Kiwi Ripe to Perform

Mathias Kiwanuka said he was ready to go only days before New York began its 2007 season. Kiwanuka made the difficult switch from defensive end to strong side linebacker this offseason and appears to have made the jump pretty well.

"I definitely feel good," he said. "It was up and down like I knew it was going to be. It was a process. But I'm ready to play. The most exciting thing right now is that I'm going to be out there with (Michael) Strahan and all these guys as a starter."

Kiwanuka, New York's top-round pick in 2006, said he's right on schedule.

"I feel like I'm there, where I thought I was going to be," he said. "It was so up in the air because I had never switched positions before. So I didn't know exactly what to expect. But from the time I started progressing I feel comfortable about where I am."

Fellow starting linebacker Kawika Mitchell has noticed Kiwi's improvement.

"Obviously at first it was a little rough for him but he's been developing and progressing every single day," Mitchell said. "Every preseason game he's been getting better and better. It'll still be a growing process but I think he's at a point right now where he can step into a game with some confidence.

"I think he's where he should be. He'll still be growing during the season, but I think he's definitely ready to step into the game and do a great job."

Kiwanuka was champing at the bit to get the season underway – to say the least.

"I can't wait. I can't wait," he smiled. "This is like a dream come true. I'm getting a chance to play and to be named a starter at the beginning of the year. It's a privilege and a great honor."

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