Friday, January 4, 2013

Giants GM will reach out to Strahan to help JPP

Jason Pierre-Paul went from being one of the best pass rushers in the NFL last season to being just another body on the New York Giants seemingly overwhelmed defensive line in 2012.

Even after being selected to his second straight Pro-Bowl, JPP said he wasn't happy to see his production fall to 6-1/2 sacks in 2012 from 16-1/2 in a breakout season in 2011.

General manager Jerry Reese has sensed the 24-year-old defensive end's frustration at his drop in his numbers and says he plans to contact a former Giants star pass rusher for help in building the young player's confidence.

"I plan to reach out to Michael Strahan this offseason," Reese told WFAN Thursday. "To see if he can have some conversations with JPP.

"If he hears it from somebody like Michael Strahan, it will really encourage him."

Strahan recorded 141-1/2 sacks over his 15-year career —including a Brett Favre-assisted record 22-1/2 in 2001.  And the gap-toothed DE did it without the benefit of a premium defensive line for the most part.

Reese sounds convinced a motivational speech from the future Hall-of-Famer will help JPP break out of his funk.

"After Michael became a superstar defensive end, he was getting double-teamed, he was getting chipped, but he was still getting sacks," Reese said.  "So the great ones still get through there and make plays."

It's wasn't hard to see that offenses focused on Pierre-Paul this past season and the added abuse from offensive linemen wore him down. No sacks in the final seven games of the season will attest to that.

"I'm not having that fun I'm used to," he admitted about the high expectations after last year's Super Bowl went down with the Giants pass rush.

Reese hopes Strahan — who altered his own type of pass rush to fight through the double-teams — can get JPP to follow suit.

"You have to have the heart to do it," said Reese. "He [JPP] can't give up, like 'Wow, they're double-teaming me, they're triple-teaming me, they're high-lowing me.'  That's frustrating to a young player.  But to be a superstar defensive end , a pass rusher in this league, you have to beat those double-team blocks."

Strahan never shied away from the spotlight and probably thought of triple-teams as an audience.  The former Giants team leader  is probably the busiest guy in show biz right now — outside of Ryan Seacrest —  co-hosting "Live with Kelly and Michael" during the week and the "NFL on FOX" Sundays.

I'm sensing a special episode of Live.

If anyone could cheer up the despondent JPP it's Strahan's perky co-host Kelly Ripa.

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