College Coach on JPP: He'll Make an Impact

Upon first meeting first-round pick, Jason Pierre-Paul, TGI asked JPP whether there was a certain teammate or coach that he felt especially close to during his brief, but winding football journey. Without hesitation, Pierre-Paul said that USF assistant coach Kevin Patrick was just that man. So TGI tracked down Patrick in his USF office shortly after he returned from a recruiting trip.

Patrick is entering his third season with USF after being named to the position of assistant coach with responsibility over the team's defensive ends on Feb. 25, 2007. Patrick will oversee the defensive tackles for the 2010 season after spending 2008 coaching the defensive ends and 2009 mentoring the entire defensive line.

In his second season of his second stint with the Bulls, Patrick coached Pierre-Paul, who was a first-team All-American for the 2009 campaign as named by Pro Football Weekly.

Who better to share some insight on New York's first-round draft choice than Patrick? Here's what he had to say.

Q: What's the first thing that jumps out to you about Jason?
A: He's a great guy. He's fun to work with. He's just a great person off the field. I've always liked the way he's always carried himself. I just love the kid. I love him like I do one of my own sons. That's really the biggest thing. Physically, I don't know that I've ever seen anybody that big move like he can. He has intangibles that are just remarkable. Those are the things that you want. When you combine those things you're going to see a guy that's becoming a better football player every day.

Q: Can you describe how his body type will help him on this level?
A: The first thing that you look at when you see him is his arms. Look how long his arms are. He has freakishly long arms. That's a value at this level. It's a value at that level. When you look at him from a distance you can see just how long those arms are. They come down to a damn-near inch above his knee.

Q: Do you think he has the frame to put on more weight?
A: You know the story. He's played four years of football – one year of college, two years of junior college and one year of high school. He's never been in an offseason workout program. He got here the week before the first game. Even training for the Combine, everything he did was just natural ability. He might have trained for about a month before the Combine working on his 40 time. Just think about when the guy gets into the weight room, when he has a true offseason workout program. I would certainly think he'd put on more weight. He has so much area to put on bulk. He's going to be a 285-, 295-pound guy that's going to be able to run like the wind, when it's all said and done. He was 270 at the Combine and you can easily find spots on his body to put solid muscle on and he'll still look good.

Q: Do you think his lack of experience is going to hurt him?
A: No, I really have no concerns about that with him. I think he's going to continue to work on his game and refine it and he's going to be just fine. He's very durable, although I did hear that his back was acting up the other day. I talked to him and he said, ‘It's nothing, Coach. It's nothing. I don't know why everybody makes a big deal about it." I said, "Buddy, you're a first-round draft pick so everything's a big deal. There's kind of a microscope on you right now." But he said he was fine. He's a tough guy. Bumps and bruises really don't bother him. I've seen him get nicked up and get looked at and two seconds later, he's trying to get back into the game. Some kids will miss a play or two in those situations, but he never missed one single play. That's just the type of guy he is. And I just think he's going to get better every day. With the time and work that he's going to be putting in through the program up there, I think he's just going to blossom.

Q: Like you said, everything is going to be a big deal, being a first-round pick in New York. Do you have any worries that situation could get to him?
A: He's a humble young man. One thing I can tell you is that you're not going to see him out at clubs and doing something stupid. He's not going to fall into any issues like that. I don't think that'll faze him. I think all these guys that are drafted are going to go through the process of scrutiny and being under the microscope. It sure took that defensive end that the Texans took number one (Mario Williams) several years ago some time to adjust and get acclimated to his new environment. I don't think Jason will be any different. But I think Jason will surpass all those expectations and be a guy that makes an impact wherever he is.

Q: How soon after the draft did you talk to him and what did he tell you?
A: He was very excited. The first thing out of his mouth was that he was just so honored. He's such a humble young man. He really just wanted a shot. He was honored to be picked by the Giants. He felt like it was a good place for him. He was extremely excited. He just kept saying that he was so honored to be a part of this football team. He was really excited to be able to get up there and show people what type of football player he was. It gets me excited just thinking about him at minicamp. I talked to him after and he told me that he did well. I told him that was minicamp and that next up was when you go against the vets. That's when you really have to shine. But he was just so excited. He loved it and can't wait to get back up there. He and his family were just so honored to be a part of an organization like that, to be thought of like that. He knows there are expectations on it. He said he's just going to do what he does. He's just going to play football. I really can't wait to see him play this year.

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