Patricia Traina wrote an excellent article for Yahoo! Sports about the young New York Giants’ Defensive End Adrian Tracy. He is nicknamed by his teammates Yosi or Young Osi after former Giants’ DE Osi Umenyiora, who signed a two-year $8.5 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons this offseason.
Tracy earned this name for working with Umenyiora, who took an interest as a veteran to develop the young DE last year. He is now back at his natural position this season after a failed attempt to transition to outside linebacker for the Giants last year.
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 draft behind current starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Linval Joseph, Tracy has struggled with injuries his first year and not being able to make the 53-man roster the year after. With the injury to Pierre-Paul, it appears that Tracy’s time to contribute to Big Blue has arrived.
Tracy’s arduous tenure with the Giants, where he struggled to even make the 53-man roster, has made him a better player. By taking the opportunity to study film with Umenyiora and developing good work habits, Tracy’s mental toughness has payed off as he has worked himself into playing time this season.
Triana writes of the lessons Tracy learned by being mentored by Umenyiora. “One of the things that Umenyiora stressed to his former teammate is the importance of preparation. Tracy recalled that last year, he and Umenyiora would frequently meet during the week before a game every morning at 6:30 a.m. to watch film and to exchange ideas on what they were seeing from upcoming opponents on film. Umenyiora would quiz his young protégé and offer input that the aspiring pass rusher found to be invaluable in his own weekly preparation.”
If, as they say, “Luck favors the prepared,” then Tracy could be poised to have a good year for the G-Men, immediately filling in for Pierre-Paul as he rehabs his injured back.