For most of Jason Pierre-Paul's career, he has relied on his physical abilities to make plays while his mental acumen was trying to catch up. Being relatively new to the sport, and with only a half season of major college experience before the Giants drafted him, he was able to use his athleticism to overcome any lack of in-depth knowledge about techniques and details.
This year, though, it's the other way around. Coming off back surgery in the spring, Pierre-Paul is struggling with the one aspect of his game that had been his forte.
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"It's more physical," Pierre-Paul said Wednesday of what is holding him back through two weeks. "My body is not reacting to my mind."
It's not something that is unexpected. Pierre-Paul did not play at all in the preseason and only began practicing with the team about a week before the opener. Through two games he has one sack (leading the team, more an indictment on everyone else) and six tackles.
"I didn't expect me to jump out and have a good game right away," Pierre-Paul said. "I knew right when I came off back surgery that it's not going to be old JPP, two sacks, three sacks. No, it's going to take time for me to get back in the game plan, in game mode, and for the quarterbacks to actually fear me."
Rivera likes running game
Many Giants players and coaches have said in recent days that the abysmal running game is very close to being corrected. Oddly enough, Panthers coach Ron Rivera shares their optimism.
"I think they're on the verge of a breakout," Rivera said. "I think they've got a solid running attack."
The Giants are actually last in the league in rushing, averaging 36.5 yards per game, and coming off their worst back-to-back rushing games since 1954.