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Mathias kiwanuka

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this is a great move on the Giants part to get him on the field and to gain more playing time.

But what if he get injured? who will be there to take his place? who is his back up?

 

or if Strahan gets hurt Mathias will hae to step up to DE then who is going to fill in his spot? Deossi, Mitchell, Blackburn?

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Strahan gets hurt Tuck comes in. Awasom comes next. The team has committed to Kiwi being a LB and I heard he has been doing a decent job at it.

 

As far as replacements for Kiwi if he were to go down, you listed the obvious candidates. Torbor would be in there as well.

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*Gasp* What if Eli Manning gets hurt!?*

 

*Gasp* what if Kareem Mckenzie or David Diehl, or Shockey, Demps, Wilson, Pierce or Ohara get hurt!?"

 

We are thin in a lot of places dude, it's bound to happen, hopefully, players can step in and take it up a notch and at least be a suitable replacement, no sense worrying about it...

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*Gasp* What if Eli Manning gets hurt!?*

 

*Gasp* what if Kareem Mckenzie or David Diehl, or Shockey, Demps, Wilson, Pierce or Ohara get hurt!?"

 

We are thin in a lot of places dude, it's bound to happen, hopefully, players can step in and take it up a notch and at least be a suitable replacement, no sense worrying about it...

 

if demps gets hurt, than we will automatically become a better team

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*Gasp* What if Eli Manning gets hurt!?*

 

*Gasp* what if Kareem Mckenzie or David Diehl, or Shockey, Demps, Wilson, Pierce or Ohara get hurt!?"

 

We are thin in a lot of places dude, it's bound to happen, hopefully, players can step in and take it up a notch and at least be a suitable replacement, no sense worrying about it...

 

I wasn't gasping I was just contemplating

 

isn't Tuck still injured? or was it Torbor?

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I wasn't gasping I was just contemplating

 

isn't Tuck still injured? or was it Torbor?

 

Tuck and Strahan are both still dealing with their injuries.

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Kiwanuka was our best LB in pass coverage last year anyway.... :ph34r:

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Perhaps the bottom line on Mathias Kiwanuka’s position shift can best be summarized thusly: as a rookie last season his primary practice task was pressuring Eli Manning or Jared Lorenzen. This season it’s chasing Jeremy Shockey.

 

“He has worked real hard at this challenge. And he has been in there on the days when we haven’t worked. He was in there (the day before the start of minicamp) for a couple of hours. He is trying to catch up on all of the learning and all of the things that could happen for him so he would be comfortable in this new role. Every day is a new challenge for him. But he is starting to get it, starting to look better.”

- Coach Tom Coughlin on

DE Mathias Kiwanuka

Kiwanuka, the Giants’ first-round draft choice in 2006, has moved from defensive end to strongside linebacker, filling a void left by the offseason departures of LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons. As an end, which he played in high school and at Boston College, Kiwanuka’s first step at the snap of the ball was always forward. At linebacker, his initial move is often back to cover tight ends like Shockey, whom he shadowed during the three-day mini-camp that ended today.

 

“I’m getting used to it,” Kiwanuka said. “With a lot of those reads what is going to take the most time is just the recognition of who I’m supposed to be looking at. What they are doing at the snap of the ball is coming along, too.”

 

Kiwanuka spent this offseason taking an intensive course in Linebacker 101. He met regularly with position coach Bill Sheridan. He received advice from experienced players at the position, notably Pro Bowler Antonio Pierce. And he learned in what amounted to a month-long, on-field lab during the Giants’ organized team activities and mini-camp.

 

The next stage in the learning process will begin on July 27, when the players report to training camp at the University at Albany. That’s where Kiwanuka will play his new position in full pads for the first time.

 

There’s a long way to go before the season opens in Dallas on Sept. 9, but the early reviews are favorable.

 

“He has worked real hard at this challenge,” Coach Tom Coughlin said. “And he has been in there on the days when we haven’t worked. He was in there (the day before the start of minicamp) for a couple of hours. He is trying to catch up on all of the learning and all of the things that could happen for him so he would be comfortable in this new role. Every day is a new challenge for him. But he is starting to get it, starting to look better.”

 

“He’s doing good,” said Pierce, who keeps close tabs on how every defensive player is performing. “I think he is going through the transition anybody goes through when they change positions. He is going from where his hands are always down to knowing he has to read if it’s run or pass. On the D-line you just react to the tight end or to the tackle or whoever is in front of you. I think for his learning curve and for him to pick up and learn what he has to do, he is doing that great. Now it’s just going to come down to him knowing the difference between run and pass or what he’s going to get now that he is off the ball all the time. He just needs to get comfortable being off the ball.”

 

Kiwanuka is not yet completely at ease carrying out his new assignment, nor is he a fish out of water. With each practice he is more at home and more confident he will be a formidable foe for opponents to deal with.

 

“I feel good,” Kiwanuka said. “It’s closer and closer everyday. Obviously, you are working toward a goal of not making any mistakes out there. But I can see the mistakes I am making are going down every practice, so I’m starting to feel more comfortable about it.”

 

Among the teammates who have been impressed with Kiwanuka’s transition is Shockey. The strongside linebacker usually lines up opposite the tight end and often covers him on passing plays. It didn’t take Shockey long to realize going up against Kiwanuka in practice is preferable to tangling with him in a game.

 

“Kiwanuka is very athletic,” Shockey said. “Kiwi was a real, real big defensive end when he got drafted and I think he’s smart enough, fast enough, he’s got the athletic ability to where I think he can definitely make the transition, no problem.”

 

If Kiwanuka can stay with a four-time Pro Bowler, he should be able to cover just about any tight end in the NFL.

 

“Playing against Shockey really helps (Kiwanuka) in pass coverage,” Pierce said. “In the run, he went against him last year when he had to block him. We face a lot of good tight ends in our division and I think that gives him the realization of how this league is. Now you got to try to go up the middle, got to run across, run sideways, so it lets him know the speed of the game from a good tight end like him, one of the best in the league right now.”

 

Kiwanuka can be exceptionally difficult to match up against because he is 6-5 and has very long arms that will enable him to knock down a lot of passes in his area.

 

“Kiwanuka has an advantage,” Shockey said. “He’s very tall, he can bat the ball down. He’s a defensive lineman standing up, so it really causes mismatches for the offense. And he’s a very smart person, so the transition will be very smooth for him and he won’t have problems adjusting.”

 

Following this morning's practice, Coughlin summed up Kiwanuka's development. "I feel good about where he is," said the head coach. "He has obviously gone through the initial process of being out of position and not knowing responsibilities and all of that. We are to the point now where he is a presence out there. Even if you just look at - after he makes the zone drop – the width of his arms and trying to get the ball over or around him. And then when he rushes he is obviously a difficult guy to block and also he is a difficult guy to get the ball over when he is rushing. So I feel pretty good about it. We really have gone into some of our different packages and he has been able to show that he is comfortable in moving and comfortable in getting himself aligned properly. We have a ways to go, obviously. But I do think that he is real excited about it and I think, based on what I saw this offseason with him being in the coaches’ office pretty much every day the whole offseason – he will probably do the same thing now for the next few weeks."

 

Playing end, Kiwanuka made important contributions to the Giants’ defense as a rookie. He played in all 17 regular season and postseason games with 10 starts – five at each end.

 

Kiwanuka finished the season with 55 tackles (41 solo), 23 quarterback hurries, 16 quarterback hits, four sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

 

This season, he will try to make a bigger impact as a pro sophomore while playing a new position.

 

“The biggest thing for him is learning the difference between run and pass, because you can’t look like you are blitzing on every play, you can’t just run forward into the backfield,” Pierce said. “But that just comes with time. I can’t teach him that, the coaches can’t. It comes with repetition, with being on the field and having physical play. You can watch it on film all day and it’s easy because you have the remote. If we had that movie “Click” in the NFL, it would work, but we don’t. I think once you get over that part, everything else will come natural because he is a natural football player, he has great instincts and he knows how to play ball.”

 

Kiwanuka wouldn’t be as far along without having Pierce as a mentor. Asked who has been most helpful, Kiwanuka quickly said, “Definitely A,P., hands down. There is a lot of communication out there, but for me as a linebacker and for a lot of players on the team it comes from A.P. to the rest of the defense. He helps with everything - getting you in position, helping your recognition on things and giving you things that he’s seen from years being in the league. And Reggie Torbor is a transition guy. He switched from defensive end to linebacker. He knows what I am going through so I use him as a resource, too.”

 

Pierce said the aid he provides to Kiwanuka helps the entire defense.

 

“It helps me, because if I can tell him what to do, then I know what to do,” Pierce said. “I am definitely trying to help him because everything this year is going to be new, from the standpoint of seeing run, knowing the difference between when a lineman is leaning forward or leaning back inside the guard-center box. So I just try to give him the little tidbits I know from being in the league. When we are out there lining up and I can see he is having a mental freeze, I can tell him. This is a new defense for us and we’re trying to learn everything.”

 

Kiwanuka just has to learn a little bit more.

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Yeah, it seems to be coming along great. Kiwanuka is a beast, and only gettin better. And what pumps me is that AP is givin him advice, watchin the D. I love Antonio, hes a stud. I think the kids to athletic to stay at DE anyway, I think he'll turn into an awesome LB anyway.

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Yeah, it seems to be coming along great. Kiwanuka is a beast, and only gettin better. And what pumps me is that AP is givin him advice, watchin the D. I love Antonio, hes a stud. I think the kids to athletic to stay at DE anyway, I think he'll turn into an awesome LB.

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if demps gets hurt, than we will automatically become a better team

 

OUCH!!

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Can't wait to see him on the blitz.

 

Ditto, that should be interesting. If this DeOssie kid pans out like we're thinkin, that could be one bad ass LB corps!

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