Says He’s Not As Strong As He Was Last Season
When Giants’ DE Jason Pierre-Paul’s sack total dropped from 16.5 in 2011, to just 6.5 last season, people began to suspect something was amiss with the All-Pro. They were correct. His back was killing him and it affected his play. In turn, it prevented the Giants’ defense from fulfilling it’s potential in 2012. The team missed the playoffs by a game.
He underwent surgery in early June to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. As a result, he missed all of the team’s training camp and preseason. He is still in recovery, but trying to play his way back to greatness. It’s not working. We wonder if he’ll ever get all the way back to the JPP we all recognize.
This season, JPP only has 14 total tackles in the first seven games. Only one of those is a sack. He’s clearly not the player he once was, and admitted as such to reporters today…
You said earlier in the year that there were times where you didn’t really recognize yourself on film. Are you starting to a little bit?
“Somewhat at some points. I’m still trying to get my techniques down right, my angles on the passer and on the tackle, how I’m rushing the tackle. I go back and look at old film from 2011. Also, this year, seeing the simple things that I’m missing from my game. I try to put them all together at once but at the same time I’m not trying to overdo it and think too much and throw my game off. I missed training camp, I missed OTAs, well I did OTAs but I missed the whole training camp and preseason. Those really are things that will help your game, especially if you’ve been out for a long period of time. Right now I’m just getting better and better every time I go out on the field.”
Are you beyond the surgery and stuff physically?
“I still kind of feel pain back there but it’s not that pain. I’ve got to continue doing my core work. It’s not something that’s just okay, I had the surgery and okay I did the rehab and that’s it. I still have to continue doing it after practice, go into the training room consistently. It’s going to take some time for my back to be strong like it used to be.”
Do you feel like it’s hindered you at all?
“Not really. I know for a fact that I’m not as strong as I used to be. I’ve been going to the weight room to try and lift weights and get my strength back. That will build up as time goes on.”
When you look at the 2011 film, what are you seeing?
“I see, to be honest, it’s a whole different player from now. Even last year my numbers weren’t up but I still felt like I was that player before the surgery. I did OTAs and felt awesome and it just changed. I just have to change the way I’m doing things. I’m going back, looking at film, I’m not trying to tweak my game so much that I lose focus of who I am but as of right now I’m just getting better.”
What are the biggest things you don’t see that are different?
“The way I rush the passer. I feel like I’m catching a lot, I’m catching my opponents a lot. I’m not being a threat to them how I used to be. And that’s basically it, turning the corner how I used to turn the corner. I could sit here and dwell on the past and critique my game but I can’t go back and try to critique it so much and try to bring it into the future right now as I’m playing. If I do that, I’m going wind up doing things the wrong way. This is Week 7, Week 8? It’s too late to try to change things now. All I can do now is keep getting better and keep rushing. That’s basically it.”