If you ask Giants defensive line coach Robert Nunn, Osi Umenyiora has been the ultimate professional. He hasn’t let his holdout and unsettled contract situation affect his play or preparation at all.
“Osi has never done anything for me but come to work and do a great job,” Nunn said. “.... I don’t know if there are very many defensive ends that have better numbers than he does – the number of caused fumbles, the number of sacks, the number of quarterback hits and pressures. He does nothing for me but come to work and do an outstanding job and be a great football player. I have no reason to believe that he’s going to do anything but continue [to be great]. He’s been outstanding in the classroom as a leader and been outstanding on the field on Sundays. I honestly don’t focus on [Umenyiora's contract squabbles], don’t listen to it, don’t read about it. I try to get him not to too.”
Umenyiora staged a preseason holdout but ultimately agreed to terms with the Giants. He also sat out the first three games of the season while recovering from knee surgery.
Umenyiora is tied for fifth in the NFL with five sacks in just three games. He has forced two fumbles. Last year, he forced a league-high 10 fumbles and totaled 11.5 sacks.
“In 19 games that I’ve been with him, I’m not sure that there’s very many defensive ends that have [his] numbers,” Nunn said.
NUNN ‘AMAZED EVERY DAY’ BY PIERRE-PAUL: Here’s a scary thought for future Giants opponents: Nunn believes Jason Pierre-Paul is just scratching the surface of his ability to get to the quarterback.
“He’s a long way away from where he can get to,” Nunn said.
Pierre-Paul has dominated at times in the first six weeks. So far, the second-year player has 7.5 sacks, the second-highest total in the league.
But Nunn is most impressed by his practice habits. Pierre-Paul has filled in for Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, both of whom have sat with injuries.
"The practice field is where he’s improved the most and it’s showing up on Sundays. He’s a very unique talent. He’s got unique ability. He’s got such good quickness. Once he begins to play full speed, it’s scary," Nunn said.