It’s been a long time since Jason Pierre-Paul was a dominant defensive end in the NFL — three years to be exact.
But Pierre-Paul doesn’t just expect to return to the form which saw him post 16 1/2 sacks in 2011, he expects to surpass it.
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“I’m trying to be better than that 2011-2012 year,” Pierre-Paul said Monday. “Each year is a year for you to get better, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”
When met with incredulity, Pierre-Paul didn’t back down, saying he could be “a lot” better. And agreed he could “maybe” threaten former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan’s record of 22 1/2.
“Every day is a learning process, still learning the game even more and more,” Pierre-Paul said. “You never can stop learning.”
Pierre-Paul dealt with multiple injuries over the past two years, none more crippling than a back injury in 2012 which eventually led to offseason surgery to remove a herniated disc. And he was shut down early last season due to a shoulder injury.
“Nobody wants to be injured,” he said. “It comes with the game; you never know when you’re going to be injured. You have to fight through it. You go out there and play.”
Pierre-Paul has just 13 total sacks in the three seasons other than 2011, when he registered his career high. He had just two sacks in 11 games last season.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.