New York Giants: Defensive Linemen Step Up


If there’s one thing about training camp that the players love, is putting on the pads. In mini camp, contact is not allowed because of no padding and players just run through basic plays. However, we’re nearing the start of the season and players are anxious to get things going. Roster cuts need to happen this month and the only way to survive is to show the coaches what you got with the pads on.

This Wednesday, New York Giants‘ linemen finally put the pads on and did some contact drills, especially one-on-ones which gives every man a chance to display their talents. This training camp is a little different with the abrupt absence of Jason Pierre-Paul, as everyone is stepping up their game to fit in Steve Spagnuolo‘s plans.

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The one defensive tackle that stood out was Johnathan Hankins, the Michigan native has no intention to give up his spot, especially after last year. In his sophomore year in the NFL, Hankins brought the quarterback down seven times in 16 starts which raised some eyebrows. He could be the Giants’ go-to guy this year and possibly anchor the defensive line if Pierre-Paul misses time.

Even if you’ve been in the league for a couple of years, you still have to give the coaches a reason. In this case, Robert Ayers Jr., who’s entering his second season with the Giants and has been in the league since 2009, gave Spagnuolo a preview by forcing a fumble on Wednesday. Even though it’s only training camp, Spagnuolo is looking for players to adapt to his philosophy and it seems like Ayers could be that guy.

Pierre-Paul’s unfortunate events has lit a fire in the Giants’ locker room, at least on the defensive line. For these guys, the timing couldn’t be perfect as they now have the equipment to get going, now it’s up to them what happens next.

Next: Jason Pierre-Paul Incident: 3 Big Things