Jason Pierre-Paul's goal: Shut critics up
Jason Pierre-Paul's surgically repaired back may be doing some barking, but that's not the noise that's bothering him.
The Giants defensive end wants to silence his doubters and critics who gang-tackled him as he played through pain last season.
"I got something to prove this year, and I'm going to shut a whole bunch of people up," he 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."
Not last year they didn't.
Pierre-Paul had back surgery last June and was never fully recovered from the procedure during the 2013 season. In 2011, he had 16.5 sacks and he followed that with a steadier but somewhat less statistically spectacular 6.5 sacks in 2012. Last year he had only two sacks, and while he made one of the year's highlight plays when he intercepted a pass for a touchdown, he was hardly the dominant player he was early in his career.
"Back surgery, you couldn't expect me to come in and do what I did in ," he said, adding that when his back finally did start to feel better, he suffered a shoulder injury that ended his season.
Pierre-Paul said his back is still not 100 percent.
"I still feel a little something," he said, "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."