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Jason Pierre-Paul's only goal is to get better

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul raises his arms

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul raises his arms to the crowd during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers. (Nov. 17, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Jason Pierre-Paul said he isn't worried about playing the way he did in 2011 and 2012, before back injuries started to affect his production. Each year, he said, his goal is to get better.

"It's a new year," the defensive end said on Friday, "and it's time for me to get better."

Pierre-Paul has been proclaiming his improved health throughout the preseason, but for the most part he hasn't flashed it in the five preseason games. There were a few sparkles of the so-called "old JPP" that the Giants are looking for, but nothing sustained. Nothing definitive. Nothing to let us know that Pierre-Paul is, indeed, back.

"We can flip that switch," he said of the entire defense.

As much as Pierre-Paul has tried to distance himself from the idea of returning to Pro Bowl form this summer, he understands that's what the coaches and fans and teammates want to see.

"I'm just a guy," he said. "All I can do is go out there and do my best. Everybody has high expectations of me or whatever and I have to live through that or whatever, but I did it before, so, why not? I'm going to go out there and do my best. As long as I'm doing my best I can't worry about what everybody else says. I don't care.

"All I can do is go out and do my best and play football like I know how to play football," he added. "I know how to play it. I'm not worried about it. We'll see."

New York Sports