New York Giants defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa reacts on the...

New York Giants defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa reacts on the bench during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. Credit: AP / Gary Landers

Before his first preseason game two weeks ago, Owa Odighizuwa said his mind-set was to "attack, attack, attack." Since then, he's become a more refined player.

The evolution showed Saturday night against the Jets as the rookie defensive end made two tackles and did a solid job of staying home to man the edge on some outside runs and bootlegs.

"One thing I was working on this week was my eyes, reading my keys faster," he said. "Just playing fast and reacting when I do see a play develop."

Odighizuwa garnered some attention from Tom Coughlin this past week. The coach pointed to him -- unsolicited -- as one of the players he thinks can carry the torch that Osi Umenyiora laid down in his retirement.

Umenyiora, a childhood idol of Odighizuwa's, also had flattering things to say about the rookie.

That, the third-round pick said, only added to the confidence that he brought to the field against the Jets and helped him have what he called -- and most observers would agree was -- his most comfortable experience on an NFL field.

"When I was out there and I saw a boot, I just reacted as fast as I could to the quarterback," he said. "I do think that was a positive for me."

It's still a balance between thinking so much that he is slowed by analysis and being too aggressive. Especially on the bootlegs.

"They're giving you run blocks up front and then you see the quarterback roll with the ball and then you have to redirect and you have to react to that," he said. "You can't think too much and you can't try to overanalyze it and try to anticipate the play because it very well could be a run. You have to respect the run and play your responsibility and then redirect and be an athlete."

He still wants to "attack, attack, attack," he said. But now he's giving it a little thought, too.

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