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Jason Pierre-Paul confident he can return to Pro Bowl form

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JPP discusses his offseason, looks forward to '14.


This was not the year Jason Pierre-Paul had envisioned for himself.

After a disappointing 2012 campaign, back surgery derailed the start of JPP's 2013. And by the time the Pro Bowler was nearing mid-season form, a shoulder injury cost him the final five games of the season.

Maintaining a positive attitude, Pierre-Paul is already focused on rebounding next year.

' I know what I bring to the table and what I bring to this team.' - Jason Pierre-Paul

"The offseason: go hard, train very hard and get back healthy," he said. "That's my level. If I do that everything will fall in my favor. ... I'm going to get started on (rehabbing) very quickly. It's not going to be an offseason for me. I'm going to spend that time getting healthy and going into training. I'll be here most of the time, and that's basically it."

Pierre-Paul said his shoulder feels good right now, with his range of motion improving. He's begun to lift weights, and by the end of January it will be determined whether or not surgery will be required.

"I want to be 100 percent," Pierre-Paul said. "I don't want to go into the season iffy about it and then fall off short and have to do surgery again. That's not my goal. My goal is to find out right away if I need it and take care of it and come back healthy."

Consecutive down years after his breakout 2011 campaign has not discouraged Pierre-Paul.

"I don't have any doubt at all (if I can return to the high level of play," Pierre-Paul said. "There's no question in my head because I know what I bring to the table and what I bring to this team. You can't put that on a pedestal.

"At the end of the day it's been a very tough season for me, but I have to look past that. I was injured, fighting injuries all through the season, but I'm not mad at it. This is football; you never know what's going to happen. ... The only thing I can do now is learn from it, get back healthy and just get out there next year."

This offseason the New York Giants front office will have to make a tough decision on fellow defensive lineman Justin Tuck, a career Giant who just finished the final year of his deal. And JPP would be shocked if Tuck doesn't line up beside him next fall.

Next year will be a contract year for Pierre-Paul, who must remain healthy and rediscover his productivity to receive a deal from the organization. Of course, he has no doubts.

"My plan is to take care of my contract, and I know that I'm going to perform very well," he said. "(Justin and I) are two different people. I know what I bring to the table. Everybody on this teams knows. Even the players know, so I'm good."