Mathias Kiwanuka Will Start at Linebacker: Linebackers Coach Jim Herrmann revealed yesterday that the team considers DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka to be their first- and second-down outside linebacker opposite Michael Boley.
“He’s going to play linebacker this year,” said Herrmann. “Every day he learns more and more and more about the position. I think the biggest thing right now is just the coverage part of the aspect and different things that that guy’s required to do. That’s what we’re working on most right now, that part of the game. He’s such a physical guy. That’s what I love about him. He brings a physical part to the game. Against the run, he’ll be a hard guy to move out of the hole.”
Herrmann also indicated that Kiwanuka will likely shift to his traditional down role on third down. “In our base package he’s a linebacker,” said Herrmann. “When we go to third down, all bets are off. We try to put the best people on the field to get pressure, to cover…First and second downs are a completely different game than third. It’s like a whole different playbook. When we go to third down, he has multiple positions on third down plays and our third down package.”
“Kiwi has great range,” said Herrmann. “If you ever watch him, he could be on the numbers on one side and get to the numbers on the other in a heartbeat. To me, that’s what you look for as a linebacker coach…You run to the ball and he can run all day long. Plus, he’s athletic enough that he can move in and out and get around people. So, he’s going to help us. He’s a good defensive end too, don’t get me wrong. But, we would like for him to play linebacker.”
Herrmann was also asked about the following linebackers:
- Jonathan Goff: “I think he really worked hard on his movement skills, quickness, agility. You can see it out here. He’s made several big plays when maybe a year ago he might have just gotten there. Now, he’s there. That’s the flash that you want. I think every year that I’ve been with Jon, he’s gotten better and better and better, and this year is the same. He’s gotten better. He feels comfortable. He’s a leader out there. That’s what I like.”
- Clint Sintim: “Clint has actually had a great camp so far. I really like where he’s at. He’s done a great job. He looks faster. He’s leaner. He’s done a great job out here…He’s competing for a job as a starter wherever it is.”
- Greg Jones: “He’s done a great job. You can tell he played at a high level in college. He has great instincts to the ball. He picks things up fast. He’s going to be fine. He’s a good, young player.”
- Jacquain Williams: “To me, he’s the kind of guy you look for. He played D-end in college. You put him on two feet in pro football. He’s one of those guys that can go from sideline to sideline. He can catch quick, he can cover and he’s learning the game. If I just say okay go cover that guy, the guy will be covered now. (He’s still working on) the assignment part of it – who am I covering, who am I not covering. He’s doing a good job of it. He’s learning on the move”
- Mark Herzlich: “I love, because he’s one of those kids who – something in his life, obviously his sickness – has really driven his focus to succeed and he’s going to succeed. That’s just the way he is. Pretty much he was on his death bed and now he’s playing in the NFL camp with the New York Giants. That’s a great story…I’ve got him playing a couple positions. He’s a highly intelligent kid, so the concern is just trying to find his niche right now. Probably in the middle, probably at SAM.”
- Spencer Paysinger: “To me, is one of those young guys who may have been a little light in college. He played in that system and spread and all that stuff, but he’s gained a few pounds since he’s been here and he can move, too. He’s cat-quick, too…He’s a good player, a very good player. I like him a lot.”
Steve Smith Visits: Unrestricted free agent WR Steve Smith arrived at the Timex Performance Center yesterday to meet with Giants’ officials. Smith is scheduled to meet with team doctors today. Smith underwent microfracture surgery on one of his knees in December and it is believed he remains a long way from returning to the playing field.
John Mara Believes Umenyiora Will Remain a Giant: Giants’ President/CEO John Mara said yesterday that he believes DE Osi Umenyiora will remain a New York Giant. Umenyiora is refusing to practice at training camp until he receives a new contract from the Giants or is traded to a team that will give him a new contract. Umenyiora is due to make $7.1 million in salary in the final two years of his current contract.
The are media reports that say at the very least Umenyiora wants the final year cut from his current contract so he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2012. The Giants have offered Umenyiora some incentive-based options to his contract.
“Yes. I think it will be resolved and he’ll be a Giant this year,” Mara said. “It’s something we can work out. We’re already talking to his agent to do something incentive wise with his contract to make him happy.”
“We want him on this team,” Mara said. “He belongs here. He’s had a great career here. He adds a lot to this team. I always say, the reason we were able to win Super Bowl XLII was that they couldn’t block our front. That was the first time all year Tom Brady faced that kind of pressure. That, to me, is the heart of our team. We’re hoping we can work it out soon.”
Training Camp Practice Reports: Practices continue at Giants Training Camp at the Timex Performance Center outside the New Meadowlands Stadium. BBI camp reports and the camp schedule are available in the Training Camp section of the website. In addition, check out the following:
Injury Report: Missing practice yesterday were WR Domenik Hixon (knee), WR Devin Thomas (finger), WR Sam Giguere (groin), OC Jim Cordle (knee), DT Marvin Austin (hip flexor), LB Spencer Paysinger (groin), CB Prince Amukamara (foot), CB Joe Burnett (hamstring), and S/CB Brian Jackson (back). Hixon is being kept out of every other practice in order to rest his surgically-repaired knee.
OT James Brewer left practice early and was carted off the field with a lower leg injury. S Cary Harris (shoulder) returned to practice.
Both WR Ramses Barden (ankle) and OC Adam Koets (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.
Player Media Q&As: The transcripts and video of yesterday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:
- HB Andre Brown (Video)
- WR Hakeem Nicks (Video)
- WR Victor Cruz (Video)
- WR Devin Thomas (Video)
- TE/H-Back Travis Beckum (Video – Giants Insider)
- OC David Baas (Video)
- DT Marvin Austin (Video)
Article on the Giants’ Defensive Tackles: Giants Prepared for Line Without Cofield by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post
Article on OG David Diehl: Changing of the Guards by Michael Eisen of Giants.com
Articles on HB Andre Brown:
- Giants’ Andre Brown Returns to New York After Tour of NFL by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger
- Brown Still Hopin’ for Shot with Giants by Fred Kerber of The New York Post
Article on WR Victor Cruz: Giants Cruz in Control in Second Year by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News