Giants' DE At Career CrossroadsAll is not quiet on the defensive front.
We've been telling you about the battle at defensive end, where Osi Umenyiora is determined to get his starting job back after he missed the 2008 season and struggled last year.
Umenyiora said the right things when asked about his role on Tuesday, but when asked what would happen if he didn't start, he said this:
"Would I be cool? If I truly was not the best player, then I would be cool with it. If I feel like I am the best player and everybody in this league knows the type of player that I am, if I am able to play the way that I am capable of playing -- and I haven't played that way in my whole career in my mind -- the minute in my mind that I am playing the way that I am capable of playing when I am out on the field, then of course, it is going to be a problem. But I don't think that is going to happen."
It could happen if Mathias Kiwanuka wins the battle for the defensive end spot opposite Justin Tuck. Like Umenyiora, Kiwanuka believes he's the best man for the job.
"That's my goal and that's where my focus is, Kiwanuka said about starting. "There's no other thought in my mind. There's no doubt that's where I belong. I'm ready to fill that role."
And so is Umenyiora, setting up what should become a great competition when the Giants report to training camp in Albany on August 1st.
And there's more.
Kiwanuka is entering the final year of his contract, and yesterday he told The Star-Ledger that he's not happy with his current contract situation.
“I have not heard from them about my contract. Obviously, that’s what I want,” Kiwanuka said. “But I’ll sit down with my agent, discuss the right strategy and pick a right time and approach to bring it up.
“I haven’t made a final decision on [holding out of training camp]. I haven’t ruled it out, but I haven’t decided to go that way yet.”