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“I think it’s by game plan,” the linebacker said. “Sometimes you get a lot more reps. Sometimes you don’t.”
Since he was acquired by the Giants last season, Rivers’ role has varied from week to week.
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One game he’ll be silent, and the next he will be making plays with his speed. The latter was certainly the case for the Giants last week against the Oakland Raiders and Terrelle Pryor – the quarterback who recently set an NFL record for the longest run at his position – but that wasn’t the only reason.
Rivers confirmed the adage “you play how you practice” and gave the coaching staff a reason to play him.
“The interesting thing about that was he practiced well,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said this week. “Really well, like to the point where I recognized, holy smokes, this guy is having a good week. He ran all over the place, he was very good with his assignments. I wasn’t surprised that he played well because he did practice very well.”
In the Giants’ third straight victory, Rivers finished second on the team with eight total tackles – his most as a Giant – and recorded his first sack with New York. In the previous three games, he had three combined tackles.
With the defense allowing just one touchdown in the last 3 ½ games, “we’ll see” if Rivers continues to be a factor. The game plan will dictate part of it, yes, but Rivers can stay on the main stage by producing as the Green Bay Packers come to town this Sunday.
“This week is just getting started,” Rivers said. “I’m just trying to keep it the same, have the same intensity, and just get after it in practice and let it transform to the game.
“This season I just keep fighting and just need to keep doing things the way they’re supposed to be done. Just keep chipping away at it.”
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What is said about Rivers can be echoed to Jacquian Williams.
While the Giants have found an anchor in Jon Beason – a midseason addition who Rivers said has “a lot of leadership” and is a “great guy to play with” – the outside linebackers have been rotating in different packages. But Williams, who has 27 tackles and two fumble recoveries in his third season, has figured into the defense more as of late.
After all, the Giants’ 2011 draft pick has played more games in a Giants uniform than the two other Week 10 starting linebackers combined.
“Jacquian’s played a lot of ball. Jacquian has played in the Super Bowl, and neither one of us has,” Rivers said, referring to himself and Beason. “Jacquian is a good player, and he goes and does his thing. We just all have to communicate and talk each other and be on the same page.”
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