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New York Giants’ Jerry Reese Will Ask Michael Strahan to Help Jason Pierre-Paul

January 4th, 2013 at 12:55 PM
By Dan Benton

'Jason Pierre-Paul' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license: 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.


Tags: Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerry Reese, Michael Strahan, New York, New York Giants, NFL

26 Responses to “New York Giants’ Jerry Reese Will Ask Michael Strahan to Help Jason Pierre-Paul”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    Parcells got LT, Carson and Marshall to help Dallas defenders (in particular Ware) learn the game. Why Taylor and the rest are not helping certain Giant defenders is beyond me. Just as why Coughlin hasn’t asked for that help.

    Perhaps it was just professional curtseys. Or maybe TC asked and no help was given. The first thing Taylor would say about JPP is that Fewell need to flex him between standing up and putting a hand down (IMHO) common defensive since.


    It comes down to being outplayed. Either because of injury or lack/loss of talent

    The most noticeable example is the defensive line. The heart and soul of this team is its defense in general and the defensive line in particular.
    They cover a multitude of sins IE linebacking and secondary gaffs. When the line is not dominant, the rest of the Giants defense is exposed for what it is.

    There is not very much if any redundancy on defense. If the line is down, there is not a linebacking unit the team can ride on.

    And among the defensive backs, there is no Revis type to shut of an entire side of the field to the opposing offense. (Although Prince may come around)

    In the end the Giant defensive line cannot get away with being average.
    They must be dominant for this team to win. Everything on defense flows through/from that unit. Their play declined big time this year.

    The other contributing causes (IMHO) were offensive inconsistencies due to:

    1. Breakdown of offensive line protection/run blocking.
    2. Nicks injury

    Eli played badly and made ill advised throws. But there was no running game to fall back on.

    The line didn’t run block well enough to make the play action a threat to opposing defenses. And third down protection was a joke especially at critical game determining moments. Defenses knew what O-linemen to target on the pass rush and blitz schemes and they won those battles the majority of times on third down and critical second down and distance passing situations.

    The play calling as was at times questionable. The same could be said of the defensive game plans. But to blame all on the coaching and Eli and not look squarely at the offensive and defensive lines is (IMHO) casting a blind eye to obvious deficiency.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Simple they played the same defensive system whereas LT plays a completely different position than JPP. Add to that just because your great doesn’t mean you can coach someone else to be great. But someone like Shrahan actually makes sense because he’s been a DE in the same scheme.

      I completely disagree about the run blocking. That’s one of the biggest myths on 101. The run blocking wasn’t just passable it was good, probably very good. Bradshaw averaged 4.7 ypc without any speed. Both Brown and Wilson were over 5 ypc.

      •  rlhjr says:


        First, help playing the position from any accomplished pass rusher would be welcome for JPP. Even thought his issues are technique and (this year) too much weight. And if you don’t think Taylor, Carson and Marshall imparted more than “system” help to those Dallas defenders you are very mistaken.
        They got help with the essence of the game from players who came from a winning program. That’s way more than merely “system” guidance.

        System has nothing to do with attitude and want to. Just because those Giants played a 34 does not mean they can’t help players with positional basics. And once and for all the Giants did play a 34, but Taylor was for all intents and proposes a DE. He just never put a hand on the ground.
        It was about different looks, execution and the ability of Taylor to actually carry out linebacking assignments that made the 80/90 Giants defenses formable. The current defenders could do with a bit of the same.

        A very thin line exists between the Giants 34 back in the day and a 43 defense. I won’t get into 34 NT/DE techniques other than to say that Carson, Taylor, Banks and Marshall could really help these Giant youngsters and a few of the vets. Setting the edge and shedding of blocks is the same deal no matter the alignment.

        As for this presumption that the Giant offensive line was good this year, please don’t use stats. They didn’t pass the smell test, the sight test or the “balls” test inside the 20 yard line. They stunk out loud at the most critical of times all season long.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          I’m not saying they wouldn’t any help but I don’t think they are the missing link. Of course there is other knowledge that can be gained but there is a reason for postion coaches too. I saw LT play and his position was much different than JPP. LT didn’t always rush the passer like a Ware now he was actually in coverage a decent amount as well. His angle was different and just his strengths and weaknesses a much smaller man rushing the passer than JPP. The NFL has changed which is why someone like Shrahan is a better help. Still most of the help any of these players would provide isn’t technical it’s the mental approach to the game. BTW we were 7th in the NFL in ypc but I know that doesn’t mean anything.

          Did the OL suck in the redzone nearly as much with Andre Brown running the ball? The OL was good overall, of course it struggled in spots like every aspect of the team. That doesn’t prove your point. Short yardage was an issue when Brown wasn’t in there but was more than fine with him around. We all know Bradshaw while tough has no vision especially when he’s runnign on short yardage running. If you can’t see the vast improvement running the ball from last year I don’t know what to tell you. Last year we sucked running the ball but this year we were good. And that’s with several games being blown out and takign the run out of the game. Teams don’t run the ball well inside the 20 in more besides the elite running teams. We were elite but our running game was the least of our problems from all of our units save for kickoff returns.

  2.  Dirt says:

    I know JPP is a fav around here, and I know he didn’t fight through doubles and triples, but as Coughlin himself acknowleded, he wasn’t beating singles either. He was singled a lot this year. The Ravens and Eagles RT singled him all day.

    •  JimStoll says:

      I still maintain that JPP looked heavy this year

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Heavy inplies out of shape. I think him and/or the coaches thought more weight was better. That was wrong. He’s young so he’s trying to find his best playing weight and after this year I think now he now knows. He has a big frame so can easy carry the weight he had but be was better when he was lighter.

    •  Levito says:

      And not that it should be held against him much, but Joe Thomas singled him all day and completely owned him. JPP spent much of that afternoon lying on his back.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think when we talk about hunger this year my first though is JPP and second is Eli. For different reasons. JPP being “fat and happy” while Eli hade finally proved all the “haters” wrong. I have complete confidence that Eli will come back more focused. I worry a little bit more about JPP but I think this was a learning experience. JPP had success come a little too easy and I think wasn’t ready for all that came with being an allpro. I believe next year he will be ready. Good job by JR waiting to extend him so if nothing else JPP should be motivated by the money next year.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    Glad to see them reach out to Strahan. He will be a big help. Perhaps they can have some of the ex-players work with Linval, Kuhn, Kiwi, Tracy, Ojomo and the younger linebackers (how much could Harry Carson help Mark Herzlich? My guess is quite a lot.).

    As to JPP getting stoned by some of the best tackles in the NFL? Believe me, it happens to ALL of them. There were games when Reggie White looked ordinary. There were plenty of games when Michael Strahan looked like a JAG when matched up against great linemen. The ONLY defensive player whom I ever saw play who could not be stopped was LT, and he was a once-in-a-century player (who also had the advantage of being able to move around as a linebacker).

    But JPP does need to learn better technique and stop assuming he can get by on pure athleticism. The two guys on the 2012 Giants who probably found out just how hard the game can be when you’re the focus of game plans were JPP and Cruz. Even the great ones cannot look great each and every time out, but they figure out ways to get there much more than players who are just Pro Bowlers. JPP and Cruz need to aspire to that next level.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      While guys like Strahan can sure help I think it’s more the mental approach to being a superstar. While JPP and Cruz had similar downturns I think it was for different reasons. I don’t think Cruz lost focus, I just don’t think he’s true #1 type WR. I think JPP just wasn’t ready for all that came with being an allpro. I think it was a learning experience and he should be better for it.

  4.  Levito says:

    So I like to take a pretty rational view of the Giants, and while it can be hard during or right after a game (or season) to take off the fan goggles, I think I was able to to it quicker this year than usual.

    Related to Jim’s post in the last thread where he mentioned that this team always seems to hover between 8 and 10 wins every season under Coughlin, it’s a very fair point, negative or not. Making the comparison to baseball, Billy Beane said something along the lines of him only being able to put a team together that was good enough to reach the playoffs, and whether or not the team made noise in the playoffs shouldn’t really be part of his evaluation process because it’s too small of a sample size. Of course he was trying make the playoffs with the minimum amount of expenditure to get to 90 wins, but for all intents and purposes, it should be pretty similar in football. The football season itself is a pretty small sample size, and even more-so in the playoffs where some teams only need 2 wins to make the Super Bowl and games can be so close that a single play one way or the other determines a team’s fate. Jerry Reese even said something which is related, in that he was chastised for putting together a team which won 10 games and didn’t make the playoffs in 2010, then celebrated as a genius the next season for a 9-7 team which went on a run in January.

    So while the Giants 2 playoff runs were magical, and will forever go down in Giants lure, if you want to take a completely objective view of the team put together by Jerry Reese and executed by Tom Coughlin & Co., they’ve managed to put together a team which is a perennially 8-10 win team; slightly above average, and always on the cusp of a playoff berth. The fact that they have been able to get this team to the playoffs only 3 of the last 6 seasons probably speaks a lot more about what they’ve managed to do than the 2 Super Bowls they’ve pulled out in 2 of those 3 seasons they have made the playoffs. If anything, the recent SB wins by low seeded teams like the Giants, Packers, and Steelers should be testament that once a team makes the playoffs, anything can happen.

    Of course, that’s not being completely fair. Last season injuries derailed the season in the middle and they managed to pull it together and get healthy for the late season run, but injuries happen to most teams (with Seattle seeming to be one major exception this season). But still, something’s not completely right. People love to talk about how talented this roster is, and how some of the positions on the team (QB, WR, S, DL) are among the best units in the league, then why does this team continually start strong, fade late, generally end up with a similar record, and sometimes make a magical run? There’s something to be said for that, and it has to be chalked up as the product of the team that Reese and Coughlin have combined to form.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      How many NFC East teams have won more than 10 games over the same period? That’s a good bit of your explanation right there. Put the Giants in a lot of the other divisions (or, especially, in a different conference) and this would have been a run of plenty of 11-12 win seasons. The Patriots and the Colts and the Chargers and the Saints have had a HUGE advantage over the years in that they played is really poor divisions. Truth be told, 10 wins is an awfully good year in the salary-capped NFL. Especially if you play in a strong division.

      •  Levito says:

        I don’t care about the division. Sure, things would be better in easier divisions but it doesn’t take long for fortunes to change. Case in point: NFC West. But you have to play the cards you’re dealt. The 4 teams in the NFC East are unlikely to be separated in our lifetimes. Knowing this, the organization has to build a team which is not only consistently good, but also built to counter the strengths of the other teams in the division. Philly did it a few years ago by getting a bunch of fast WRs and a mobile QB. The Giants countered by bolstering the pass rush. The Giants also formed a better WR corps. The Cowboys countered both by focusing on their secondary. Etc, etc, etc.

        And I’m not saying 10 wins isn’t good. That’s exactly what it is: good, not great. But the old cliché rings true: good enough is the enemy of great.

        •  Dirt says:

          Go back and look at my post in the thread after the last gameday thread re: division. It’s significant.

          Of course not all the story, but it matters.

      •  JimStoll says:

        personally, I think the assertion that the NFC East is so darn good is out-dated
        the Eagles have been horrible for 2 consecutive years
        the Cowboys have been down for 3
        the skins haven’t been good in forever until this season
        the division is so mediocre in fact that 9-7 got us to the playoffs last year, and almost again this year

        the reason I keep coming back to coughlin is that there are very few constants in sports over long periods
        coaching and upper management, and QB are usually it in football

        the maddening thing about the Giants is that they more often than not get worse as the season progresses
        when you look at what the Skins, Vikings, SeaHawks (and even the Rams to a lesser degree) did this year, it is frustrating. Each team had a worse QB, a much less talented roster, and d at least Washington, just as debilitating injuries — heck the Skins even lost their franchise for a week and still won
        yet those teams got better and better and better as the season wore on
        we’ve had 2 incredible playoff runs, but there is not a single regular season — not even the 12-4 ’08 campaign — where we got better as the season progressed

        this is the type of team that Coughlin & Co. have built
        it is why I continue to believe they get less results than they should given the talented roster with which they are blessed

        •  rlhjr says:

          All good points however, what the Giants do offensively and defensively works (when they are playing at a high level) against all teams regardless of conference/division. Rush the passer, stop the run and run the football.

          Makes no difference what division you’re in if you do those things you will win.
          This year the Giants did not do those things. The results are right in front of us all. The down side is this team is presently built so that a single point of failure OL/DL/DB/RB/WR whatever, dooms them to missing the playoffs.
          When hitting on all cylinders, they are awesome and damn hard to beat.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    JR’s comments about Nick’s importance especially as it related to Eli I think shows his hand a bit. I think it shows like many of us think here that JR views Nicks as the true #1 and the most important WR. That will matter when it comes to Cruz’s extension. Because who ever is viewed as the most important WR means that WR will be re-signed and the other WR JR will try to re-sign.

  6.  jfunk says:

    People don’t like to talk about it or use it as an excuse, which you can’t because there’s nothing you can do about it anyway, but the truth is that strength of schedule is the gorilla in the room.

    In general, most playoff teams do not face .500 SOS. What do the two #1 seeds have in common? Poor SOV….they beat up a bunch of weak teams. That’s not to say they’re not good teams and cannot beat good teams, but their records are simply inflated by a weak schedule.

    That’s also why your wild card teams have fared well in the playoffs…because they aren’t actually much worse than the top seeds (if at all), they just had a tougher road. The difference between 13-3 and 9-7 is not what it used to be 15 years ago, the league has changed.

    And for all this talk of inconsistency…can somebody point me to these teams that do it so much better? (yeah, yeah, the Patriots…who else?)

    •  Dirt says:

      You’re not kidding. I named 5 plays that, if they go the other way, and easily could have, we’re 12-4 or 13-3.

      1. Dallas – Austin TD on 1st and 30, followed by 3rd and 10 at the end.
      2. Philly – FG miss
      3. Washington – holding on Beatty negating a Bennett 1st down on the 40 late
      4. Pittsburgh – Mike Wallace 3rd down 51 yard TD in the 4th

      •  Levito says:

        And any number of plays the other way could have had the Giants at 6-10:

        1. Any miss on the big plays at the end of the TB game. After all it took a crazy string of plays to score all those points.
        2. Someone covering Cruz as he ran through the defense at the end of the first Redskins game with a minute to go.
        3. Romo not throwing the ball right to JPP for a pick 6 in the 2nd Dallas game.

        •  JimStoll says:

          yeah the what if game can work any way you want it to
          bottom line is we didn’t make the plays, and didn’t do so in a number of games

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    The Giants under Coughlin have two championships. The rest is noise.

    I don’t love everything this staff does, but the reality of those rings cannot be denied. You can come up with any number of complaints about what they don’t do to your liking. You cannot deny the two trophies sitting there. Every fan base, every GM, every owner, and every player, would happily take the bad times (or in the case of the Coughlin Giants, “mediocre” times because there have been no real bad times) along with those two championships. That’s the essential truth, and every one of us should know that.

    I don’t have contempt for those who just don’t want to admit that, and I do not deny that things have happened that make you scratch your head. But given appropriate perspective none of us should have any REAL complaint about this team during the Coughlin/Manning Era. It has been a great, if sometimes frustrating, ride and while many other fans have experienced the frustration, they haven’t found the pot ‘o gold at the end of the rainbow. We have, TWICE. Any long-time fan should be filled with pleasure about this. I view it as payback for the long, dark, night we went through for two decades. And a great ride it has been.

    •  GOAT56 says:


      I think it’s fair to wonder why some things happen and suggest opinions that can lead to better. But to imply that it hasn’t been successful is just plain wrong. Maybe we have missed the playoffs more times than any of us would like. But we have been in the hunt until the last game of the season every year except 2009 since 2006. Only the Pats can say that. We should always shot for the best but don’t get so busy doing so that you can’t appreciate these times.

      Look it from a knicks fan perspective. Ewing was almost hated at the end of his run because he never brought us a ring but now his era is being held up. And that’s with no rings. Fans need to understand how bad things could be so they understand what we have experienced as a fan base the past 5 years.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    Giants ditch Albany, move training camp to team facility

    The New York Giants are leaving their traditional training camp home of the University at Albany to train at their regular-season home in New Jersey.

    The team told Albany officials this week that training camp will now be at the Timex Performance Center, where the team trains year round. That ends a 17-year tradition of having training camp in Albany.

    “The University at Albany and the Capital Region have been great hosts for us during our training camps,” Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said in a joint statement. “UAlbany truly has been the summer home of the Giants.”

    But it will be the summer home of the Giants no longer. And although there has been no word on fan access at 2013 training camp, at first blush this would appear to be bad news for fans: Training camps at campus settings usually allow for much better fan experiences than training camps at team facilities.

    At least now there will be no complaints about uncomfortable mattresses.

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