It's no secret to anyone watching that New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul hasn't played up to his potential here in 2013. And coming off of a relatively serious surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back, that also should come as no surprise. However, JPP admitted on Thursday that he is nowhere near 100% and likely won't be again until next season.
"It's really going to take the whole offseason next year to get back to my old, old ways — the old JPP," he said. "I know for a fact I'm not as strong as I used to be."
In addition to recovering from his back surgery, Pierre-Paul also suffered a sprained MCL in a week four loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. And although very little has been made of that injury, it's likely a contributing factor to JPP's sluggish and relatively unproductive season.
After recording 16.5 sacks in 2011, many expected JPP to become the "next great pass rusher." However, he recorded only 6.5 sacks a season ago and has accounted for only one sack through seven games this season — that one coming in a week one loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Despite the injuries, rust and what appears to be a little doubt in himself, head coach Tom Coughlin said he was finally beginning to see signs of a JPP break-out following a Monday night victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
“He took some steps forward,” Coughlin said of JPP earlier this week.
The Giants will likely move forward with JPP and Justin Tuck as their starting defensive ends, with back-up snaps going to Mathias Kiwanuka and, to a lesser extent, rookie Damontre Moore.
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