Do the Giants Have the Personnel to Keep the DE Rotation Alive?
John Fennelly , Executive Editor
Osi Umenyiora has not caught on with a new club as of yet, but with him certain to be out of the Giants’ DE rotation, will it even continue to exist? We think they’ll figure it out even if the esteemed Dan Pompei of the National Football Post reports differently….
It is expected that free agent Osi Umenyiora will not return to the Giants, so the team is planning to compensate by using its remaining pass rushers differently. Instead of playing a rotation in which three men split the snaps pretty evenly as the Giants did last year, I’m told Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck will get the majority of the snaps. And Giants coaches don’t want the ends flipping sides as much. The early talk out of the Timex Performance Center is Pierre Paul may become a full-time left end, with Tuck concentrating on the right side.
He’s probably correct in the sense those two will see the lion’s share of the snaps in 2013. But that depends on if Tuck returns to form. He’s had two down seasons in row and he needs to turn his game around for Pompei’s assessment to come to fruition.
By moving JPP to the left side, he will draw right tackles, not the more pass-blocking savvy left tackles of the league. That solves one problem. His numbers should rebound. But Tuck. the Giants’ defensive captain, is the variable in this equation. What happens if he continues to decline?
The Giants have four other DEs on the roster, unfortunately all of them are largely unproven. Adrien Tracy, Adewale Ojomo, Matt Broha and Justin Trattou all have shown promise, but none appear ready to play at the level of Tuck and JPP in a rotation. Mathias Kiwanuka is listed as a LB, although he does on occasion put his hand in the dirt at DE.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility the Giants will take a look at a veteran, but the price would have to be right. Dave Tollefson, who was once part of the Giants’ rotation was released by Oakland the other day.
A more likely scenario would be a rookie. There are several that may be available to the Giants early in the draft. Ezekial Ansah, Bjorn Werner, Damontre Moore are the top-rated choices. Florida DE Cornelius “Tank” Carradine has been likened to Tuck, but his college career ended in November when he blew out his ACL. If he is there in Round 2, the Giants might take a look.