When the video of Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara being thrown into a cold tub first surfaced, Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger reported that the Giants dunked him (eight times in total) because they wanted him to “develop more of an edge.”
The Giants denied that hazing had anything to do with it, claiming instead that it was an act of love despite people yelling at Amukamara to “stand up for himself” in the the video. That didn’t sound overly convincing at the time and it doesn’t sound any more convincing now that the Giants are going public with their campaign for a swaggier Amukamara.
Defensive end Justin Tuck said that the team wants to see Amukamara be “a little bit more swag.” Cornerback Corey Webster concurs and explains what the Giants are trying to do about it.
“You’ve got me and Terrell (Thomas), and we’re going to keep beating it into him,” Webster said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “And (safeties Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips), those guys came from Miami and they had it there. So we’re going to keep on driving it in. He could use a little bit (of an edge) from us. He’s taking it in and he’s going to put it into his game. And I think it’s working for him.”
Not well enough to avoid a trip into the tub, it would seem.
It’s hard to argue with the need for a cornerback to play with supreme confidence in himself when he’s put out on an island against a receiver time and time again. He needs to be confident enough to stop him without any help and he needs to be arrogant enough to think he can do it even after he got beat on the previous play.
You can display that confidence quietly without losing any effectiveness, though. Swag conjures up images of Deion Sanders dancing his way down the field, an image that Amukamara certainly doesn’t fit. Neither do plenty of other cornerbacks who have played at a high level in the NFL, for that matter.
However Amukamara carries himself, the only thing that matters is how well he plays his role in the defense.