New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is tired of hearing about the player he used to be and admits his goal for 2014 is to "shut up" his many loud critics — critics that have actually started to get into his head.
"I got something to prove this year, and I'm going to shut a whole bunch of people up," JPP said. "I want to shut them up, you know what I'm saying? It's not even going to be new to me I'm confident in the way I play my game, you know what I'm saying? When I'm at the top of my game, it's ridiculous. Everyone has seen me there before."
His determination aside, Pierre-Paul still has other obstacles to overcome before he can start proving anyone wrong. And one of those primary obstacles is health — something JPP acknowledges he does not yet fully have as he continues to deal with lingering issues from a back surgery that occurred over a year ago.
"Back surgery, you couldn't expect me to come in and do what I did in ," he said. "I still feel a little something, but at the end of the day, it's nothing that is going to bother me while I'm playing. Now, I'm flying to the ball."
Pierre-Paul added that he's slimmed down to 275 lbs. and that has not only taken some of the pressure off of his back, but also helped return some of his quickness. However, even if the now-veteran defensive end does return to 100% by the time the regular season begins, no longer does he have the luxury of Osi Umenyiora or Justin Tuck lining up across from him. Rather, he'll be the No. 1 man in 2014 and likely to receive a lot of double-teams. So if JPP wishes to return to the JPP of old, he's going to have to overcome a lot more than lingering back problems.
“I know what I bring to the table,” he said. “I know what I can do when I’m fully healthy. It’s gonna be crazy. I’m looking forward to it.”
Cue Giants fans who will say: "we've heard all of this before."
Now is the time for JPP to stop preaching it and start showing it.
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