There wasn’t much to like about the Giants in 2013 and the performance of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was one of the reasons why the season wound up in the dismal column.
Pierre-Paul was expected to be a driving force for the team’s pass rush, but he managed just two sacks before being shut down for the final five weeks because of a shoulder injury. That came after offseason back surgery, criticism about being overweight from coach Tom Coughlin and a 2012 campaign that was also off the standard that Pierre-Paul set in his second season.
After that season, there wasn’t anyone that would have predicted Pierre-Paul’s future with the Giants was anything but secure. Pierre-Paul is entering the final year of his contract, though, and he’ll need to show much more than he did last season in order to remain a major part of the team’s plans in 2015 and beyond. Good thing, then, that Pierre-Paul deems himself “fully healthy and ready to go” for the kind of performance that eluded him last year.
“I don’t feel pressure at all,” Pierre-Paul said, via the New York Post. “I’m ready to get out there and do what I do best, sack the quarterback and stop the run. I’m ready to get out there and show everybody.”
The Giants defense has moved away from the overload of pass rushers they rode to a pair of Super Bowl titles, opting to spend their offseason loading up in the secondary. Pierre-Paul might not feel pressure, but those choices put the onus on him to thrive without the running mates of the past and an inability to do that won’t bode well for the Giants defense.