JPP gets Pro Bowl bid -- and maybe rest

December, 28, 2011
12/28/11
3:37
PM ET
Jason Pierre-Paul hopes he has grander plans during the week of the Pro Bowl.

"I got the news and it was a great thing," Pierre-Paul said of being named to his first Pro Bowl on Tuesday night. "Hopefully, I won't get to see it (by playing in the Super Bowl)."

While Pierre-Paul hopes his team gets to play for the title, the second-year defensive end said it was exciting to find out that he had been named to his first Pro Bowl. Pierre-Paul was one of two Giants to be named to the team, despite not even being on the fans' ballot.

"All year I've been getting brief about it and stuff but I didn't really care about it," Pierre-Paul said. "At the end of the day people decide who is going to be in there and I just continue to play football."

With Pierre-Paul not being on the fans ballot, he faced an uphill climb to make the team as the fans account for one-third of the voting. The coaches and players' votes account for the other two-thirds of the vote.

The raw defensive end made a great enough impression on the rest of the league that he was nominated to the team alongside Minnesota's Jared Allen and Philadelphia's Jason Babin. Pierre-Paul has 81 tackles (62 solo tackles), 15.5 sacks and two forced fumbles on the year, as well as two Defensive Player of the Week wards.

"It was coaches and players so it was basically the fans vote, so it was a good thing," Pierre-Paul said of it being a compliment that the coaches and players voted him on.

In the last four weeks, Pierre-Paul has started at right defensive end for the Giants in place of the injured Osi Umenyiora. With Umenyiora practicing this week and possibly making his return after missing the past four games, it's unknown at this point whether the newly anointed Pro Bowler will continue to hold his starting spot if Umenyiora returns.

In the five games in which Umenyiora and Justin Tuck have played together, Pierre-Paul, who is fourth in the league in sacks, only started once and came off the bench in the duo's last four games together. Umenyiora has seven sacks and two forced fumbles in eight games.

"I don't really care like I said last time," Pierre-Paul said about starting. "It doesn't matter if I start or not. I'm going to still play hard no matter what."

With Umenyiora back in the fold, it should help the Giants' pass rush. The team brings back another high-quality lineman to add into the rotation as they try to get after the quarterbacks. Pierre-Paul said that the team has packages for Umenyiora that will help their gameplan but there is also another benefit to him: rest.

"The rest will help me a lot," Pierre-Paul said. "It gets me going even more because like 80 snaps a game, that's a lot. But you don't really think about it. You just got to go."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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