(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
The Giants got some good news today when Jason Pierre-Paul showed up to the Quest Diagnostics Center and reported for duty.
The question is what JPP will the Giants get? And how behind is the former All-Pro defensive end?
“He’s got a lot to catch up with because, in other words, the other thing is I don’t know where he is from a conditioning standpoint; you don’t know how much he has been able to do. He’ll have some time to spend to get ready,” said head coach Tom Coughlin. “I think he’ll come quickly through the football part of it. He’s had an iPad, he’s watched, so on and so forth.
“Hopefully that part will be, and we’ll be able to get him up to date on that. Of course, the other thing is he’s coming into a game plan situation, so it’s very specific, so he has to learn specifically what his responsibilities are as we get into the regular season rather than the entire playbook.”
There’s no work on when Pierre-Paul will play in a game. Will he be ready for Dallas on Sunday?
“Just wait and see,” said quarterback Eli Manning. “I don’t know how he’s feeling. Obviously, he wasn’t out there today. So I think you just plan and prepare as if he won’t be out there. If he can back and practice this week—great. If not, we’ll just keep going forward and wait until he gets back.”
Obvious the first question is how he can use his hands. With the loss of his index finger Peirre-Paul will have to use different techniques to play his position.
“Pass rushing is not necessarily about pushing and grabbing and pulling. It’s about hand combat—you put your hand on me, I knock it off. You do something, I lift. If you watch JPP and truly study him, he’s not a big grab guy,” said defensive end Robert Ayers. “You’ve got some guys who rush the passer and play the run that push, pull, grab guys like that.
“But JPP is so powerful, sometimes he just lifts guys without grabbing them. So for his game, the way he plays, and the way I study him and see the things he does—I think he’ll be alright. But a lot of injuries is the mental part of it.
“Like for me, for example, dealing with an ankle or whatever, you have to get over the mental part and teach yourself that you’re okay. I think once he does that, once he feels comfortable, I think he’ll be the same JPP that we have all grown to love and see. I’m looking forward to it and I’m excited for it. I just want to get him back and work with my guys. I’m looking forward to it.”
More importantly, having JPP in camp makes the Giants a better team today compared to where they were yesterday.
It’s going to take some time, but the Giants seem pretty pleased.
“You obviously just welcome him back and try to get him caught up to speed,” Manning said. “It’s a new defensive system for us. Try to get him up to date on that. Obviously, it’s a locker room, it’s a close group, close-knit group. We’ll welcome him back and he’s a part of the team. Get him back and support him in his process to getting back to playing.”