And Tracy was happy for the opportunity to work with Mathias Kiwanuka as the starting defensive ends in practice last Thursday.
Adrian Tracy has an opportunity to prove he is ready for a bigger role in the Giants' defense.
With Pierre-Paul sidelined now for an expected 12 weeks due to back surgery, Kiwanuka will clearly benefit the most and is likely to move up to the first team with Tuck.
But Tracy will see plenty of chances to prove that he is ready for a much bigger role. The young defensive end nicknamed "Yosi" -- as in Young Osi -- hopes he can help fill the void left behind by Osi Umenyiora’s departure to Atlanta and serve as the third defensive end now while JPP is sidelined.
"It is big not only for me but for everybody," Tracy said last week of the opportunity to move up with Umenyiora gone. "Somebody of that stature leaves for whatever reason, an opportunity always opens. Whoever seizes it will step in that place and hopefully that is me this year."
Tracy was drafted in the sixth round in 2010, the same year Pierre-Paul was selected 15th overall by the Giants.
But Tracy, who was converted to linebacker as a rookie, spent 2010 on injured reserve with an elbow and biceps injury. In 2011, Tracy was a practice squad player as the Giants made their Super Bowl run.
This past season, Tracy saw his first playing time, albeit sparingly. Rotating in behind a stacked rotation of Tuck, Pierre-Paul, Umenyiora and Kiwanuka, Tracy had 12 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble in 16 games.
His best game came in the Giants’ 26-3 rout in San Francisco in Week 6. Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell threw a wrinkle in his game plan by utilizing Tracy from different spots on the field. And Tracy responded with four tackles and one sack.
Tracy believes he will be able to show more of what he can do with more opportunities like that Niners game.
"I am very confident in my skills and my abilities," he said. "And I think the coaches recognize my versatility and what I can bring to the table."
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Tracy will not be the only defensive end to get a chance to show what he can do. Third-round pick Damontre Moore, 20, collected total of 26.5 sacks in three seasons at Texas A&M, including 12.5 sacks this past season.
Adewale Ojomo turned heads last summer in training camp and will certainly get a shot to do the same again this summer. And Justin Trattou is hoping to show what he can do when healthy.
"There are some flashes," head coach Tom Coughlin said of what he saw from the young pass rushers in OTA last week. "Some good things are happening. He has shown some good ability to get off on the snap ... Tracy, Moore and a couple of these guys."
There’s always a chance the Giants will go out and sign a veteran defensive end, but they may want to first see what they have in Tracy and their other young pass rushers.
"Anytime you have an opportunity, you got to take it," Tracy said of getting to work with the first team last week. "Anytime you have an opportunity and you don’t, somebody else will take it.
"For me personally," Tracy continued. "If you give me an opportunity, I will take it and make the most of it."