Giants News | New York Giants –

Mathias Kiwanuka focused on D-Line role


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –**In his first seven seasons with the Giants, Mathias Kiwanuka started 61 games – 31 at defensive end and 30 at linebacker. The versatile defender has been moved by the coaching staff to wherever he was most needed. In 2012, he opened the year as the strongside linebacker, but was playing up front more often in the latter part of the season. Tom Coughlin and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell decided early in the offseason that Kiwanuka would again be a full-time lineman, a decision that seemed prescient when Jason Pierre-Paul underwent back surgery late in the spring.

Kiwanuka, the Giants' first-round draft choice in 2006, had 3.5 sacks in 2011 and 3.0 last year; his career high is 8.0 in 2008. He has been working as the first-team right end throughout camp and believes playing one position will help increase his productivity.



Hakeem Nicks updates status
Hakeem Nicks met with the media to update his status for practice

Fact or Fiction: Best Player at Camp

The staff debates who has made the biggest impression...

Analyzing the Depth Chart
Taking a closer look at the Giants newly released unofficial depth chart...

"I think it will have a huge effect," Kiwanuka said today at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "Sitting in one room, you can focus on one job and one task. I feel like it puts you in a much better competitive advantage to watch film, to study, to work on your own technique."

In recent seasons, Kiwanuka has shuttled between the defensive line and the linebacker meeting rooms and practiced at both positions. He did not miss a game the previous two seasons, but believes he can increase his tackles, sacks and pressures by focusing on just one spot.

"It's definitely easier, because you're not worrying about what you're missing in the other meeting room and what's being said and trying to track coaches down, in their off time, to get all the rest of the information," Kiwanuka said. "Whatever this team asks me to do, I'm going to do it.  As long as we get some wins out of this, I'm good for it."

Tom Coughlin was asked if he's noticed the impact of playing solely at defensive end has had on Kiwanuka.

"Sure, absolutely," the head coach said. "Just the way he carries himself. He's worked very hard and it looks like his confidence level is way up there, because he's got his hand on the ground. I know he's enjoying it. It's going to benefit all of us, him moving back to end."

But if the Giants need a linebacker, will Coughlin be tempted to move him back. 

"The more you can do," Coughlin said. "Hopefully that won't be the case, but never say never."

*The Giants today practiced in full pads for the first time this summer.

"Had the pads on, had a little 9 on 7 (running drill)," Coughlin said. "It went okay, but you can see we have a lot of work to do. The majority of the day was more of a third down type of a day. The first group had a pretty good two-minute drill. The defense really did make a couple of plays, but we've got a ways to go with that phase of it."

*Cornerback Corey Webster has "a little strain in the groin area" and "has some down time to rest," Coughlin said. Aaron Ross played left corner with the first team today.

*The Giants have moved the start of practice tomorrow up 30 minutes, to 1 p.m. The change was made to accommodate the Giants contingent traveling to Canton, Ohio for Bill Parcells' Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Reminder: Sunday's practice is closed to the public because of the International Champions Cup Soccer doubleheader in MetLife Stadium. The players are off on Monday and the team will resume practice on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

*Training camp attendance: 1,303 on Tuesday and 1,779 today.

*MSG Network is hosting "Giants Training Camp Live" on Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. "Giants Training Camp Live" returns Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. live, and repeated at 7:30 and 11 p.m.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.