The NFL clearly paid attention during the Super Bowl run and teams did everything they could to slow the pass rush and prevent the Giants from repeating. Nevertheless, general manager Jerry Reese said Wednesday that the defensive end must overcome it and knows just the man Pierre-Paul needs to talk to.
“The guy I’d love for him to talk to in the offseason some is Michael Strahan,” Reese told WFAN’s Mike Francesa Thursday afternoon, referencing the Giants' all-time sack leader. “Because after Michael became the superstar defensive end, he was getting double teamed, he was getting chipped, but he was still getting sacks. So the great ones still get through there and still make plays. And he’s got to do that. He can’t give up, like, ‘Wow, they’re double teaming, they’re triple teaming me, I’m getting chipped, they’re high-low’ing me, they’re doing everything to me.’
“It’s frustrating for a young player, but to be a superstar defensive end or pass rusher in this league, you have to beat those double-team blocks. I’m going to reach out to Michael Strahan this offseason to see if we can have him have some conversations with JPP and just tell him, look, it’s inside your chest a lot of it, you’ve got to have the heart to do it. And I think he does. But I think if he hears it from somebody like Michael Strahan, that will really encourage him.”
Despite whatever drop-off there was, Pierre-Paul was again named to the Pro Bowl – the Giants’ only starter this year in Hawaii – but the concern was part of a larger picture. The Giants finished with 33 sacks (22nd in the NFL), which was down from 48 (3rd) in 2011.
“I’d like to make some excuses for them, we didn’t get the job done,” Reese said. “That’s the number one thing I can tell you – we didn’t get the job done. And again, you can say, well, other teams prepare for this Giants pass rush, they get the ball out of the quarterbacks’ hands more quickly, they chip on these guys. So they do a lot of different things. I said the other day the other teams’ coaches get paid as well. So there were some things to try to counter our pass rush, but the number one thing, we didn’t get it done. The pass rush didn’t get it done, and they feel badly about it. Those guys have a lot of pride up front.”