With Osi Umenyiora gone and Jason Pierre-Paul out for at least 12 weeks after back surgery, it makes plenty of sense to move Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end from linebacker.
As it turns out, the shift didn’t arise solely from need.
“Yeah, [there was a need] a little bit when Osi left,” defensive line coach Robert Nunn said Thursday, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “We felt like in the middle of the season, towards the end, that Kiwi wasn’t really comfortable with what we were asking him to do [at linebacker]. And so we felt that he would be more comfortable at defensive end. We were able to tell him that early and he has come in here and he is really off to a good start with what we can do in the OTAs and throughout minicamp next week. So he looks solid.”
That’s good news for the Giants, who won two Super Bowls since 2007 with a combination of historically clutch performances from quarterback Eli Manning and a defensive line that harassed and battered opposing quarterbacks. They need great defensive line play if they want to help Tom Coughlin surpass Bill Parcells as the coach with the most Super Bowl wins in franchise history.