What will 2014 bring for New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul? Let's look at JPP as we continue our series of layer-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp beginning July 21.
2013 Season In Review
Offseason back surgery. A shoulder injury that cost him the final five games of the season. Only two quarterback sacks. Just 27 tackles in 11 games. What adjectives should we use to describe Pierre-Paul's 2013 season. Unproductive. Miserable. Ineffective. Fruitless. Futile. They are all applicable.
2014 Season Outlook
Which Pierre-Paul will the Giants get this season? Will they see the 2011 JPP, an unstoppable player who had 16.5 sacks and earned All-Pro honors in his first season as a starter? Will they get the underwhelming Pierre-Paul of the last two years, who produced only 8.5 sacks and far too few impact plays?
The video below shows highlights of Pierre-Paul's 2013 season.
That is the player the Giants need to see in 2014. Question is, does that player still exist? He has talked ... and talked ... and talked about how he is prepared to return to his dominant form this season.
Pierre-Paul has said things like this:
"I think I've got something to prove this year. To shut a whole bunch of people up. I want to shut them up. I know what I bring to the table. I know what I can do when I'm fully healthy. It's gonna be crazy. I'm looking forward to it."
"There's no pressure on me. I'm going to go out there and play like I know how to play the game of football. ... I barely played last year. I wasn't at 100 percent. It is what it is. That was last year. This is a new season, new faces. I'm ready to get out there and show everybody."
If you read Big Blue View consistently, you know I have been critical of how much Pierre-Paul has talked about what he thinks he will do in 2014. I have written that he is the Giants' most overrated player. I have written that Pierre-Paul "needs to stop talking about what he can do, and go do it."
Does Pierre-Paul have the ability to back up his brash talk? Certainly he does. He is only 25, although it may seem like he is an old 25 since it has been so long since we have seen him at his best. Call me cynical, but there is another reason you can Pierre-Paul to play at full throttle all season. There is a boatload of money on the line. This is Pierre-Paul's contract year, and if he wants a big pay day from the Giants -- or someone else -- he has to put up a big season to earn it.
Pierre-Paul says he has lost weight, down to 270-275 from the 285 he played at last season. He says he is fully healthy, with his back and shoulder no longer a serious concern. He is motivated, at least in part by the big pile of cash that could be his is he has a monstrous season.
All signs point to a big year for Pierre-Paul. Provided, of course, that he stays healthy.