In late January, it was revealed that New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul would likely avoid offseason shoulder surgery to repair a lingering issue that plagued him in 2013. At the time, it was said that his rehab was "going well" and expectations were that he'd be ready for the start of 2014.
“At this point in time he’s on schedule,” Coughlin said on Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “There was no surgery involved, so hopefully he’s going to return back to feeling the way he has in the past and be excited about himself because he feels good and there’s no limitations.”
But a return to health is not all the Giants are looking for as Coughlin made it abundantly clear that the team doesn't just want JPP back in 2014, bur rather, they hope to see a return of the player from "a couple of years ago."
"We had good conversations before he left, and he wants to be the player that he was a couple years ago when he returns, and I’m interested in that,” Coughlin added.
Following a 2011 season that saw JPP record 16.5 sacks en route to a Super Bowl trophy, his play has been in a steady decline. In 2012, Pierre-Paul recorded only 6.5 sacks over the course of 16 games before being limited due to injury in 2013. He ultimately played in only 11 games, recording a career-low two sacks.
Despite the sudden injuries and statistical decline, JPP maintains that he's ready to return to form in 2014 and strike fear into his opponents.
“I’m on the verge of breaking out again and being the old me. I’m going to see [the] doctors again and see what they say, but right now I’m feeling good. I think I’m healthy, I’m about 90 percent healthy. Before the season, I should be even healthier," he said in late January.
The 25-year-old Pierre-Paul is entering the final year of his rookie contract, so a healthy and productive season could, potentially, earn JPP big bucks a year from now.
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