New Falcons defensive end Osi Umenyiora should still have plenty in the tank, after being a part-time player for the Giants in recent years.
But he disputed the notion that he was just a third-down player.
“I’m a guy of tremendous pride, and I would have liked to be on the field more, but it is what it is,” Umenyiora said, via Jim Corbett of USA Today. “They had three or four great pass rushers. I’m just fortunate to come here.”
While Umenyiora didn’t get the kind of contract he was hoping for in his first crack at free agency (two years, $8.5 million in a depressed market), but he did sound like a man delighted to be with the Falcons. Between living nearby, the fact his 5-year-old son grew up Falcons fan and the fact they’re close to a Super Bowl-level team, he sees it as a perfect fit.
“This is a dream situation for me, [having] a home here from the area. To come to a team like this is just a blessing,” Umenyiora said. ”There’s a lot of tremendous leadership on this team already. We’re going to find a way to get this done. We’re going to definitely do everything we can. The [coaches], the general manager, the ownership, they have done their job, put together a fantastic group of talented people.
“It’s going to be on the players to see if we’re going to be able to make that happen.”
The Falcons tried making that happen by signing Ray Edwards, but that was a sensational flop. And after releasing John Abraham, they’re going to need Umenyiora at his fullest, which means on first and second downs as well.