clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jason Pierre-Paul: What is a fair expectation for New York Giants' defensive end?

New, comments

Pierre-Paul has taken a "wait and see" attitude toward 2016, only saying he is doing everything possible to be ready to play. What can he reasonably be expected to give the Giants next season? Nobody knows.

Jason Pierre-Paul sacks Cam Newton
Jason Pierre-Paul sacks Cam Newton
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

What are reasonable expectations for Jason Pierre-Paul in 2016? That is really an impossible question to answer. It's one that even Pierre-Paul, usually not shy when it comes to expressing his belief in the kind of player he is, doesn't want to touch.

"Wait and see" is all Pierre-Paul would say during a conference call on Tuesday when he was asked that question in a multitude of ways. Looking at the transcript, I counted five times JPP said "wait and see" in regards to what or the Giants' defense as a whole might be capable of in 2016. No grandiose predictions. No braggadocio. Just "wait and see."

That is probably the best stance for Pierre-Paul to take. We remain in uncharted waters with JPP. Even if, as he insists, he will be able to shed the club that rendered him unable to use his permanently disfigured right hand last season, Pierre-Paul is trying to do something unprecedented. He is trying to return to being one of the game's great defensive ends without full use, or even a full, right hand.

What is the bar? What should the expectation be? Can Pierre-Paul be the All-Pro player he was in 2011 when he had a career-high 16.5 sacks? Pierre-Paul bristled on Tuesday when that season, which he has never come close to matching, was mentioned by a questioner.

"That 2011 season is so old I am tired of people talking about it," Pierre-Paul shot back.

Truthfully, Pierre-Paul is right. We shouldn't be talking about that season any more, or as if Pierre-Paul is still that player. The JPP of 2011 is gone, and has been gone for a very long time. He has totaled 22 sacks in 51 games since then. He has had back surgery. He suffered a shoulder injury. He had one dominant five-game stretch at the end of the 2014 season in which he had nine sacks, his only truly excellent stretch of play over the past four seasons. He darn near blew his hand off a year ago.

All we really know about Pierre-Paul at this point is that he will give his best effort, and that he is already doing that in his preparation for the upcoming season.

"I am doing everything possible to get my hand in the best position to play football," said Pierre-Paul, adding that he will "be doing rehab for the rest of my life."

Pierre-Paul showed the ability to be disruptive last season despite the limitations of the club he was forced to wear. What he couldn't do was finish plays. How much that will change this season, or whether it will be enough to disrupt and give Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and the rest of the Giants defense the opportunity to make plays themselves, remains to be seen.

What should we expect from Pierre-Paul? From the revamped and as-yet unfinished Giants' defense? As Pierre-Paul said, let's just "wait and see."