Monday, October 24, 2011
Tuck's return bolsters strong line
By Ian Begley
Mathias Kiwanuka’s playing time may decrease when Justin Tuck returns. But Kiwanuka is OK with that.
“I always feel like if you’re out there on the field and you make plays, they’re going to continue to put you out on the field. They’ll get me out there. It’s just my job to make enough plays to affect the game,” Kiwanuka said.
Tuck is expected to play for the first time since Week 3 in Philadelphia this Sunday when the Giants host the winlesss Dolphins.
It is unclear how Tuck’s presence will affect the playing time of current starters, but Perry Fewell said last week that Jason Pierre Paul’s snaps are likely to decrease by ten or 15 per game with Tuck in the mix.
Fewell also envisions using a package with all Giants pass rushers (Tuck, Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Kiwanuka) on the field at the same time when Tuck returns.
As Kiwanuka aptly points out, that will be a problem for opposing offensive lines. The Giants already boast two ends who rank in the top ten in sacks (Pierre-Paul, Umenyoira). They are also tied for first in the league with 21 sacks as a team. And Tuck's presence will only make it more difficult to protect the quarterback.
“You look out on the field and you see the numbers lined up, you’ve got to pick your poison. Do you double 72 or do you double 71? Is it 91? Whoever’s out there on the field poses a big problem for the offense,” Kiwanuka said.
It reminded the six-year veteran of the Giants’ line rotation during their 2007 run to the Super Bowl.
That team featured Tuck, Kiwanuka, Umenyiora and Michael Strahan.
“The good thing about being here and doing it is that … we’ve had a lot of success in year’s past, doing it the way that were doing it,” Kiwanuka said. “So when everyone’s on board and guys are playing unselfish in terms of playing time ... that’s when we’re at our best. We know that eventually down the line everyone’s going to get a chance to shine. As long as it culminates in us holding the trophy up we’re all fine with it.”