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What Osi Umenyiora’s Return Means to the Giants

Osi Umenyiora (Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post)

Although the Giants refuse to restructure Osi Umenyiora‘s contract, the lineman is back on the field this week. Umenyiora and owner Jerry Reese could not reach an agreement despite Umenyiora’s big numbers in 2010, and concerns about Umenyiora’s knee injury still linger.

Still, things are looking up for Big Blue. Umenyiora’s return has been some of the best news in an offseason that featured the loss of Steve Smith, Kevin Boss and Plaxico Burress. First round pick Prince Amukamara’s surgery on his broken foot will sideline him for at least two months.

Umenyiora’s seven years of experience will at least partially make up for the loss of those veterans, and he will inevitably help to guide the rookies.Umenyiora brings back 11.5 sacks and an NFL-record 10 forced fumbles. His mere precise at training camp will bolster the G-men after a rough opening game against the Carolina Panthers.

A Boost for Beatty

Left tackle Will Beatty hasn’t exactly had it easy with Jason Pierre-Paul, but Umenyiora brings a whole different kind of pass rush. Umenyiora and Beatty have been facing off in practice for two years and seeing the familiar face across the line seems to have had a great effect on the young tackle who is charged with the responsibility of protecting Eli Manning’s blindside.

Beatty sent an upbeat message over his Facebook page after Umenyiora’s return to practice on Monday. “Today I showed a vet, Osi Umenyiora #NYG how much I have grown and prepared this off season,” he said. “I’m glad to have the opportunity to practice my skill on a great pass rusher in the NFL.”

A Challenge for Jason Pierre-Paul

Jason Pierre-Paul shined in the preseason debut against the Carolina Panthers, but he has a history of back spasms. Pierre-Paul sat out of practice today with tightness in his back, and if this injury nags him throughout the year, he could miss a few games.

But that’s OK. Because with Umenyiora and his bad knee back with the Giants, they could split time at the defensive end position and both remain relatively healthy.

In his rookie season last year, Pierre-Paul played in all 16 games and recorded 4.5 sacks with 2 forced fumbles. He would more than compliment Justin Tuck if he were to start, but he and Umenyiora could make a formidable tag-team as well.

On the Trading Block

It’s true a football player playing football is more valuable than one doing sit-ups in his driveway. Now that Umenyiora is back to practice and participating in regular drills, teams can check out that bum knee of his.

The Giants may be able to find a buyer for the veteran defensive end. Let’s just hope it isn’t the Eagles.

About Abigail Miskowiec - @AMiskowiec

I live in Brooklyn. Unless the L train isn't running. Then I live on the streets.

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One comment for “What Osi Umenyiora’s Return Means to the Giants”

  1. New Post: What Osi Umenyiora’s Return Means to the Giants

    Posted by Sports of New York | August 17, 2011, 2:51 am

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