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Eisen's Mailbag: Analyzing the pass rush


Do you think our current defensive ends have the talent to bring a rush that could resemble that of the rotation of (Michael) Strahan, Osi (Umenyiora), (Justin) Tuck, Kiwi (Mathias Kiwanuka) and (Dave) Tollefson? I know there are major differences, but I was curious.** -Max

Dear Max:
As you noted, that was a pretty formidable group – though it was seldom intact. Strahan missed much of the 2006 season – when Kiwanuka was a rookie - with a foot injury. In 2007, Kiwanuka was moved to strongside linebacker and broke his fibula in November, ending his season. That was Strahan's final year. And Umenyiora missed the entire 2008 season with a knee injury. Regarding the current defensive ends, much depends on how well Jason Pierre-Paul plays. If he approaches the 16.5 sacks he had in 2011, the entire group will benefit. But if he has 2.0 sacks, as he did last year, opposing offenses won't commit as many blockers to him and someone else will have to step up.

What happened to Jake Ballad after he was released by the Patriots? And also Kevin Boss?

Dear Steve:
Ballard is a member of the Arizona Cardinals. He signed with them on Nov. 4, 2013 and played in eight games last season. Ballard caught seven passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns. He hopes to play a larger role on the team this season. Boss played one season each for Oakland and Kansas City (where he appeared in only two games in 2012). He is now retired.

Now that the draft is over and ignoring the obvious question about the TE position, what are your concerns regarding the team as it is currently constructed ?

Dear Robert:
I don't know that I would call them concerns. There is certainly an eagerness to see how all of the new additions, both veterans and rookies, fit in their roles and mesh together, particularly on the offensive line and in the secondary. It will be exciting to see Odell Beckham Jr., both at wide receiver and as a returner. I'm confident the team will be improved. Obviously, I am not a personnel expert. But Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin have excellent track records. My faith is strong that they made good personnel decisions and the team will reap the reward in the fall.

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