Coughlin: Pierre-Paul “wants to be the player that he was a couple years ago”

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Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is recovering well from the shoulder injury that kept him out of the final five games of the 2013 season, coach Tom Coughlin said Friday.

“At this point in time he’s on schedule,” Coughlin said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “There was no surgery involved, so hopefully he’s going to return back to feeling the way he has in the past and be excited about himself because he feels good and there’s no limitations.”

The 25-year-old Pierre-Paul recorded just 27 tackles and two sacks in 11 games in 2013. He also had back surgery last June. When in top form, he can be one of the game’s top defensive ends, as evidenced by his 86-tackle, 16.5-sack output in the Giants’ Super Bowl-winning season of 2011.

“Jason, we had good conversations before he left, and he wants to be the player that he was a couple years ago when he returns, and I’m interested in that,” Coughlin said.

Pierre-Paul is entering the final year of his rookie contract. An injury-free, productive season would set up him to be one of the top free agents in the Class of 2015.