As the season winds down for the Giants, those that follow the team know that this year’s end could very well be the last few times a number of players and coaches take the field wearing red and blue. Outside of the head-coaching situation, the biggest question the Giants have to answer comes in the form of their 2011 all-pro defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. A free agent this upcoming offseason, Pierre-Paul has not delivered the pass rushing returns he was expected to after Justin Tuck’s departure. Pierre-Paul will be just 26 in January and has been a great run defender this season, but his asking price is likely to be that of a top pass rusher and the Giants will have a difficult decision to make.
Pierre-Paul said Wednesday that he “would love to be a Giant for life” but also noted he can only worry about what he can control, putting his focus on the last three games. Pierre-Paul has only a few games left to make a final impression for both the Giants and other potential free agent suitors, and he seems to be taking advantage.
While missing in the pass rush department for most of the season, Pierre-Paul and the Giants have found their pass-rushing spark the past two weeks combining for 15 sacks. In these two games, Pierre-Paul doubled his previous season total and is in reaching distance of double digits on the year. With Washington next, who have given up a second-most 46 sacks this season thus far, the Giants will hope to continue this trend.
“I think it starts in our defensive line room,” Pierre-Paul said of the defense’s strong pass rush lately. “Coach [Robert] Nunn does a very good job of explaining things to us. Communication has been better with us. We have guys out, so we know we have to communicate way better than we were before. Coach Nunn does a great job with that. We stay in and study more.
We take extra time and come in during the morning to study. That is basically it. We have a lot of young guys playing, but they are doing their jobs and playing great. Damontré [Moore] is doing a great job. Kerry Wynn is doing a great job and you have Cullen [Jenkins] playing in there, too. We know what it takes to get to the quarterback, we just have to do a great job communicating.”
With the likes of rookie linebacker Devon Kennard and 2013 3rd round pick Damontre Moore beginning to take advantage of starting opportunities, the future looks brighter than it did a few weeks ago and the spark they’re providing is helping Jason Pierre-Paul as well. On the other hand, should they continue to perform with a strong end to the season, they may make Jerry Reese’s decision in the offseason easier.