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New York Giants’ Keith Rivers Has No Hard Feelings Towards Cincinnati Bengals

November 11th, 2012 at 6:30 AM
By Paul Tierney

Once upon a time, New York Giants linebacker Keith Rivers was one of the most heralded college prospects in the nation. His size, speed and athleticism made him attractive enough to the Cincinnati Bengals to choose with the ninth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Rivers was chosen ahead of current superstars Ray Rice, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Joe Flacco, DeSean Jackson and several others. His ceiling was through the roof, but Rivers' career never got off the ground in Cincinnati and he was traded to the Giants this past offseason.

Injuries have held Keith Rivers back from becoming a productive NFL player. In his rookie season, Rivers had a chance to win Rookie of the Year before a blindside hit from Hines Ward broke his collarbone. Rivers played in 28 games over the next two seasons, but he never seemed to be a great fit in Marvin Lewis' defense. Furthermore, Rivers missed all of the 2011 season with a wrist injury. He did not get surgery on his wrist until the late stages of the offseason, which prompted the Bengals to place him on the non-football injury list.

“I can’t control it,” Rivers said. “So I just continue to work, get healthy and when I am healthy, I’ll be a good football player, which when I’m out there I’ve been able to be for years, so I just continue to do that. It’s out of my control.”

Rivers has had issues staying in the field in a Giants uniform as well. He has missed three games so far through 2012, and is questionable to play on Sunday. He has battled through both hamstring and calf issues. However, when on the field, Rivers has shown a propensity for being a run stopper and a relatively reliable weapon in underneath coverage.

With Jacquian Williams out of the lineup again this Sunday, the Giants could use Rivers' speed at linebacker. The defense has trouble covering underneath routes against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week nine, and it helped Ben Roethlisberger lead his team to several third-down conversions. If Rivers can play, he will be a valuable addition to a struggling defense.

However, Rivers is not looking at this game as an opportunity to seek revenge against his old team. In fact, he still keep in touch with former USC teammates Taylor Mays and Rey Maualuga. 

“There’s no reason to have any hard feelings,” Rivers said. “We just weren’t on a same page, actually for a long time, and finally we were able to end, and I’m happy with where I’m at, and hopefully they’re happy with where they’re at.”

The Giants' defense has given up 1,263 yards of total offense over the last three games. A healthy Keith Rivers could potentially help Big Blue stop the run and force opponents to become more one dimensional. Rivers is probably the fastest linebacker on the team and has not reached his full potential in a Giants uniform. It's good to know his focus is not on revenge heading into Sunday, and he is more concerned with doing what he has to do in order to help his team win an important football game.

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: Ben Roethlisberger, Chris Johnson, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, DeSean Jackson, Football, Jacquian Williams, Keith Rivers, Matt Forte, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ray Rice

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7 Responses to “New York Giants’ Keith Rivers Has No Hard Feelings Towards Cincinnati Bengals”

  1.  Krow says:

    I’ll give you Ray Rice … maybe even Chris Johnson and Matt Forte … but Joe Flacco and DeSean Jackson are hardly ‘superstars’.

  2.  TonyMW says:

    Just read something VERY interesting, and if true, explains a ton about what’s been going on:

    http://corner.bigblueinteractive.com/index.php?mode=2&thread=457645

    Dirt says:
    November 10, 2012 at 9:38 PM
    Paging Kevin Killdrive, Jr., “Quality Control Coach”.

    I watched a Broncos running back once put his mouthpiece in for all running plays and take it out for pass plays. These tells are out there, it’s just a kick in the pants when it’s your team. Especially when you’ve got a “Quality Control Coach”.

    TonyMW says:
    November 10, 2012 at 10:38 PM
    I really hope it gets corrected. It’s not exactly an “end all”, but it’s somewhat of a big deal. It WOULD be funny if it stops and we go for like 500 yds tomorrow though…

    Krow says:
    November 11, 2012 at 6:48 AM
    I doubt that anyone … even Hynoski … would be that stupid.

    •  TonyMW says:

      So are you saying the Pittsburgh Steeler sideline is lying?

      •  TonyMW says:

        Anyway, something like this may not make a huge difference on our 20-to-20 performance, but it can most definitely effect our Red Zone offense. Sound familiar?

        I have yet to watch the episode myself (can’t find it online), but I highly doubt that a fan would fabricate a whole segment of a show. This is also no indication of Hynoski’s intelligence either. After speaking to kujo last night, I came to the realization that quite a few FB’s have similar “tells”. Maybe he can chime in and let us in on what he’s seen.

        •  Krow says:

          It’s just that these guys have been playing the game at the highest level for a very long time. To actually pat yourself when it’s a pass … hard to see that going unnoticed even by the players.

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