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New York Giants DT Marvin Austin Knows Clock is Ticking on Career, Time with Team

August 15th, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Doug Rush

When the New York Giants selected Marvin Austin back in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, there were a lot of high expectations for him coming out of the University of North Carolina. But, thus far, his career has not been kind to him.

Austin's rookie season in the NFL was lost due to a torn pectoral muscle and last season, he barely saw any time in crucial situations. Now in 2013, he's got a lot of competition ahead of him with a lot of veterans in at camp; Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and Frank Okam were signed as free agents, Shaun Rogers was re-signed as well and Johnathan Hankins was drafted in the second round to provide a spark to a unit that struggled, especially in stopping the run. 

Many consider Austin to be a player "on the bubble" this summer and could be subject to being cut if he doesn't provide enough of an impact this summer to warrant keeping his spot on the team; and Austin knows it as he told Dave Hutchinson of the Newark-Star Ledger this week at training camp in East Rutherford.

“I think this is a pivotal point for me in my career,” Austin said on Wednesday.

Aside from the injuries that have slowed his progress in the NFL, many people feel that Austin doesn't work hard enough in practice and isn't tough enough in the trenches to be able to be an NFL defensive tackle, and if Austin wants to prove the nay-sayers wrong, he's going to need to step it up this summer, as Giants head coach Tom Coughlin told the media at camp on Wednesday.

"He's a defensive tackle we need to see in a fashion we anticipated when we drafted him," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He has done well this camp rushing the passer and we really would like to see him do a good job against the run."

In a perfect world, Austin's roster spot on the Giants would be safe and he wouldn't have been injury-riddled over the last two years, but the cold, hard reality is that Austin needs to prove himself to the Giants and show them that he can in fact be that impact player they all thought they were getting back in 2011. If not, Austin knows the harsh reality of the NFL as a business and knows what could happen if he doesn't produce results.

“At the end of the day, this is the NFL. It’s about competition. It’s a performance-based business. I haven’t performed since I’ve been here. That’s what they want to see. Am I going to be able to perform, be able to play at the high level they drafted me? Like any organization, they’re going to protect themselves and see if I’m ready and give me a chance to go out and compete. That’s all I can ask for."

In the two years he's been in the league, the 24-year-old Austin has amounted for eight total tackles in seven games played, which is why the sense of urgency is on for Austin this summer.

Photo credit: toes2734 / Photobucket / CC BY-NC-SA

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Tags: Cullen Jenkins, Football, Frank Okam, Marvin Austin, Mike Patterson, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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9 Responses to “New York Giants DT Marvin Austin Knows Clock is Ticking on Career, Time with Team”

  1.  JimStoll says:

    doesn’t speak well for Austin competing with one guy whose never made it off the practice squad (Okam) and another guy one year removed from brain surgery (Patterson)
    of course Patterson is a former first round pick and started his career off well before his medical problems surfaced
    still, Austin looks like he is climbing uphill
    will he join Dillard, Petrus, Beckum and Sintim as JR’s greatest draft failures (Barden and Jernigan want in on this group too but somehow are on the outside looking in right now)

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Really, to this point, only Sintim, because of where he was picked, is a “fail” for Reese. After that third round every pick is winging it in the draft room, where hopes are all you have and guarantees are nowhere to be found.

      I think I was the first to say that I thought Austin could get cut. But I also have to say that first, this Sunday’s game is quite possibly going to be his breakout performance (he matches up very well with the inside offensive line of the Colts), and second, Jerry Reese brought in some really serious competition for ANYONE through free agency this season. I’m more focused on what an incredible job Reese did in drafting Hankins, getting Rogers back in and in the best shape he’s been in for years, and practically stealing Jenkins and Patterson from those dopes down the Turnpike because Kelly wanted “speed” across the board since it worked for him at Oregon.

      If Mike Patterson is fully recovered (and all reports suggest so) and he doesn’t make this roster it should be viewed as a major upset, and a real feather in anyone’s cap who beat him out. I think most Giants fans still don’t recognize how good that guy can be. So if the last man standing is Austin, and not Patterson or Rogers (perhaps one of the 2-3 best run-stoppers even at an advanced age) then this kid will have really shown the coaches a lot.

      I think the competition at defensive tackle is as good as any we’ve had at any position ever. Every one of those guys is a very capable NFL player (Austin will be, if not yet) and should find work this season in the league. The fact that we have this level of competition at a spot that was a HUGE weakness in 2012 is a major testament to Reese and his staff.

      •  JimStoll says:

        Fewell expressed the belief that austin matched up well against the Colts so I agree this is likely his make or break game

        the issue I have with the DTs is age and durability
        Rogers is 34, a very large (fat?) man who has suffered through injury and/or disappointing performances in every season since 2009.

        Patterson is 30 and as said above, 1 year removed from brain surgery

        Jenkins is 32

        it strikes me that the risk of injury or just plain wearing down as the season progresses is a real possibility
        Hankins needs to be a quick study so that by the second half of the season he can take snaps away from these guys

        Austin needs to practice his grocery bagging

        •  fanfor55years says:

          A five-man rotation should help keep everyone relatively fresh. While Joseph and Jenkins will probably be the putative starters in the base defense, they will no doubt get Hankins and, probably, Rogers, enough work to gain the advantage each can provide and the relief that the first two will need. It isn’t a lot to ask a 32-year old athlete in excellent shape to handle 50-60% of the defensive snaps in a game. It isn’t a lot to ask a 34-year old (who lost 30 pounds in the off-season) to handle 20-25% of the snaps. I think you’re unnecessarily concerned about durability.

          I think it’s between Austin and Patterson for that fifth spot. I know Patterson can be a REALLY good player if his operation was successful. I have no idea about Austin, but if he beats out Patterson fair-and-square then the young man came up big when he had to do so to save his Giants career.

          I do wonder, though, if someone gets a “tweak” among the DTs over the next few weeks if he winds up on the PUP list as quickly as they can file the papers. There’s too much talent for too few spots.

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        I can’t consider Sintim a fail because of his injuries. A fail is someone who just couldn’t get right. Although it wasn’t our draft pick see Curry, Aaron.

        I Also think you’re wrong about Patterson. He’s old already. He’s been in the league for quite a few years and his play was declining before he got sick. It wouldn’t be such a shocker if he gets cut. This is his 9th season in the league, and he’s coming off from having a BRAIN CLOT in his head. Him and Rogers are gone IMO.

        •  JimStoll says:

          ideally you would want LJ – 4th year; Austin – 3d year and Hankins – rookie, plus one vet – Jenkins, to rotate – but we will likely carry 5 so I think both Rogers and patterson unless Austin shows something fast

          it is an understatement to say that thus far Austin has been a huge disappointment, and I repeat: the last time he played a full season was 2008!! I suppose that makes him somewhat fresh but c’mon!!

          thus, I think we are likely to go with the oldest DT unit in the league and hope like he!! that Hankins is a quick study

        •  fanfor55years says:

          Patterson was VERY good before his head problem. Sure, he had “declined” a bit, but to a level that was better than anyone on last year’s Giants’ roster. I don’t know if he is truly healthy, and if our medical staff feels he is not risking his health being out there. But I think he can still play.

          And I don’t think for a moment that if he stays healthy Shaun Rogers is going anywhere. We cannot have Johnathan Hankins as our “primary” run-stopper and I’ll bet that Coughlin makes his last cuts with the knowledge that if we don’t stop the run it won’t matter who else he has on defense. Rogers should be a crucial factor this season. I don’t think Joseph is a particularly good candidate as a nose tackle, although he’ll probably be asked to play there in some 3-4 sets. But Rogers would be the guy most apt to be their “go-to” guy for that role this season as Hankins adapts to the NFL. Rogers won’t be around next season but I think he is very much present in 2013. Of course, I could be dead wrong, but we’ll see.

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