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Leaner, healthy Jason Pierre-Paul promises return to greatness

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 has "no doubts" that he'll be able to return to his Pro Bowl form in 2014 after being a non-factor for most of the 2013 season because of back and shoulder injuries.

"I'm going to go out there and play the game like I was 21 again," the defensive end said. "This whole offseason I've been training and wanting to get back to the way I felt. It's coming."

Pierre-Paul said he continues to rehab his back and shoulder, but surgery for his shoulder has been ruled out. He said he feels healthy and the rehab is just to maintain that level with his injuries.

He's also lost 15 pounds, shrinking from 285 last season to 270 as the Giants begin their offseason workouts. That will allow him to use his greatest asset -- his athleticism -- to get around offensive linemen rather than rush through them as he has tried to do in the past.

With the departure of Justin Tuck, Pierre-Paul will undoubtedly be the focus of opponents who game-plan for the Giants' defensive ends. He's also in a contract year, the final year of his rookie deal. But he said none of that is entering his mind.

"I got a job to do," he said. "It's not showing people what I can do. I know the player that I am, what I bring to this team. I just have to go out there and play awesome and try to get back to the Super Bowl . . . I just have to go out there and do what I do best, and that's play football."

New York Sports