DTs its just a case of trying to get our best pass rushers on the field.

      The Tuck assuration about playing DT is quite novel and makes sense. I still think he will line up at DT some but maybe he has line up in there too much over the last few years. I have though at times 4 DEs sounds better than it is. I think having one true DT in there who can rush the passer with 3 other DEs might be our best solution.

      I think the issue Austin will have is being active over Benard/Rodgers. The question is if Joseph or Canty got nicked is he prepared to play vs the run? If he’s not it just might be hard to activate 4 DTs when Benard/Rodgers are not helping on specials and Austin probably won’t either.

  6.  kujo says:

    Tebow is a winner…

    …in the sense that he won a lot of stuff in college. In the NFL, thus far? Nothing. He’s won some games, but every player ever has won some games. I do remember Tebow being treated like an altar boy by the Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. Didn’t look much like a winner there, unless the thing he won was a visit to Fr. Patrick O’Fondle’s private rectory.

  7.  kujo says:

    Ralph Vacchiano
    Osi Umenyiora thinks it’s “ridiculous” that 31 NFL players have been arrested this offseason. “For the life of me, I can’t understand it,” he said. “It’s ridiculous, to be honest with you. People need to be more focused and more grateful for what it is that they have. Coming from where I came from and seeing what I saw, all that poverty and people who have nothing. They would literally cut off both legs to have the opportunity these people have. And to be messing around like that, man, it’s really unfortunate.” #NYG #NFL

  8.  mclovin says:

    i dont know about top de but imo osi is a top 3 pass rusher in this league no doubt about it

  9.  Krow says:

    Osi drives you nuts. He can say the smartest, most insightful things. Then follow them up with a burst of greed and immaturity.

    He’s not a Top-5 DE … maybe not even a Top-10 … because you have to factor in his age and injury history. But he’s a Top-5 pass rusher. And that’s a great thing to be. FF55 is right … he’s going to realize his heart’s desire … to get paid a lot of money … but it’s not going to be us.

    He may say that people should be “more focused and more grateful for what it is that they have” … but in the end he’s going to whoor himself out to the highest bidder.

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