For the second time in his career, Mathias Kiwanuka may get used to playing with his hand off the ground.
The Giants have started to line Kiwanuka up at strongside linebacker in what they call their “Big Base” formation. The fifth-year player started at the position in his second season, but has generally played (and played better) at defensive end throughout his career.
The move makes sense for the Giants, who have extra defensive ends, but not enough linebackers. “Kiwi” sounds fine with the change.
“[Defensive coordinator] Perry [Fewell] said he will try to use everybody to their strengths and get a
lot of different matchups, a lot of different looks. I love it, put me
on the field, I will make a play.”
We’d still expect Kiwanuka to start opposite Justin Tuck at defensive end, but the snaps at linebacker will allow Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul to hit the field more. The Giants have also tried out formations with the four “ends” lining up together.
The Giants defense is going to look quite different this year. That’s a good thing after the season they’ve just had.