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New York Giants might be considering less rotation at defensive end in 2013

Could the Giants be considering a change in how they use their defensive ends in 2013? Dan Pompei of the National Football Post raised the possibility over the weekend.


Last season many New York Giants' fans clamoring for Jason Pierre-Paul to play more defensive end snaps and lless defensive tackle snaps. Well, that might be in the works. During my morning reading on Sunday I stumbled across this nugget from National Football Post's Dan Pompei:

It is expected that free agent Osi Umenyiora will not return to the Giants, so the team is planning to compensate by using its remaining pass rushers differently. Instead of playing a rotation in which three men split the snaps pretty evenly as the Giants did last year, I’m told Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck will get the majority of the snaps. And Giants coaches don’t want the ends flipping sides as much. The early talk out of the Timex Performance Center is Pierre-Paul may become a full-time left end, with Tuck concentrating on the right side.

The immediate thing that sticks out is that Pompei mentions Pierre-Paul at left defensive end and Tuck at right defensive end. This seems peculiar because Tuck has been the Giants left defensive end the past few seasons and last year Pierre Paul started at right defensive end 14 games, though according to Pro Football Focus he started the last two games of the season at left defensive end.

According to PFF, JPP spent 57.9 percent of his defensive end snaps at right defensive end, while Tuck spent just 2.1 percent of his at right defensive end.

But that's not the only interesting question that arises from this report. Here is what else I'm wondering about this potential switch.

- If JPP and Tuck are going to get the majority of the snaps because the Giants don't want to have a heavy rotation does that mean that Mathias Kiwanuka is penciled in at strongside linebacker? Last year, Kiwanuka did not seem to be on the field as much at linebacker, and I've always thought his more natural position was defensive end, What the Giants plan to do with Kiwanuka could be very telling as to what they plan on doing in the draft. If Kiwanuka moves back to defensive end the Giants need to add another strongside linebacker. If he stays at strongside linebacker they could be in the market for another defensive end. Or perhaps, what they end up doing the rest of the off-season will dictate what happens with Kiwanuka.

- If the Giants are moving away from a rotation what does that mean for Adewale Ojomo and Adrian Tracy. Many of us here would like to see the young guys get some more snaps. Ojomo, especially was impressive last pre-season. Are the Giants unconvinced of their potential?

- What does this mean for the NASCAR package if anything at all? If it is true that they are going to go with less of a rotation it would seem likely that the NASCAR package would not be featured as prominently as it has been recently?

Of course, this could all be off-season conjecture and speculation, but it was of enough curiosity for me to mention -- after all, JPP is the Giants best defensive player and could be making a full-time switch to another position along the defensive line.