Osi Umenyiora is back in the news again, right before OTA’s start for the New York Giants. Osi is unhappy about being a backup to Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. Osi told the NY Daily News that he doesn’t see himself as a back-up, that he’s a starting, pro bowl caliber player. He also said that he’s not complaining about his role.
First of all he is definitely complaining about his role. Why would you say something about not seeing yourself as a backup player if you weren’t complaining about your role? Secondly, the way Justin Tuck has had an inability to stay healthy over the past few years, Osi will see some starts as the season goes on. The Giants rotate their defensive line better than any time in the league and utilize their players in situations that fit their game the best. Osi’s strength is coming off the edge and rushing the passer. He’s an up and down run defender. With Dave Tollefson recently signing with the Oakland Raiders, it could mean even more snaps for Osi.
Yes last year Osi was injured off an on. Yes this probably has something to do with the fact he hasn’t gotten a contract extension and probably won’t going forward. At the same time, Osi was a vital cog in a defense that won the Super Bowl. I feel like as we get toward training camp, either Osi will look around and realize he is important and does matter to the 2012 team even if he is in a primarily backup role. In the NFL you are only one play away from becoming a starter anyway and even as a backup there’s no reason to think he couldn’t make a pro bowl by getting to the quarterback.