After a season where his production was down due to a club he wore to protect his injured right hand, Jason Pierre-Paul is optimistic that 2016 will be a showcase year for him with the New York Giants.
A now infamous fireworks accident last Fourth of July maimed Pierre-Paul’s hand, costing him training camp, preseason and the first eight games of the regular season. He seemed to struggle at times with his new reality but an offseason procedure and a new glove leaves the Giants defensive end optimistic that he’ll be in for a bigger impact this season.
“I’m not worried about any club. My hand feels great, no complaining or anything. I’ve been training hard and getting after it,” Pierre-Paul told reporters on Friday. “I’m just ready to play some football. The club isn’t going to be an issue or anything. My right hand feels like my left hand.”
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This offseason, Pierre-Paul was very active on social media showcasing his workouts and his strength gains. He signed a one-year deal to remain with the Giants at the start of free agency.
He will not be wearing a club this year but instead will don a specially-designed glove from Under Armour.
Pierre-Paul said that the team is focused on returning to the playoffs, which they haven’t done since 2011. He was in his second year in the NFL that season and now Pierre-Paul is one of the veterans of this Giants team.
As such, he’s determined to be a leader.
“I lead by example. Not everybody sees it, but I’m probably one of the hardest workers on the football team and I am just trying to get right, trying to get to the playoffs and help my team out,” Pierre-Paul said. “I lead by example and all the guys follow me. I’m not a vocal person.”
Last year in eight games Pierre-Paul had 26 tackles and one sack.