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New York Giants’ Markus Kuhn Off Crutches, Looking to Make Big Impact in 2013

February 12th, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Dan Benton

Remember Markus Kuhn? The German-born defensive tackle selected in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New York Giants? It's a name that has flown under the radar since he tore his ACL in a week 10 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but one that may become extremely important to the Giants moving forward.

Kuhn had begun to show rapid improvement in his rookie season, and had become well-liked by both his teammates and the fans. But following his injury, Kuhn drifted into the shadows and became an afterthought as the Giants endured another second half collapse.

But now, as he promised, he's back. Or at least getting close.

“Now having a serious injury and having gone through all the long rehab process is something new and definitely something I’d rather not do, but it is what it is,” Kuhn recently told Giants.com. “I’m making the best out of it right now and it’s getting a lot better already.”

With Chris Canty no longer in the picture, and Marvin Austin still a question mark, Kuhn sees an even larger opportunity in 2013. Provided, of course, he can come back healthy and strong.

“I think what I have to work on is becoming a better pass rusher, which is important in the league,” Kuhn said. “And also from a defensive tackle standpoint as well, if you can stop the run, sure, that’s your number one responsibility, but then transform from run into pass and rush the passer.”

The opportunity will certainly be there for Kuhn if he goes into training camp healthy, but as we've seen a number of times in the very recent past, rushing back from an ACL tear doesn't typically end well. By the time July rolls around, Kuhn will be eight months into his rehab and could possibly need upwards of another four months to heal. Then again, depending on the severity of the injury, he may be 100% by then. Time will tell.

Whatever the case may be, Kuhn will have an opportunity at some point in 2013 … and he's determined to make the most of it.

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: Chris Canty, Football, Markus Kuhn, Marvin Austin, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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33 Responses to “New York Giants’ Markus Kuhn Off Crutches, Looking to Make Big Impact in 2013”

  1.  demo3356 says:

    Like this kid and hope he is 100% for opening day. He and Landfill make a nice 1-2 punch. Rogers can be a good rotation guy and we can only hope that Austin has finally shook off the rust from missing 2 entire years of Football. Probably going to see a draft pick on a DT as well

  2.  kujo says:

    I love Terminator references as much as the next guy. But just so we’re clear: Germany is not Austria.

  3.  UANYG says:

    I agree that there’s alot of potential at the position. Landfill was unspectacular last year, and to the point that many posters have made here, how he performs during the remainder of his contract will dictate whether or not he goes the way of Cofield, Jay Alford, and Cornelius Griffin before him.

    I like the signing of Shaun Rogers, but I’m hoping the Giants don’t take the approach the Yankees currently are with their pitching: 1-year deals on aged veterans who they project as having enough left in the tank. If they do, perhaps they take a flier on Richard Seymour, or perhaps more likely, Alan Branch or Jason Jones from Seattle? Could be a mid-level signing that frees Reese from having to address the need in the draft.

    OK, got off track there, so back to the current DT situation. My hopes for Austin have waned. I also don’t believe that Floyd or Richardson (Mizzou) will be around at 19, so I’m thinking of alternative scenarios in my head.

    Is Keith Hamilton still in Jail?

  4.  rlhjr says:

    I really like Kuhn and hope he sticks. He’s a high effort player. And I believe smart/tough enough to get the technique down. No doubt he’ll work his rear off if given a shot.

    Even if Reese cut’s his losses and looks for another DT the coach’s would stand up for Kuhn IMHO.

    However, there could be a Sheldon Richardson in the Giants future.

    Other names for the Giants to consider not necessarily at pick 19:
    Sharrif Floyd
    Kawann Short
    William Campbell
    Jared Smith

    And I am looking at kids who are strong and mobile, capable of screwing up the offense with penetration and putting heat on the passer. Richardson is a stud.

    •  UANYG says:

      Thanks for the insight. Didn’t know much about Richardson, but from what I’m reading, seems like the type of DT Reese goes for!

  5.  Willy Wonka says:

    The more I think about it I think we are either going DE or LB in rnd 1 in this draft

    Looking at depth chart shows why:
    LDE – Tuck ______
    RDE – JPP Kiwi

    DT – Landfill Kuhn Austin Rogers

    now:
    Landfill is a lock in as starter at dt and is solid. Between Kuhn and Austin we 2 young promising dt that need to step up. (personally, I really like kuhn and he is my favorite to win the #2 spot this year) Rogers is the old vet fill in guy like bernard but is an upgrade due to his size demanding 2 blockers when healthy.

    Therefore, I do not think we will go DT. With Tuck’s decline I think we draft his replacement this year and work him up slow. Also, with kiwi now on the line to replace osi and boley gone lb is a need. This leads me to my pipe dream of Jarvis Jones (but i highly doubt he is available). However, there are 5 DE rated in the top 16 of this years draft and one of them will fall to us. In April 2013 the Giants will select (written in order of my wish) one of either:

    Damontre Moore
    Jarvis Jones
    Barkvieous Mingo
    Bjoern Werner
    Alex Okafor

    This unless one of the following players falls to them (ala Prince) I’m only writing players with a chance to fall to 19:
    Warmack
    Milliner
    Datone Jones
    Eric Fisher

    •  demo3356 says:

      I dont think we go for either.. DE is fine with Jpp, Tuck, Kiwi, Tracey, Ojomo and while I would love Ogeltree at 19 I dont see JR valuing the posiition enugh to draft one at 19. I see, OT, CB, DT, WR or TE at 19

      •  Willy Wonka says:

        disagree that DE is fine, tracey and ojomo aren’t even in the same class as the de ‘s that would be available to us. Only way we go OT is if fisher, lane johnson or joeckel are vailable in my opinion. Corner is a legitimate avenue is milliner or trufant are available but if its a choice between the any of the above listed and trufant it will be a de. DT is the next likely avenue depending on who is there and I blieve it will come down to either DE or DT in terms of value at 19 and there will be a better player at DE. My gut is telling me it is going to be mingo. Not a chance at te or wr @ 19 period

  6.  rlhjr says:

    With Austin coming off knee surgery I don’t feel like the Giants can risk going without finding the quick penetrating DT they thought Austin was going to be.
    With his extended time not playing and now the weight of rehab, just what can the Giants expect form this kid? I think he survives but a draft pick is in order.
    This should not be a project pick.

  7.  Krow says:

    Landfill actually had a pretty good season. I don’t think he was disappointing. It was the other DTs that bombed out.

    •  UANYG says:

      I think it depends on context. I thought he was going to elevate his game this year. By all accounts, he was definitely serviceable, just not what I anticipated coming off his 11′ campaign.

      •  Krow says:

        Right. Our expectations were higher. But he still had a decent campaign. 59 tackles and 4 sacks … that’s pretty good.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    GOAT56 says:
    February 11, 2013 at 9:39 PM
    Kujo/jfunk -

    You bring up a fair point about Robinson possibly being ready to start. He certainly has as much experience playing as Ballard did. My thought has been that he’s not ready to be a starter this year if he couldn’t even beat out Pascoe by the end of last year. I worry that the coaches don’t trust him and if we don’t bring in a real TE Pascoe will be the starter. Pascoe being the starter is very bad news IMO because he’s so limited athletically and even size wise.

    I admit knowing our way if we don’t sign Bennett it’s more likely we sign a lessor tier UFA TE than signing Lewis. Lewis is an attempt to replace the talent we lose with Bennett in both the passing a run games. But JR is more likely to sign a lessor guy and hopefully Robinson who has big talent beats out those JAG TEs. A more likely singing if we do lose Bennett would be Anthony Fasano. Another TE I would keep an eye on possibly getting cut is Kellen Davis form the Bears because he’s much more an old school style TE and might not fit into what many teams want from modern TEs in the passing game.

    jfunk says:
    February 11, 2013 at 10:19 PM
    I just don’t see the Giants paying any money for a TE that isn’t Bennett. They either loved what they saw from him and will pay up to their TE max to keep him, or they’ll spend league minimum on another body and wait for the Robinson era to begin. I don’t see any reason for them to do anything in between.

    Pascoe’s not starting unless there’s a disaster. Pascoe could stick for quite some time though…he can backup both TE and FB and he won’t kill you if you have to put him on the field. He’s like Blackburn without the inexplicable tendency to be in the middle of huge plays a few times a year. He’s going to get beat physically, but he’ll be where he’s supposed to be doing what he’s supposed to do every time so you can count on him.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Pascoe worries me because the coaches trust him. But I feel like when you play him and a FB we really don’t threaten a defense other than our WRs in the passing game. Let’s not forget that Pascoe was the starter last year until Bennett beat him out in preseason. So Robinson or a JAG free agent TE really might not beat him out before game 1.

    •  Eric S says:

      Bennett was always going to beat Pascoe out and the coaches knew it. Pascoe was the offseason starter in name only. This staff likes to establish the vibe that you have to earn the starting gig, it doesn’t get handed to you. As to your coments about Pascoe above…yes he’s limited athletically but size wise? Dude he’s 6’5″ 283 lbs. He’s not limited size wise.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I meant catching radius. When I think Ballard and Bennett those guys have huge catching radius’. Even Boss because he was more athletic had a better catching radius.

  9.  Krow says:

    We really don’t have anything but question marks at DT. OK, LJ is fine. He’s developed into a solid pro … even has a possible upside. But then what ?

    Tuck … doubt he can take the pounding of too many snaps inside. Not sure he’s the player he was either.

    Rogers … if he’s OK .. and that’s an honest question … he’s still only a rotational guy. I’m thinking 10-15 snaps a game.

    Austin … I thought this was a brilliant pick. But so far he’s shown absolutely nothing. Not throwing in the towel, but we can’t count on him. There’s more of a chance that he busts then suddenly regains his form.

    Kuhn … love the guy, but he’s got what … 10 games under his lederhosen … and now an ACL. I doubt he’s 100% when the season begins. IR wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    Canty … gone … Bernard … probably gone.

    Players are going to be added. Count on it.

    •  Willy Wonka says:

      They will not give up on austin and kuhn has shown promise as a dev guy, linval is the cog at the position. one of kuhn or austin will be next to him and rogers will be rotational vet (bernard role) players will be added but it will not be the first round pick. It will be dumpster diving and/or 3rd + round

  10.  GOAT56 says:

    This provides a real critical look at our defensive talent.

    Repost:

    Offseason team needs: Giants defense

    The Giants’ defense was such an oddity in 2012. Yardage wise, they were a mess, but they survived because of good red zone defense and their knack for creating turnovers. A look at 2012, by the numbers:

    ?383.4 yards allowed per game (31st in the NFL)
    ?254.2 passing yards allowed per game (28th in the NFL)
    ?8.1 YPA allowed (tied for dead last)
    ?129.1 rushing yards allowed per game (25th in the NFL)
    ?4.6 yards per carry allowed (28th in the NFL)

    And yet, they tied for 12th in points per game allowed, with 21.5. Why? Because they were 4th in red zone defense (opponents scored TDs 46% of the time they were in the red zone), and they were 3rd in takeaways, with 35.

    DE: What happened here? Before the season began, many viewed the Giants’ DEs as the best group in the NFL. Now it’s a significant need area. A few days ago, the Giants voided the contract of Osi Umenyiora, which will allow him to test the free agent market. I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that he won’t return to the Giants, but it’ll be difficult to keep him, considering they’re already cutting bait with some of their highly paid players to make room for players they absolutely have to retain, namely OT Will Beatty. Above, we mentioned the Giants’ penchant for forcing turnovers. For his career, Umenyiora has 32 forced fumbles. In other words, he’s good for about 3.5 FF per season. The Giants will miss that if he leaves.

    In 2011, there was an argument to be made that Jason Pierre-Paul was the Defensive Player of the Year. In 2012, he was still very good, but he didn’t come close to replicating the season he had in 2011. But obviously, the Giants are set at one DE spot as long as JPP remains a Giant.

    Meanwhile, Justin Tuck is clearly on the downside of his career.

    So what do you have if Umenyiora leaves? You have JPP, which is great, and then you have a fading player in Tuck, and unless you really like Adrian Tracy, you have pretty much no legitimate depth. Do you move Mathias Kiwanuka back to DE? If so, you then open up a hole in your linebacking corps, with no real guarantee that Kiwanuka will even make plays at DE, or even get enough snaps to make it worthwhile.

    DT: Another problem area for the Giants. I liked what I saw out of Linval Joseph in his first year of extended play in 2011, and figured him as a guy that would only get better. I didn’t really see that progression from him in 2012, and I have serious concerns about his ability to anchor against double teams in the run game. The Giants really need him to take the next step next season.

    Otherwise, the Giants’ situation at DT is very thin after the team cut Chris Canty a few days ago. Marvin Austin has shown absolutely nothing so far in his 2 years with the Giants, and the team recently just signed the soon-to-be 34 Shaun Rogers. Rocky Bernard is a free agent, and is also soon to be 34. He can be a serviceable player, as long as the Giants can bring him back on the cheap. I’d certainly feel better about him on my roster at this point than Rogers.

    LB: Michael Boley was by far the Giants’ best linebacker the last few years, in my opinion, but his play fell off in 2012. Whether his release is a result of some sort of degenerative injury concern, or because they simply think the size of his contract is too prohibitive to keep him, going from “Good Michael Boley” (whenever “Good Michael Boley” ceased to exist) to whatever they replace him with could be a significant downgrade. That replacement could be Jacquian Williams, who is almost like a safety/LB hybrid that can cover, but is probably not a 3-down linebacker. They may have to replace Boley will some kind of combination of players.

    Chase Blackburn has made a few high-profile plays in his day, but he is not a legitimate starting LB in the NFL. The Giants can easily do better there.

    Keith Rivers only played 238 snaps last season, and is a free agent.

    Mathias Kiwanuka is the big question mark. What do the Giants do with him? I think they’re better off just leaving him at LB, and continuing to give him some pass rushing opportunities on obvious passing downs.

    Mark Herzlich is a great story but he hasn’t shown much in his two seasons as a Giant. The reserve that I think has the bigger future is Spencer Paysinger. Perhaps Paysinger can be the complimentary player to Williams in replacing Boley.

    Linebacker has been a need area for the Giants over the last 5+ years, so nothing new here.

    CB: In the last 8 years, the Giants have drafted 8 CBs, including 5 in the first 3 rounds:

    Here’s what I wrote about Corey Webster after the Giants-Ravens game this season:
    Remember how bad Terence Newman was at the end of the season last year? Opposing teams put the bulls eye on his back and went to work. For example, last year the Giants played the Cowboys in 2 of the last 4 games. They targeted Newman a total of 19 times, which is an inordinately high number. Corey Webster is this year’s Terence Newman. Last week in Baltimore, the Ravens targeted Webster a staggering 14 times. He gave up 8 catches for 140 yards and a TD. I have no idea what happened to Corey Webster. He was so good last year.

    Webster is going to make $7 million this season, and he turns 31 in March. I think the Giants would prefer to keep him around this season, seeing as the only other legitimate NFL CBs on the team are Jayron Hosley and Prince Amukamara, but it will be hard to justify his pay. Webster may have to take an outright pay cut, or he could be a goner.

    Amukamara has been “OK” his first two season in the NFL, but I’d worry about him being my “#1 CB.” Hosley was impressive to begin the season, but struggled as the year wore on. Terrell Thomas’ health simply can’t be trusted at this point.

    S: A few weeks ago, I did a whole big write-up on cautioning the Giants against letting UFA Kenny Phillips walk. I’ve since heard from a few people around the league that think his injuries are of the long-term variety, and he’ll never be the great player he once was.

    If that’s the case and Phillips is indeed no longer a Giant heading into 2013, I’m not so sure Stevie Brown is an answer as Phillips’ replacement at safety. Brown had 8 INTs last year, but the majority of those were of the “ball finding him” variety, rather than Brown finding the ball. If you have Brown penciled in for a half dozen picks in 2013, you’re probably setting yourself up for a disappointment. Brown is player the Giants can upgrade. I realize that sounds ridiculous, seeing as he was 2nd in the NFL in picks last season, but that’s just what I see on his game film. He’s better suited to be a #3 or #4 safety, not a starter.

    Antrel Rolle is overpaid, but he’s not going anywhere. Rolle had a brutal 2011 but was far better last season, and has become a smart, wily safety. He has two years left on his deal.

    Will Hill is a nice, physical 3rd safety who likes to hit people.

    The Giants’ could use another safety if Phillips walks, but it’s a lesser need than the other spots on the defense.

    K: I didn’t mention special teams players on the other “team needs” posts, but I think the Giants could be in the market for a kicker in the draft. Lawrence Tynes’ career long is 53 yards, and while he hit on 84.6% of his kicks this year, it’s the one he missed Week 4 in Philly that stands out. It was a 54 yarder that landed short. There has been a recent influx of NFL kickers with cannons for legs. They’re weapons. Tynes is reliable, but he’s not a “weapon.” He’s also a free agent and will turn 35 in May. There’s a kicker I watched at the East-West Shrine Game by the name of Caleb Sturgis (Florida). Cannon. That could be a guy to keep an eye on.

    http://bloggingthebeast.com/2013/02/11/offseason-team-needs-giants-defense/#more-8516

    •  Krow says:

      I think we need a “wake up and smell the coffee” moment when it comes to our defense. They were one of the bottom feeders against both the pass and the run last year. They showed no ability to stop anything. 3rd downs were a misery. Not one unit played well as a group. Only gritty redzone heroics and a big turnover margin kept us in the hunt. That’s not something you can count on every year.

      Face it. Our defense is terrible, and we may as well admit it … and get to work fixing it. Players already on the roster need to raise their game … several old faces need to go (or are gone) … and new blood needs to be added. Bad tasting medicine, but the quicker we take it the sooner we’ll improve.

      •  Eric S says:

        The biggest problem we have on defense is Perry Fewell and his philosophy. Sure, it’s designed to increase turnovers but that can’t be relied upon game to game. The bend-don’t-break-but eventually break defense saps the players of their aggression. They’re thinking, not playing fast. When it comes time to clamp down and get stops this defense can’t switch gears from bend-don’t-break to stonewall.

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