If the Giants are looking for a vocal leader, Jason Pierre-Paul would seem to be a logical candidate.
Only he said this week that he isn’t running for the office.
“For me, I think my play says it all,” the defensive end said on Monday after the team’s third straight loss and fifth this season in which they led in the final two minutes. “It’s only my fourth game back, I’m getting better and better each game and I’m not the type of guy that does a lot of talking. I let my play do the talking for me. As far as other guys, if they follow, they follow. I’m more of a guy that whenever I’m on the field, I’m going to give 110 percent no matter how I feel, and they see it.”
It’s been suggested by some that the Giants are lacking a galvanizing voice. After Sunday’s loss to the Jets, Prince Amukamara spoke about Tom Coughlin putting the blame on himself as the coach (as he does after almost every loss). Amukamara said he flashed back to Antrel Rolle yelling at Coughlin for taking similar responsibility several years ago.
“‘No coach, it’s not on you! It’s on us! We have to start taking ownership!’” Amukamara recalled of Rolle’s impassioned expression. “It made me want to say it (on Sunday), but that’s not my role.”
Whose line is it, anyway?
Pierre-Paul, even playing with one hand, is their best defensive player. He’s certainly the most accomplished. If anyone on the team could confront someone over their effort, it’s him.
“I’ve been there,” he said of his pelts, which few in the locker room can match. “I’ve been to a Super Bowl, I’ve been to the playoffs, we made the run my second year I was here with those other guys. No matter what the negativity was on the outside, what people were saying about us, we came together as a team and that’s very special to have when all the guys come together as a team . . . We’ve got four games left and we can win all four of them, but it’s all up to the players, man.”
Sounds like something Rolle would have said. Pierre-Paul could easily take that job if he wanted to. Perhaps the Giants would be better for it. He’s shown a new-found maturity since returning from his hand injury. He certainly has proven a willingness to sacrifice to return to the field. And in pregame huddles he is often the one giving fiery pep-talks.
But he’s not interested in being that guy. The guy like Rolle or Justin Tuck or Osi Umenyiora. The guy the Giants really seem to need right now.
“I don’t know, that was in 2011,” Pierre-Paul said of those leaders. “The faces have changed. We have vocal leaders but like I say, I’m not a vocal person, my play does my speaking, and that’s basically it for me. You’ve got other guys who like to talk, but I’m more of a do it all on the field, don’t say it. You’ll see every Sunday who’s putting their heart out there, so that’s basically it.”
And everyone else?
“I’m satisfied with my team’s effort,” he said, speaking for the defense. “I don’t know if a guy is going 100 percent, only they know. When the game is over, there is no need to argue or be very pissed off. I feel like if you give that effort, then you did your best. I feel like I did the best I could and I only want to get better from there.”