Jason Pierre-Paul: I'm ready to break out
Jason Pierre-Paul doesn't expect fans to sympathize with the physical challenges he has faced since returning from off-season back surgery. As long as he's in the lineup, the Giants' fourth-year defensive end knows they expect him to be at full strength -- even though he still isn't as the Giants play their ninth game this season.
"They don't understand. It is what it is," Pierre-Paul said. "I get that. They want you to be the same guy. At the end of the day, it's all what I do on the field, the way I perform."
The numbers have reflected Pierre-Paul's struggles to return to form. Halfway through the season, he has just one sack.
But Pierre-Paul believes he is ready to start performing like the player who has been widely considered to be one of the league's top pass rushers since enjoying a breakout season with16 1/2 sacks in the Giants' 2011 Super Bowl season.
"It's time for me to just go out there and handle my business," Pierre-Paul said. "I'm feeling very confident about myself. I'm anxious to go out there."
Pierre-Paul said the Giants' bye week helped him feel refreshed, both physically and mentally. Looking back on the first half of the season, he believes he was thinking too much about not re-injuring his back. And now?
"Now I gotta get out there and just let it ride," he said. "Can't think about it. For those [first] eight games, I was thinking, 'How's my back going to take this?' I can't think about that. I can't think about getting hurt. I have to go out and play this game like I know I can."