One of the players who is expected to be a starter on defense is Clint Sintim, a second-year strongside linebacker. When the Giants didn’t pursue a return of Danny Clark at the position, it basically signaled that Sintim would get the job. It’s his position to lose, and that’s not just me saying that.
“That’s basically what I’ve been told,” Sintim said. “I came in here with the mindset that it was my job to lose and I have to do everything to keep it and try to excel at it. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
For Sintim, that means “just being a professional about it,” something he didn’t feel he accomplished last year as a rookie when he spent a lot of time on the bench. Probably too much time for a second-round draft pick. He had some injuries early on that slowed his progress, but he also admitted that he didn’t fully grasp what being an NFL player was all about.
“It wasn’t really a surprise because the amount of playing time I got (last year) was based upon what I did to get that playing time,” he said. “If I didn’t do what I needed to do then I wasn’t going to play and it was very evident that that’s the way things work around here. That’s very fair. I didn’t appreciate then, but I understand how things go. Either you perform and you know what you’re doing in order to play, or if you don’t you don’t play. I can’t honestly say I knew everything that I was doing last year.”
This year, though, he’s coming in with that lesson learned, vowing to know the playbook backwards and front and being more dedicated to his job.
“I’m taking a whole different approach to the game of football and understanding that a lot more is expected out of me this year than last year,” he said. “You have a whole new set of guys, a whole new set of rookies, and there’s not too many guys in this linebacker corps who have been around a while. I know they expect a lot from me and that’s fine because I expect a lot from myself. I’m excited.”
Just a quick sidenote on Sintim: I asked him if he knew either Yeardley Love or George Huguely, the two Virginia lacrosse players who have been in the headlines lately when Huguely was arrested for murdering Love. He said he wasn't friends with either of them but he had certainly been around them and knew of them when they were all athletes in Virginia. He said he has friends who were very close to the two lacrosse players. "It's kind of strange because we still haven't heard the whole story about what happened," Sintim said.