Jason Pierre Paul in a word: Rare


Bill Belichick has seen a lot of players come through the NFL in his 37 years of coaching. There haven’t been many quite like Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

“He’s very rare,” Belichick said Tuesday.

That word — rare — came up four times from Belichick during the one minute he discussed Pierre-Paul. JPP’s combination of “athleticism, size, and explosiveness” sets the second-year player apart.

Belichick was asked if Pierre-Paul ever made plays on film that made Belichick stop and say “wow.”

“Probably about five times a game he has plays like that,” Belichick interjected before the question was even out. “He comes out of nowhere and makes a tackle. Or jumps ten feet in the air and bats down a ball. Or makes an athletic move at the line of scrimmage while keeping his balance. He’s a rare athlete.”

Pierre-Paul’s personal journey from Boston Market to the NFL is remarkable. The Creole speaker describes his background as “very rough.” But the football journey the Haitian Sensation has taken in two short years is amazing in its own right.

Teammate Justin Tuck said Pierre-Paul was “very raw” when he entered the league.

“On a scale of 1-10, I would say 1,” Tuck said.

One year later, Pierre-Paul is a leading Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He finished with 16.5 sacks, 86 tackles, and more game-changing defensive plays than anyone in football. Teammates Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Tuck all credited Pierre-Paul’s improved understanding of the game.

“He does actual pass rush moves now,” Umenyiora now. “Not just overpowering offensive linemen.”

Pierre-Paul dismissed that idea.

“I don’t have nothing man,” he said with a laugh. “It’s whatever comes to mind. . . . It’s ‘what’s the next move if this one doesn’t work?’ My next move is whatever comes to my head.”

Pierre-Paul has learned more about the game, but we see a simpler explanation for his breakout year. The guy never seems to get tired. His effort is the same in the middle of the fourth quarter as it is in the first quarter. Draft analysts questioned Pierre-Paul’s motor coming out of college, but his hustle sets him apart.

Combine his talent with that sort of effort and you have the potential for greatness.

“He’s a supreme athlete. He plays the game with a lot of hustle. He finishes plays. If you watch him from game-to-game, he throws his body around,” Patriots guard Brian Waters said. “There aren’t many people in the history of the game that can do some of the thing he does athletically. But there’s a lot of talented guys that haven’t worked as hard or hustled as much.”

Pierre-Paul genuinely doesn’t seem to understand the buzz around him. He’s the type of supremely gifted athlete that doesn’t see himself as special. He doesn’t realize how much better he can get.

“It’s just the will to play. You gotta keep going full strength, full speed. You know people are watching, so put on a show,” Pierre-Paul said.

A lot of people will be watching Sunday. Don’t be surprised if JPP puts on a show.

41 responses to “Jason Pierre Paul in a word: Rare

  1. After watching him run sideline to sideline for 16 games making 86 tackles, some that are rarely made from the DE position, and getting 16.5 sacks along the way… yeah I agree that’s rare

  2. Wow. I had no idea he was Haitian. Did he actually grow up there? If so, the NFL must seem like Mars to him. I’ll have to commence rooting for this kid (after Sunday’s game, of course.)

  3. Glad Jerry Reese decided we needed another DE and took a flyer on what analysts called a project. That project is what kept our defense going some games.

  4. He’s an emerging star. Glad to see a fellow Haitian doing big things. L’Union Fait La Force.

  5. Scary thing is that this guy will be a LOT better in a few years.

    He’d never touched a football til his senior year in high school, IIRC.

    And he is still growing. He’s only 21 or 22 i think.

    I will NEVER understand why JAX fired Coughlin; he’s the perfect coach for raw-but-willing guys. He’s a great teacher.

    As much as i respect the Brady Bunch, i pray Big Blue wins it. Big.

  6. Why do I keep having visions of a dejected Brady sitting on the bench with a towel draped over his head?

  7. Eagles traded up to draft Graham. Eagles traded up to snatch Maclin away. Eagles traded up to also get Chaney. Giants got stuck with JPP, Nicks and Dodge. 2 outta 3 aint bad…

  8. I’m so glad the Eagles passed him up for Brandon Graham, who hasnt played a snap in 2 years……… another brilliant move by the front office ……good job guys

    Although as good as JPP is, he was useless against Jason Peters this year

  9. Amazing athlete with a rare gift of humility hope he stays that way, kudos to Jerry Reece for finding this guy and having the guts to draft him in the first round.

  10. If anything I could say that this Pierre was rare
    But I thought man forget it, yo holmes to Bel Aire.

  11. One Igbo Nigerian, an Imo Nigerian, one Ugandan, one Hatian, one Puerto Rican, a Scotsman, a cancer surviver and a whole host of others equals what? A Giants Superbowl winner.

  12. Good for the giants. As an eagles fan, I have to give them credit for that draft pick. Eagle select graham, what a joke. Roseman has to go. He’s got no football knowledge. I could draft better than him.

  13. Man, I wanted my Buffalo Bills to take him so badly in the draft. Good thing they came to their senses and took CJ Spiller when they already had 2 probowl running backs in Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch. Great drafting Bills!!!!

  14. JPP’s combination of “athleticism, size, explosiveness, and ability to make great chicken” sets the second-year player apart.

  15. You’re making a little too much out of this whole “Boston Market”story. He was a poor kid who had a part time job at Boston Market. Big deal. Most high school/college athletes do work part-time jobs at some point…. unless they go to Miami or USC.

  16. As a sour Eagles fan wathcing two other teams get ready for the super bowl this article makes me wonder what kind of reasoning Andy Reid used when he drafted yet another D-line bust, even worse this time before JPP. You blow Brandon Graham.

  17. bigmike72 says:
    Feb 1, 2012 2:22 AM
    seriously all you haters need to look. pats won 10 in a row. this is not 07 .and when will any team from new jerk city ever win 18 in a row???


    Name one good team they beat in that 10 without the refs/scoreboard operator in cahoots?

    I’ll wait.

  18. It takes a trip to the Super Bowl for JPP to finally get some press. Thank you for these articles about him. It gets very tiresome when a certain golden boy, or the few bad guys suck up all the sports media attention. It skews the perception of the fans….It divides them..The fact is there are many that should be featured–just like Jason Pierre Paul.

  19. bigmike72 says: Feb 1, 2012 2:22 AM

    seriously all you haters need to look. pats won 10 in a row. this is not 07 .and when will any team from new jerk city ever win 18 in a row???

    You call them “haters”. Everybody but Pats fans calls them “fans of any of the 31 other teams besides the Patriots”. Can’t people root for someone who seems to be a genuinely “good guy”? Or is that being a hater because he’s not a Patriot?

    Quit being so downtrodden. And besides, the Giants didn’t need to win 18 in a row…they only needed to win the last one.

  20. Very Julius Peppers-esq… A 6’6, 290 person isn’t supposed to be able to do a perfect backflip. JPP is a freak.

    I also see Quinton Coples as having some potential like this kid, but from what I’ve seen he doesn’t have the motor like Pierre Paul.

  21. Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Feb 1, 2012 8:31 AM
    frownifdown says:
    Feb 1, 2012 12:34 AM
    Too bad there’s too many douche bags on their team to like.

    Name one. I dare you.

    there will be 11 on Sunday you can tell which ones by the NY on the helmets

  22. JPP is gonna be a madden craze in fantasy drafts and franchise mode.

    I can already see the masses online playing with a modified Detroit Lions squad with JPP on the line!

  23. Another reason why ” I’m proud ” to be Haitian. Keep up the good work JPP hopefully one day my hard work will pay off like yours and be part of such a great team.

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