In a recent article addressing trends across the NFL in the National Football Post, author Dan Pompei dropped an interesting hint about a possible philosophical shift in the New York Giants defense in 2013.
Pompei stated that he had "heard" the Giants not only plan on using less of a defensive end rotation in 2013, but that Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul will switch sides.
It is expected that free agent Osi Umenyiora will not return to the Giants, so the team is planning to compensate by using its remaining pass rushers differently. Instead of playing a rotation in which three men split the snaps pretty evenly as the Giants did last year, I’m told Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck will get the majority of the snaps. And Giants coaches don’t want the ends flipping sides as much. The early talk out of the Timex Performance Center is Pierre Paul may become a full-time left end, with Tuck concentrating on the right side.
Pierre-Paul registered merely 6.5 sacks in 2012, but proved to be a very effective edge defender against the run.
While teams did not have immense success running at Jason Pierre-Paul in 2012, the consistency with which teams were able to run the football against the Giants as a whole served only to wear down Pierre- Paul on pass- rushing downs.
By moving Pierre-Paul to the offensive right, it would force right tackles to deal with him full time. Generally right tackles are better run blockers and weaker pass blockers than left tackles. As for Justin Tuck, his pass rushing ability would be featured more, while he takes less of a beating on the defensive interior and in the run game.
Above all, this is the first step towards more simplicity on the defensive side of the football. The Giants had all types of communication problems in 2012 and their defensive "rotation" did not seem to yield the same rewards as in years past. Teams ran on pass rushing packages and passed against run blocking packages.
By putting the best players on the team in a position to succeed, on a full-time basis, teams may have a harder time picking and choosing what types of plays they want to run based on the personnel of the Giants.
This will be a situation worth monitoring the next several months.
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