Jason Pierre-Paul spoke about the issues he was having with his back at this morning’s practice. Apparently it is something he goes through every year when he starts to get back into football shape.
“It always does the same thing around this time,” he said. “I don’t know the reason. Just getting back into football once you’re out of it for a long time. That’s what it does.”
Pierre-Paul said it feels like “a little pinch behind me” in his lower back. The trainers tried to apply a pad that would help soothe the area, and Pierre-Paul said it worked at first. “But then my sweat just made it slip off.”
It usually takes four days to a week for the back pain to go away, he said. So that won’t happen during this camp. But Pierre-Paul said he’ll be returning to Tampa to train with the south Florida football team after this camp and he’ll be back with the Giants for their OTAs later this month “in top shape.”
It’s also worth noting that while Pierre-Paul was clearly irritated by the back, he did not miss any reps in the practice. Some of that had to do with all of us media types keeping such a close eye on him, he said with a smile. But he also understands that it would be in bad form for the first-round draft pick to be begging out of drills on the second day.
“It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle,” he said. “It’s just the fact that when I try to get down in a three-point stance, it hurts. It’s like a pinch. But I do it anyway and still go. Once I stand up, it’s gone.”
He also tried to make his case to the coaching staff that what he was going through had nothing to do with his cardio conditioning or the heat at practice.
“I’m not out of shape,” he said. “I feel like I’m in good shape right now. I kept telling coach that, I’m not out of shape right now. I feel like I’m in great shape. It’s just that my back is killing me.”
One other note on Pierre-Paul that you probably don’t know. When he’s down in his three-point stance, he wiggles the fingers on his hand that is off the ground. It’s something like Ricky Henderson used to do before stealing a base. I asked Pierre-Paul if he’s even aware that he’s doing it.
“That’s something I just do, I don’t know why,” he said, adding that he’s been doing it since he second year on the junior college level. “It’s relaxing. I’m just getting ready to hit him in the chest.”
As long as it doesn’t become a tell and let ever-observant offensive linemen know what move is coming, I doubt it will be an issue.
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