Pro football has not yet been kind to former North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin. And as he enters his third NFL season, it's not going to get any easier for him. In fact, he faces the most steep uphill battle of his young career as the New York Giants have stocked themselves with potential talent at the defensive tackle position — talent Austin will have to beat out in order to make the 53-man roster in 2013.
This is something Austin understands. Not only that, but he understands why, and it's something he aims to change once training camp begins in late July.
"You see the competition. It is what it is, and I’m trying to make this team just like everybody else," Austin told The Record. "I feel like, to the organization, I’ve got to show them what I can do. I haven’t shown them anything yet. I’ve been in the training room too much. Some things don’t have to be said. At the end of the day, I’m glad to have the competition.
Austin has had few chances to prove his worth to the Giants due to injury. In his rookie season, he was promptly placed on Injured Reserve (IR) as a result of a torn pectoral suffered in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears. Then, in his second season, he played in only eight games due to a lingering back issue and inconsistency.
Neither will be a suitable excuse here in 2013.
Austin will compete with veteran Shaun Rogers, as well as the recently signed duo of Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins, and youngsters Markus Kuhn and Frank Okam for playing time. And while the spot opposite Linval Joseph appears up for grabs, it's more likely Austin is battling for a reserve spot.
"It’s just going to make me a better player," Austin said of the competition.
Training camp begins on July 26th with the first practice on July 27th.
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