As if he wasn’t busy enough already, Michael Strahan is being asked by his former team to help them fix another New York Giant defensive end, Jason Pierre-Paul. JPP had 16.5 sacks in 2011 but only 6.5 this year.
Jerry Reese, joined Mike Francesa on WFAN yesterday to discuss the state of the Giants and the future of the team for next season. One of the main discussions was the disappearance of the defensive line.
Our sources tell us Mike was awake for this part of the interview, but nothing has been confirmed.
“I would like to make some excuses for them but (the pass rush) didn’t get the job done…” Reese said. “Other coaches get paid as well and they did some things to counter our pass rush but the number one thing; we didn’t get it done.”
The combination of JPP, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora (who is halfway out the door), Chris Canty and Linval Joseph combined for 36.5 sacks last year. This year they totaled 23.5, with Joseph being the only one who improved from last season with four to last years two.
JPP is the new star of the d-line and Reese knows it, so he wants the single season sack king to help JPP get back on track with his career.
“I’m going to reach out to Michael Strahan this offseason to see if we can have some conversations with JPP and just tell him, ‘Look, it’s inside your chest, a lot of it,’” Reese said. “‘You’ve got to have the heart to do it.’ I think he does, but I think if he heard it from somebody like Michael Strahan, that would really encourage him.”
Reese did say he would like to make excuses for the struggles of the d-line, but he wasn’t letting Pierre-Paul make one. The Pro Bowler did admit this season that he was frustrated with the double teams, but Reese isn’t letting that be an excuse because Strahan can teach him how to get the job done.
“After Michael became a superstar defensive end, he was getting double-teamed, he was getting chipped, but he was still getting sacks,” Reese said. “So the great ones still get through there and make plays. And he’s got to do that. He can’t give up, like ‘Wow, they’re double-teaming me, they’re triple-teaming me, they’re high-lowing me, they’re doing everything to me.’ That’s frustrating to a young player. But to be a superstar defensive end, a pass rusher in this league, you have to beat those double-team blocks.”
Strahan, Reggie White, Deacon Jones, Bruce Smith, you name them; they were all in this spot. The Deacon Jones’ and Reggie Whites’ of the NFL thrive on the competition of the double team and it made them train harder, play harder, and made them hungrier. Their results? Hall of Famers.
It will be tough for JPP to schedule Strahan though, he only hosts two massively popular TV shows that shoot on both coasts in America. Knowing what we know about Jerry Reese, this will get taken care of.