The same week Mathias Kiwanuka won NFC Defensive Player of the Week as a linebacker after earning the honor as a defensive end in Week 8 of 2008, Kevin Boothe lined up at his third spot in two seasons.
Kiwanuka earned his latest recognition with a 12-tackle, one-interception performance against the Patriots. Meanwhile, Boothe played center for the injured David Baas, two weeks after starting in place of a concussed Chris Snee at right guard.
The two have recognized each other's versatility.
"I've noticed it," Boothe said. "I think a lot of guys on offense have noticed just how natural he looks playing linebacker, and that's not, I guess, his normal position. I guess it's just a testament to how hard he works and prepares himself because at the drop of a dime, he's playing defensive end and then the next play he's going back and playing linebacker, which can't be easy. He's doing both, and he's doing both well."
"You think about somebody who's asked to play one, two, even three positions sometimes," Kiwanuka said. "That's triple the amount of learning that the average player has to do, depending on what position he's playing. So, first, the most important thing is to be unselfish as an individual and be able to commit and do what the team asks you. But after that, you have to have the mental capacity to do it."
Boothe, a three-time All-Ivy League offensive lineman at Cornell, has played right tackle, center, and both guard positions during his tenure with the Giants. Last season, Boothe started at left guard in five games after Shaun O'Hara's injury forced another former Giant to take his place at center. That player was Rich Seubert, a man Boothe reminds Kiwanuka of.
"I think going back to when we had Rich Seubert, that was kind of his role, too," Kiwanuka recalled. "He was kind of like the first aid kit for the o-line. So I look at Boothe the same way. There are a lot of teams in this league where he would be very effective, if not a great starter. Being here and having the personnel that we have, he's asked to do some different things, and the man doesn't complain. He goes out there, he plays hard and does what he's asked to do and does it very well. I definitely take my hat off to him. I watch him, we talk. I watch him when he's out there. I respect it a lot."Join other diehard Giants Fans!
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