After spending some time at outside linebacker due to injuries, New York Giants pass rusher Mathias Kiwanuka will finally get his wish to move back to his more natural position of defensive end. The move is met with great excitement on the part of both parties as Kiwanuka is determined to excel as a top pass rusher on the team.
“I am very excited about the move back, it’s my natural position and I’m ready to go and do the job,” Kiwanuka said according to Giants.com.
Kiwanuka will get the opportunity to play defensive end again after the departure of Osi Umenyiora via free agency and Jason Pierre-Paul still dealing with back issues. It is unknown exactly when Pierre-Paul will be able to suit up this season, but regardless, Kiwanuka will be one of two starting defensive ends in 2013.
“Having another man down means that we’ve all got to step up, and I’m ready to do the job,” Kiwanuka told Giants.com earlier this year.
The 6’5”, 267-pound defensive lineman posted 37 total tackles and three sacks in 16 games last season. His production was certainly down from the 2011 season, but the Giants are confident that putting Kiwanuka in a more comfortable position on the field will allow him to succeed once again. The good news is the 30-year-old believes he will be able to handle Pierre-Paul’s production.
“There’s no doubt in my mind,” Kiwanuka said, according to Giants.com. “That was the position I came into this league playing and I’m looking forward to the opportunity. Obviously, we would love to have him back and I’m sure he’ll be back ready to go at a certain point, but we’re not going to rush him back for any reason.”