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New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka: We Have Super Bowl Ability up Front

August 28th, 2013 at 6:30 AM
By Doug Rush

The New York Giants got great news this week when star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul came off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and returned to practice for the first time since having to undergo back surgery to repair a herniated disc.

Without JPP being able to play, it would have truly diminished the chance of the defensive line to really have success, as it would have shortened the depth and taken away the lack of options the Giants and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell would have if he weren't on the field. The team has been without him for the preseason, but most fans knew this going in that he wouldn't be available and if it meant getting him back for the regular season, then him not playing in the preseason was no big deal.

But one player who was very glad to see his teammate return to the team and practice was veteran Mathias Kiwanuka, who shifted back from outside linebacker to defensive end in wake of JPP's injury earlier in the summer. With JPP back in the fold, it gives the team a lot of pass-rushing options at defensive end like JPP, Kiwanuka, Justin Tuck, Damontre Moore. Plus, the Giants shored up the middle of the line by adding in major names like Cullen Jenkins to go with Shaun Rogers and Linval Joseph and drafted Johnathan Hankins.

While all of those names are expected to contribute to the team in 2013. Kiwanuka told Dave Hutchinson of the Newark-Star Ledger that they could do more than just contribute and feel that they are some of the best talent assembled.

“Up front, I think we have the ability to take this to the Super Bowl,” he said. “We have all the ability we’ve had in years part. We just have to put it together.”

Last season the pass-rush struggled to generate any kind of pressure to get to the quarterback and late in the season, the defense really struggled to stop the run, which was another reason why the Giants and their 31st ranked defense from a year ago had to make changes. Thus far, the Giants have improved in their run defense; as they held the New York Jets on Saturday to 18 rushing yards on 12 carries; which was a 1.5 yard average. The previous week against the Indianapolis Colts, the Giants held them to 2.7 yards per carry.

The only thing that has been missing in the summer is the premier pass rusher, but as Kiwanuka said, with JPP now back on the field and potentially on target to return for the regular season opener on September 8, everything should fall into place now.

“When we have all of our pass rushers on the field, teams have to make a decision on who they’re going to leave single-blocked,” Kiwanuka said. “We always feel like that one individual who gets that single should win.”

If the Giants decide to hold out JPP for the preseason finale against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Thursday night, Kiwanuka will likely get the start again in his place like he has for the first three preseason games this summer.

Photo credit: MacaMoney77 / Photobucket / CC BY-NC-SA

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Tags: Cullen Jenkins, Damontre Moore, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph, Mathias Kiwanuka, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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15 Responses to “New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka: We Have Super Bowl Ability up Front”

  1.  kujo says:

    “Trade Linval Joseph.”

    Why?

    “Because Rogers, Patterson and Jenkins all played well this preseason.”

    Aren’t they all elderstatesmen, in one way or another?

    “Yeah buy Marvin Austin looked really good last week.”

    Yeah but he’s been a no show for 2 years. Are you suggesting we roll with 3 older DTs and a really inexperienced one based on a disappointing 2012 for Linval?

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Has someone actually suggested this or are we merely preparing for it to be said?

      •  GOAT56 says:

        It was a post on last thread. I understand the view it trying to get the best bang out your buck but I wouldn’t for the reasons Kujo mentions. Really every other DTs has questions except Joseph. Having one given like Joseph allows us to deal with some uncertainty from the other and feel confident we will get quality play from the group.

        I do think for the reasons brought up the most trade likely player is Patterson. Patterson is still young enough that another team could view him as a starter or a heavy rotation 3rd DT. It seems that him and Rodgers are a toss up to who’s been better but Rodgers actually gives us more as a specialist while Patterson might be the better overall DT.

        • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

          Age, inexperience in the Giants’ defensive system, short-term contracts, and unlikely nature of a solid trade are just some of the reasons — just right off the top of my head — why trading Joseph would be a bad idea.

          Three of the remaining 4 DTs that would be under contract in this event would be Hankins, Kuhn and Austin — in order: rookie who has played poor, second-year guy still battling back from an ACL and another young talent who has shown nothing other than in a few quarters of the preseason this year against soon to be unemployed depth players.

          •  giankees says:

            I think the person speaking of the trade, which wont happen, was thinking along the lines of rogers, joseph, patterson, jenkuns, austin and hankins being the dts. Instead of having to cut one of them with talent that you could trade tge player with most trade value ang get something in return knowing wecould make due wuth the remainder of the depth and get something in return. Drppping one of them to be picked up for nothing would stink. For an idea its not bad. Plus it avoids another large contract forjoseph who is due soon. Personally i wouldnt do it but its a good idea

    •  Krow says:

      C’mon guys … someone just put it out there for discussion. Be nice.

  2.  Krow says:

    Kiwi may be right about the DL. The secondary is solid too. Unfortunately we went to Piggly Wiggly for our linebackers. Maybe we should call them linebaggers ? In deference to their future employment.

  3.  giankees says:

    Dont think it will happen but it is joseph walk yr and he does hold the most value for a trade. I inow it sounds crazy but i do understand l why someone would bring up this trade. People would sing a different song if we traded him for a big time mlb, safety or an o lineman. But in football the trades are rarely equal in value. So im not sure this could happen or if it should happen

  4.  demo3356 says:

    No way in hell does JR even consider trading Joseph. Guy is rounding into a monster DT is very young and is going into a contract year. Pretty sure he will explode into a near Pro Bowl Caliber DT, especially with really solid guys playing next to him at DT. Remember the year Barry Coefield had in his contract year? I think Josephs year this year will be better than that.

  5.  demo3356 says:

    Also keep in mind that coming off a sub par year his trade value would be nowhere near worthwhile for JR. I get the thought process, it just aint ever happening. Our best bet for a trade would be some DL needy team with excess LB calling us about Rogers, Patterson, Ojomo or any other DE that could flash tomorrow night (Broha Tratou, Tracey)

    •  giankees says:

      Yeah im hoping we keep joseph i was just looking at the logic from the post. I definitely dont want to just cut some of these talented player with some promise and get nothing for them. Reese did a good job with finding older lineman that still have some left in the tank and some late rd and dfas that can bring pressure like ojomo broha and tracey. He just cant seem to find equal value at lb.

  6.  demo3356 says:

    Dirt- Love your passion and optimism and while I’m the biggest “O” on the site, I dont think this team in any way shape or form is better than the 2008 team. That team DOMINATED the entire NFL until Plaxitard shot the season away. This is a very talented team but not better or even as good as the 2008 team was going int that season. We had the best OL in the NFL and an X factor in Buress that made the offense nearly unstoppable. Nicks and Cruz While great players do not strike the kind of fear into opposing defenses that Plax did in 07-08 and the system Spags ran got everything out of the defensive personnel we had. That team would have been 14-2 Superbowl champs had Plax not Phuckedit all up. This is a 10-6 or 11-5 team that will get better as the year goes on and is about a year from dominance

  7.  GIANTT says:

    I also think that in principle the idea of trading someone and getting something rather than cutting them and getting nothing in theory is a good idea . But , if you check the history of cuts and trades , there is a dearth of these trades and quite honestly , I dont see enough star factor in the potential tradee even a Linval Joseph to be able to rustle up a trade partner . After all , why should they give up something if there is a good chance of getting the same thing for nothing ?
    Some may then bring up well if another team has a logjam at a position that the Giants have a need for -linebacker anyone – and need a DT , why wouldnt they make the trade ? Well , history again says that even these types of trades dont get done too often either . This is something that I would like explained because Ive always felt that I would rather give up something to get someone or at least first crack at that potential cut than wait til cut down time but I think the teams value the potential of the draft pick(even as low as a 7th round pick ) rather than even the certainty of a trade for a JAG type player .
    If you are someone like Reese you can understand that giving up a low round pick
    (Think AB and this years Cox in the 7th round for example ) is something youd rather not do . Im assuming that other coaches think that they are as good as anyone at picking talent and Im sure that teams wont give up those picks either. ( Think of that guy from the Patriots drafted in the 7th round – whatshisname ? played QB for a while – is he still playing ? )

  8.  G-menfan4lyfe says:

    This logjam at DT is why Jerry Reese is an idiot to me. Instead of drafting a DT this year in Hankins, who hasn’t shown a whole lot just yet, he could have drafted Jon Bostic or Arthur Brown in round 2 and had a quality LB.

    Not saying Hankins won’t be a good DT, but when he had already picked up Jenkins and Patterson in FA before the draft, and we had Linval, Austin, Rogers and Kuhn on the roster already, why the hell did we spend a 2nd round pick on DT? That was extremely dumb when we had such a huge need at LB and there were 2 very good LB on the board, one being Bostic, drafted a pick after Hankins, who is beasting for the Bears right now.

  9.  Andiamo P says:

    Media, players, and fans need to get over this nonsense about the Dline getting them to the SB. It’s a team game and not to mention Kiwi is the Aaron Ross of the Dline. Overrated players should talk less and show more.

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