“Where I’m going, they don’t even celebrate the Fourth of July,” was the statement made by Jason Pierre-Paul when he was asked about his holiday plans during the team’s OTAs this week.
It’s now been almost a year since the Giants’ defensive end was involved in a horrific Forth of July fireworks accident that left him without an index finger and ended his chances at any long-term deal with the Giants, at least for the foreseeable future. We may never be able to un-see those gruesome images of his mutilated right hand, but we can speculate about what this year means for the newly reinvigorated JPP.
After playing part of the 2015 season with a club on his hand, he’s now upgraded to a custom-made UnderArmour glove that he believes will vastly improve his playing abilities.
The former star DE claims he has made big strides in overcoming his injury this offseason saying, “I won’t say it is normal, but it is normal for me. I can deal with it.” He then added, “I am going to be making more tackles (this year). I’m not playing with the club. When you are playing with a closed fist in a wrap, you aren’t going to be able to do anything with that.”
Pierre-Paul, who’s currently under a one-year $10 million contract, played in eight games last season and recorded only one tackle, but he’s not letting his disappointing 2015 season stop him from moving forward. Although Pierre-Paul opted out of the teams OTAs before the incident last year, that’s not the case this time around.
“He has bulked back up and you can see he’s getting more accustomed to using the hand in the state that it is in,” said Giants’s right tackle, Marshall Newhouse. “He’s still quick, still long-limbed, just still a really instinctive defensive end and I feel like he’s making me better,” he added.
Aside from his improved physical abilities, JPP has made a point in keeping a positive mindset in the wake of tragedy. Coach Ben McAdoo also said that attending offseason practices are crucial for Pierre-Paul this offseason.
“You can tell he’s definitely improved his fundamentals. He’s always been a very disruptive player, and we expect that to continue.” commented McAdoo.
If JPP is able to adjust to his new normal in the way he claims he’ll be able to, there’s no reason why he won’t be just as good as he was before last year.
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