After an incredible sophomore campaign that yielded 16.5 sacks and the attention of the entire league, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul fell back down to earth in 2012 recording only 6.5 sacks, and none over his final seven games. It's an issue that General Manager Jerry Reese thinks is a product of double and triple teams, but also one that can be alleviated with a little help from a future Hall of Famer.
"It’s frustrating for a young player. But to be a superstar defensive end, a pass rusher in this league, you have to beat those double-team blocks," Reese said. "I am going to reach out to Michael Strahan this offseason and see if we can have him have some conversations with JPP and just tell him, 'Look, it is inside your chest, a lot of it.' You’ve got to have the heart to do it, and I think he does. But I think if he hears from somebody like Michael Strahan, that will really encourage him."
Five years after his retirement Strahan is still being looked at as a team leader … even by the General Manager. It's a testament to what he meant to the Giants organization, and the impact he has on players. It's something the team hopes translates to a return to success for JPP.
"After Michael became the superstar defensive end, he was getting double-teamed, he was getting chipped, but he was still getting sacks. The great ones still get through there and make plays. And he’s got to do that," Reese said.
There were times this season JPP admitted he "wasn't having fun," and it clearly showed in his play. For an all-world athlete who is still, to this day, learning the game of football, it was undoubtedly a difficult transition. But, as Reese alluded, superstars find ways to adjust and Pierre-Paul is certainly capable. And for a player who studies hard and picks the brain of anyone willing to share some sage advice, he's about to hit the mother load.
Also…Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerry Reese, Michael Strahan, New York, New York Giants, NFL