Pierre-Paul not worried about lack of sacks

August, 20, 2014
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There's been so much talk about the New York Giants' anemic offense of late, the team's defense has flown under the radar.

That unit was underrated overall last season, and added some very talented players in the offseason, particularly in the secondary. But pressuring the quarterback is still a huge key.

The Giants were tied for 25th in the NFL in sacks (34) last season, and team leader Justin Tuck (11) is now with the Oakland Raiders.

The team's best remaining pass-rusher is Jason Pierre-Paul, and he has been pegged by many as the key to the team's success this season on defense -- including general manager Jerry Reese.

Thus, some might view the fact that Pierre-Paul has yet to record a sack through three preseason games as a concern. But Pierre-Paul himself disagrees.

"It's not important at all," Pierre-Paul said Wednesday. "We only get 25 snaps, that's not a realistic number for me to play. ... You don't get a feel of what the offensive tackle's doing or the inside rusher. I'm not worried about sacks in the preseason. Wait a couple weeks and we'll see."

The Giants are desperately hoping for a bounce-back season from Pierre-Paul, who was fourth in the NFL with 16.5 sacks in 2011, but had just 8.5 in 2012 and 2013 combined.

Health has been an issue the past two years, but Pierre-Paul says he's not limited in any way right now.

"I'm fine," he said. "Every day I'm still working on my technique, that's with everybody too. But as far as health-wise I'm fine. I'm out there every day doing what I can."

The Giants have eight sacks total in the first three preseason games, but none from a player pegged to be a starter come Week 1.

"We've still got work to do as far as the front [four]," Pierre-Paul said. "We've got a lot of work to do. We have a couple weeks left and hopefully we'll get it right."

Later, he expressed confidence we'll see better performances once we reach the regular season.

"I know the guys will pick it up," Pierre-Paul said. "I'm not saying they do slack but come the first game you'll see a big difference in the defense and the offense."

Only time will tell.
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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