Devon Kennard primed for breakout year

Giants linebacker could be ready to take the next step in 2016.

As we progress deeper into the offseason, we start to receive thoughts from players and coaches regarding how the offseason is going and what their outlook on the regular season is.  Recently, linebacker Devon Kennard of the New York Giants shared his thoughts relating to both the upcoming season and the current offseason.

            Kennard has been a key player in the past few years on a poor Giants’ defense. However, now that the Giants have built their defense into one worthy of praise, Kennard will need to work even harder to stay relevant and to make sure he retains his starting position. As of now, Kennard should have a linebacker spot, likely on the outside, locked up as the Giants’ linebacker core is the weakest part of their defense.

            After a long month of both organized team activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp, players seem exhausted and ready for a bit over a month away from football as they prepare for training camp. Kennard let the media in on how he is feeling after a month of hard work.

, “I feel really good right now,” Kennard said. “It is a work in progress every day and every step of the way, so I am excited for this year and what we are going to do as a defense and where I am going to be personally.”

Kennard’s response was nothing short of positive, a good sign for a Giants’ defense with high expectations heading into the season.

            All players approach this one-month break differently. Some prefer to spend their times out late at clubs partying, while other players prefer to dedicate their time towards working out and staying in “football shape”. When Kennard was asked whether this is time to [relax and get his energy back] or to continue to work, he replied with an answer that the team and its fans will smile about.

“You have to continue working because if you don’t do anything in these six weeks, you are prone to injury come camp time and all that, so I think that was the message they sent, make sure you stay in shape so we can hit the ground running in camp come July,” noted Kennard.

Kennard’s offseason plans sound much alike Jason Pierre-Paul’s offseason plans, as both players seem extremely focused on working out and staying focused on football. Kennard seems to be very dedicated towards retaining his starting spot, and possibly becoming a leader on a very mediocre linebacker core.

            At the end of the day, when it comes to how dedicated and focused one player is, only the player can give the true answer to that question. Kennard did share his thoughts on how big of a year this is for him.

“I don’t think it is any bigger than any other year," said Kennard. "I look at every year the same. It is a great opportunity for me and I like the role that they are asking me to play and what they are asking me to do. I am excited for what this year is going to entail.”

Kennard gave the expected answer, downplaying the significance of him becoming a leader and being the top linebacker on the Giants’ roster. At the end of the day, Kennard’s seems excited for what this year has to offer as he should with such a great opportunity on what should be an excellent Giants’ defense.

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