Mathias Kiwanuka is a versatile player, and there’s no question that the hybrid DE/LB knows how to get to the QB when given the opportunity. To when the Giants Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell lined him up at SLB at the start of training camp – Kiwanuka knew what Fewell had in mind. Stop the run and get after the QB.
About Fewell, Kiwi had this to say:
“He knows how to use his personnel. People refer to my versatility but that has a lot to do with the fact that Perry is going to put people in the position to make plays and he’s done a good job at that. Perry is all about wanting to get the quarterback, stopping the run the way it should be done, and he’s going to use whatever means he has to get it done.”
The beginning of last year brings back very fond memories of the Giants defense. You had a great rotation of pass rushers playing multiple positions in multiple subpackages. Deception was the name of the game — tons of variables for the offense to process. The only constant was pressure IS coming. Devastation was around the corner at every snap, particularly from Mathias Kiwanuka. Kiwi had 4 sacks in 3 games and looked to only be getting started when he went out for the season with his herniated disc. During the offseason, he kept himself at a specific weight in between a LB and DE to be that versatile weapon once again for any team that required his services.
“People were looking at me as a linebacker, so I tried to keep my weight so it split the difference between where I would play as a defensive end and where I would play as a linebacker.”
Smart move. And although he wasn’t signed as a Giants to begin this season – it sounds like NY is where he wanted to be all along, as he had some more good things to say about Fewell and the rest of the defensive unit:
“There’s tremendous potential here. We have a great core group of guys. Everybody obviously worked hard during the offseason, Everybody’s in great shape. I think the thing that puts us in the best position is having Perry. You know he’s going to call the right numbers at the right time. If we live up to our potential, we’ll dominate.”
Glad he’s back in blue, and hopefully he can get back on track with his sack numbers — right where he left off in 2010.
[quotes via Giants.com]