Giants, Keith Rivers talk up “fresh start” for former Top 10 pick

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When the trade of former Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers to the Giants became official, the term of the day was “fresh start” — that’s what Rivers and the Giants say a player who was talented enough to go ninth overall in the NFL draft, and who is only 25 years old, is getting in New York.

I’m excited to get a fresh start and brand new beginning,” Rivers said. “You can’t ask for more than to be playing for the defending world champions and be in New York.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for him to have a fresh start,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “Keith is versatile enough to play the outside on first and second down and he can play on third down because he runs well. And he’s fast enough to rush the passer.”

Rivers is a very athletic player who, if he can actually get on the field for the Giants, will be a steal for their fifth-round draft pick, which is what they sent the Bengals to acquire him. That, however, is a big “if”: In four seasons since the Bengals drafted him, Rivers has played in just 35 games. But Rivers, who missed all of last year with a wrist injury, says he’ll be good to go this year.

“I’ve been working really hard this offseason and it’s not about my past,” he said. “It’s about what I’ve been doing to prepare myself for this year and I’m really excited about it. I just haven’t been able to stay on the field as much as I would like. Hopefully, like I said, it’s a new beginning and everything is behind me and I’m ready to do it on the big stage here in New York.”

37 responses to “Giants, Keith Rivers talk up “fresh start” for former Top 10 pick

  1. As a Bengals fan, I liked Rivers but he never really made an impact and he was injured alot. He has good lateral speed to help contain the run but rarely penetrates the line of scrimmage to rush the passer. Wish him well.

    On a side note – I think he’s worth more than a 5th rounder. Probably a 4th……

  2. Mike Brown, last year was without doubt your best year EVER, proving once again that even a broken clock is right at least twice a day. Now it’s back to the same old Bungles. A 25 y.o. top 10 pick for a 5th rounder – you Sir, were just hoodwinked.

  3. Great pick-up. Rivers can only make them better. Remember they won a Superbowl (with the exception of Boley) , with all no name LB’s.

  4. I think that blind missile shot hit to the head that he took from Hynes Ward that broke his jaw messed him up real good and he’s still suffering the effects….. maybe not physically but psychologically. That was like getting walloped in head with a baseball bat and you never saw it coming. I think he’s probably been playing with his head on a swivel ever since and may have lost a lot of the ‘attack-seek-destroy-aggressiveness’ that’s key for a linebacker. Just a theory… but I think anybody who saw that hit on him from Ward won’t just dismiss it. I hope he can get back in full form again.

  5. This was a low-risk, low-cost trade for the Giants, but you have to wonder about the fit. Rivers can’t play the SAM or the MIKE, so it leaves him only as the WILL LB where they already have Boley and Jacquian Williams (who, IMHO, is going to be a great player).

    Sure, you can move Boley to MLB, but wouldn’t that slow down the progression of Greg Jones (who, IMHO, was a steal and will end up showing himself to be a really good player)? Jones was already getting limited snaps because of the high usage of the nickel package, which will probably only get higher considering all the passing going on in the league.

    Then there’s also the speculation that the Giants might draft Lavonte David (a tackling machine), who is another guy who can only play the WILL. That leaves you with 4 weakside LBs (Boley, Rivers, J. Williams, David), 1 MLB (Greg Jones) and 2 SAM LBs (Kiwi and Herzlich). Since it is now a passing league, maybe having all those weakside LBs is a good idea for coverage, but you don’t have any real run-stopping LBs in there.

    I’m not questioning the move by Reese (after all, he did architect two Super Bowl winning teams and it was cheap), but he does seem to be overloading on coverage LBs. Has to make you wonder if he trusts his secondary. I also wonder if he had a chance at getting Demeco Ryans.

  6. nflofficeadmin says: Apr 13, 2012 7:29 AM

    Mike Brown, last year was without doubt your best year EVER, proving once again that even a broken clock is right at least twice a day. Now it’s back to the same old Bungles. A 25 y.o. top 10 pick for a 5th rounder – you Sir, were just hoodwinked.

    Getting anything at all for a guy that had no spot on your team is a good deal. Yes the Giants spent very little for a guy that has promise, but the Bengals spent a high pick on him and he never panned out. Sometimes it’s best to just move on.

    Maybe the real problem was that the Bengals reached for him in the first place. He wasn’t a top ten quality pick (not that he was a 2nd rounder, but he just wasn’t a top ten), but the Bengals reached for a position of need. I remember clearly even Carson Palmer saying of his fellow USC player that getting him in the top ten wasn’t a good value. All of the experts said basically “good player, but that was a reach”.

  7. Lost his mojo to dirty shot, never played enough since to regain it. If he can’t find it in NY the media will chase him back to Cincy after his one-year contract is up. Hate to see a good guy lose his career to a blindside.

  8. i get this weird feeling that this trade signals the end for Osi…..let me explain.

    KiWi will now move back into the d-line and Rivers will take his spot (or another Lb takes KiWi’s spot and Rivers moves into the vacant spot)

    after last year, you cant have too many LB’s

  9. Keith Rivers *when healthy* is a serviceable player at best. He plays with decent technique and gets himself in the right places, he just doesn’t make plays. He looks like a lion but plays like a lamb. I’m a die hard Bengals fan and I think a 5th round pick is fair for Keith. It’s a good trade for both teams.

  10. Damn Giants fans…relax. Jerry may be a good GM but my God, you guys are acting like this was the blockbuster trade of the century. The Bengals were probably going to release this guy if they didn’t get someone to give them something..anything… for him. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good trade that has upside but not that big of a deal. Odds are that you’ll hear his name called once or twice a game – don’t get too excited!

  11. Mike Brown, last year was without doubt your best year EVER, proving once again that even a broken clock is right at least twice a day. Now it’s back to the same old Bungles. A 25 y.o. top 10 pick for a 5th rounder – you Sir, were just hoodwinked.
    So with the plethora of 1st rounders Mike Brown just signed, he’s back “to the same old Bungles?” Come on man!

    In that mix is Derrick Harvey (25), Jamall Anderson (26), and Jason Allen (28).

    Why is it when the Bengals make move like this they are signing trash and when the Giants do it the move is brilliant?

  12. Keith Rivers was stuck in the depth chart behind Thomas Howard. Let that sink in for a bit.

    He is a run stopper and containment type player. He is not a playmaker. He is decent. That is all.

    The Bengals in the past would be too stubborn to move on from a player that didn’t fit or didn’t want to be here. Now it appears they are getting players in that fit and getting players out that don’t.

    With all that said, good luck Keith Rivers! I hope you do well in NY.

  13. Got a feeling this is going turn out well for NY. Rivers is coming into a situation where there are experienced players who have been; it should rub off on him.

  14. Nobody hates the Steelers more than me, but I’m sorry, the Hines Ward hit wasn’t as dirty as people think. Show me anybody who wouldn’t pass up knocking a LB on their ass when presented with the opportunity. Ward had the opportunity and took it. Rivers was close to making the tackle and Ward’s block prevented it and thus, sprung Spaeth for another 3-4 yards.

    Anyway, a fresh start is what Rivers needs and the Giants gave up very little and Bengals already have his replacement. Good trade for both teams.

  15. Saw every snap he played and he was never an impact player. He won’t be an impact player for you either. I always liked him, but he just doesn’t have what it takes to be more than just serviceable. The fact that we got anything at all is a suprise. If he works out for the Giants, good deal and it only cost you a 5th rounder. If he doesn’t, you only lost out on a 5th rounder, so no big deal.

    The line on the number of games he plays this year is 10. I will take the under.

  16. Bengals fan here,
    he’s good when he’s not getting his jaw broke, or not hurting his calf somehow, or not hurting his wrist somehow in the offseason and missing all of 2011, and he’s a great player even after holding out of part of training camp for more money, and he’s good when he’s not missing 30 games over four years, but yea, OTHER THAN ALL THAT, he’s good I guess.

  17. I was going to register my surprise that the Bengals would deal him for a 5th rounder, but after seeing all the Bengals fans’ posts here I’m reevaluating that stance.

    From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like he’s been injured a lot but the injuries he had were mostly flukes. If he lives up to the talent he showed in college, this would be quite the steal for the Giants. It’s hard to develop as a player when you miss two full years due to injury.

    That being said, fans of the team know the team best. So if Bengals fans are happy with this trade, then the rest of us can’t really say much.

  18. bengals fan here,

    Great pick up for the Giants, Rivers has had some bad luck. I always was just waiting for this guy to break out. I do think the Bengals need to use this pick on adding to DL depth cart, we can’t keep our run stoppers healthy.

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