Friday, August 2, 2013
Kiwanuka delighted with new role
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mathias Kiwanuka only has to go to one position meeting right now.
That’s because, for the time being anyway, Kiwanuka isn’t rotating between linebacker and defensive end. He’s just playing defensive end.
“Never say never,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Friday, when asked if there is always going to be a temptation to move Kiwanuka back to linebacker. “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.”
Mathias Kiwanuka (94) is back where he wants to be, among the Giants' D-linemen.
Kiwanuka, 30, called playing defensive end “great” and “fun.”
“I mean, that’s the position I was naturally born to play I feel like, so I’m just having fun being back out here,” he said.
When was the last time he played just one position?
“I couldn’t tell you. We’d have to go to the film on that one,” Kiwanuka said, adding that he thinks it was his second year in the NFL.
Again, fewer positions means less meetings.
“It’s definitely easier because you’re not worried about what’s being said in the other meeting room -- what’s being said, trying to track coaches down in their off time to get all the rest of the information,” Kiwanuka said. “Whatever this team wants me to do, I’ll do it. As long as we get some wins out of it, I’m good for it.”
Kiwanuka, who posted a career-high 8.5 sacks in 2008, was asked if he has set any statistical goals for himself.
“I don’t go through my goals publicly, but I have goals,” he said. “I think the main thing for us as a group, as a team, is to make sure that not only do we make it to the playoffs but we have a successful season in our eyes, which is a Super Bowl championship.”
The Giants love the toughness Kiwanuka brings to the gridiron.
“I feel like we’re always tough. Maybe it didn’t show up on film but you guys can critique my game and I know personally I take pride in being a tough guy when I go out there on the field,” Kiwanuka said. “For that to be called into question, I know it will be a point of emphasis for me and other guys out there.”