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New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul Challenges ESPN’s Dan Graziano to Meet Him on Field

August 9th, 2014 at 9:00 AM
By Dan Benton

In the world of social media, it's a near impossibility for a professional athlete to not see the articles being written about them. And as much as some of them try to avoid the papers, talk radio, SportsCenter and blogs, every now and again something slips through the cracks. Such was the case for New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on Friday, who got wind of an ESPN article written by Dan Graziano in which he took serious offense.

Although it's somewhat unclear which specific article upset JPP, it was enough to prompt him into challenging Graziano to meet him on the field and play the role of left tackle Will Beatty.

Our early speculation is that JPP took offense to Graziano's article about how summer hype needs to carry over for Pierre-Paul, which specifically noted that Beatty had been "handling him" every day in practice. Which, as much as JPP may not want to admit it, has been true to this point. And that's not necessarily a negative for JPP, who has also showed many flashes of his pre-injury form, but a tremendous positive for Beatty, who's also returning from an injury and a down year.

"It sure has been a long time since Pierre-Paul played like the player everyone seems to know he can be. He had back problems in 2012 and back and shoulder problems last year and obviously wasn't himself. He says he feels fantastic now and expects to dominate. To "shut some people up," as he put it, somewhat oddly, during minicamp. And it all sounds feasible and fantastic.

"Thing is, watching him play the few snaps he played Sunday night against the Bills, I didn't see it. Did you? I saw him get handled one-on-one by a tight end, Chris Gragg, at one point in the first quarter. I'm out here daily watching Will Beatty handle him in practice. And I know as well as you do that none of this stuff counts. But if the point is that Pierre-Paul is having fun and playing free and easy, wouldn't you think you'd see him flying through the line and getting somewhere near the quarterback on a regular basis? There were early practices in which we saw that, but it hasn't been happening much over the past week or so," Graziano wrote.

It's easy to see why a professional athlete would find an issue with what Graziano wrote, but the anger is misdirected. The reality is Graziano was spot on in his analysis here, which we also alluded to in our Buffalo Bills-New York Giants Hall of Fame Game recap. And as much as JPP may not want to hear (see: read) it, he's going to be subjected to this exact kind of analysis until he returns to the player he knows — and we all know — he's capable of being.

Furthermore, what does JPP feel he'd prove by dominating a journalist on the football field? It's not as if Graziano (or anyone else) implied they could handle JPP by playing the role of Will Beatty. Let's not kid ourselves — no one on the Giants beat could. No fans could. As much as we'd all like to dream sometimes — even those of us who have played organized football before — Pierre-Paul is a world class athlete who would manhandle any of us. But his job is to handle other world class athlete's, not the journalists who are merely doing their jobs — whether he agrees with their analysis or not.

Pierre-Paul deleted the tweet from his end shortly after it began to go viral, but the multiple retweets remain.


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11 Responses to “New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul Challenges ESPN’s Dan Graziano to Meet Him on Field”

  1.  turkish says:

    -JPP is looking like the Hakeem Nicks of DEs.

    -How about that Brandin Cooks. Kid looks like the real deal for the Saints.

    •  kujo says:

      I’ve been thinking the same thing, re: Nicks ==> JPP

      It’s like Coughlin traded the longterm health and production of his two young stallions (Nicks and JPP) for that 2011 Super Bowl. Both dudes have been hamstrung ever since.

  2.  kujo says:

    First off, I have a hard time believing JPP has ever read any of Graziano’s articles. To be honest, I have a hard time believing JPP can read ANYTHING, but that’s beside the point…

    At this point, JPP is exactly what Graziano says he is–a guy on his way back from 2 seasons of injury-riddled disappointment. Yes, Beatty has been handling him during camp (which, in my book, is a GOOD thing). And I’m sure this whole thing is frustrating to JPP…

    But dude–Graziano is a pipsqueak gumshoe sports writer. So yeah, I’m sure he (and the rest of the world) know that you could kick his a**. And if only the other 31 teams in the NFL employed left tackles that were Graziano’s size, it would be great. But they don’t.

    So shut the f*ck up and take out your frustrations on Ben Roethlisberger tonight.

  3.  Fran2Eli says:

    Whatever lights a fire under JPP’s azz is fine with me. If the old JPP doesn’t show up now it’s not going to.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    So JPP wants to play against a journalist and Will Beatty claims he “didn’t get beaten physically” last season and they were all correctable mistakes. I must be having a dream.

    I just hope these two start playing well next week. Frankly, I don’t care that JPP does anything tonight except show me that explosive first step. There’s plenty of time for him to bring himself up to game-ready. The guy would be wise to conserve his energy a bit. As for Beatty, he’s better start looking good right off the bat against Indy. Given our other options at the moment, we really need him to be at least decent in 2014. And Will, getting pushed back into your quarterback on a bull rush 3-4 times last season IS getting physically beaten. That can’t happen anymore.

  5.  Krow says:

    Keep yapping JPP. You can be the next Luke Petitgput … slapping women and sucker punching guys half your size. Just hope none of them has a gun and sees you coming.

  6.  James Stoll says:

    Let’s hope JPP gives us something closer to 2011. If he doesn’t then the d-line will be pedestrian at best
    I’m still hoping last week was a product of his going 75% as opposed to a harbinger f things to come
    Let’s see tonight

  7.  Kettles78 says:

    Not a fan of Graziano at all but JPP needs to just dominate on the field. I think its funny when players address media but then will tell you that it doesn’t bother them but at the same time I think its good that he is not ok with the talk about him. Now hopefully he does something

    •  bobby d says:

      I agree Graziano’s writing is always inflammatory, I think he’s going for the Jim Gray award of sports reporting. That said as Coughlin’s mantra says talk is cheap let your play on the field do your talking is sound advise JPP had back surgery and may never be the same player and I sympathize but responding to unfair comments is stupid. Funny how the people attacking JPP’s intelligence will be his best fans if he approaches previous levels of play.

  8.  Nosh.0 says:

    I’ve been having the same thought lately. It’s like TC and the Giants used up all their good karma for those 2 SB’s, and now it’s coming back to bite us in the @-s.s. The injury bug, especially to some of our better players has been crazy. Nicks, JPP, Wilson,KP, and now possibly Geoff Schwartz, it’s starting to feel like we’re snake bit.

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