Flyin' Hawaiian Makin' Noise

Aug. 4 – Kawika Mitchell could easily get lost in the LB shuffle. Playing alongside a Pro Bowler and a top draft pick that's switched positions will lead to that happening. But he says he couldn't care less.

"I'm not in control of any of that," Mitchell said. "I'm just trying to play football and trying to be a good teammate. I'm really not concerned with how everybody looks at it."

His Pro Bowl teammate Antonio Pierce disagrees.

"He's a guy that has something to prove," Pierce said. "From what I see right now, I don't know why he didn't get a (big deal). He's a three-year starter with over 100 tackles (the last two) years. From everything I've seen he's very smooth. He understands football.

"I can tell you one thing: the guy is out to prove a lot of people wrong this year and I love it."

Mitchell was signed by the Giants this offseason, after drawing next to no interest from any other clubs. That's surprising, considering Mitchell posted a combined 253 tackles during the last two seasons.

So far, he's apparently picking things up quickly in a Giants uniform.

"It's going pretty good," he said. "I think I'm learning the scheme pretty good and moving around pretty well. I think we're starting to work together pretty good."

Pierce said he already feels a strong on-field bond developing between the two.

"I think when the games get started people are really going to see what he is," Pierce said. "Teamwork – when you have two guys that have that kind of mentality together, there's nothing greater to see."

Giants coach Tom Coughlin also has liked what he's seen from his new weak side linebacker.

"I was really excited about Kawika in the spring," Coughlin said. "Nothing has changed. First of all, he is very fast and he is very athletic. He also appears to be very smart; I don't think he makes very many errors out there. Hopefully he will do well, and hopefully that will be a good position for him to contribute."

Mitchell has also earned the reputation up in Albany as one of the nicest, most laidback players around. That all ends, of course, once he dons the shoulder pads and cleats.

"All until you put that mask on and that helmet, that's when everything changes," he smiled. "But I try to keep my cool and be a good guy most of the time."

"He's nice until you get a Hawaiian mad," Pierce stated. "Someone (ticked) him off (in practice) and he got after the guy pretty good. His mentality right now is that he's hungry. I think that's something that we lost as a defense, not having enough hungry guys on this team. The more hungry, angry guys you have, the better your defense is going to be."…

Notable: In the morning practice, Fred Robbins picked off a trick pass thrown by Sinorice Moss, who had gotten the ball on a backwards pass from Eli Manning. In the afternoon, Lawrence Tynes won a post-practice field-goal contest with Josh Huston to earn the offense an extra hour before curfew later that night.

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