Stepping In -- Again
AP Photo - Bill Kostroun
Posted Aug 20, 2011

Jason Pierre-Paul becomes the starting right DE in the absence of Osi Umenyiora. But is there any depth behind him?

Dave Tollefson isn't worried.

As one of the rotation guys behind current starting RDE Jason Pierre-Paul, who will now replace Osi Umenyiora as he rehabs from Friday's arthroscopic right knee surgery, Tollefson isn't worried about a lack of depth in the pass-rush department.

"We've got a couple of young guys," Tollefson said. "Alex Hall has produced in this league. Justin Trattou, Adrian Tracy. The New York Giants are a team that are always going to have guys who can pass rush."

Tollefson almost wasn't one of them, of course. He was cut and then re-signed after a solid 2010 season in which he applied decent pressure on the quarterback despite limited playing time. He finished with a half-sack, but hit the quarterback seven times.

Players like Tollefson, the fourth-year veteran Hall, and last year's sixth-rounder, Tracy, will be relied upon to offer solid rotational support as the young but fast-developing Pierre-Paul goes into fulltime for at least the opener and possibly beyond.

Is the talent pool sufficient?

"We don’t know yet," Justin Tuck said. "Obviously (losing Umenyiora) is a blow but just like before when he was not practicing, it gives other guys the opportunity.

"JPP will definitely feel comfortable with his role and stepping in as a starter at that position. Dave Tollefson is having a great camp and we just roll them in and roll them out."

"I don't think we're going to be lacking in that area at all," Tollefson said. "Whoever it is, I have confidence we'll get it done."

Pierre-Paul can't wait to build on his two-sack effort in the preseason opener against Carolina on Monday against a Chicago squad his teammates brutalized last season for nine sacks and a Jay Cutler concussion.

He's battling some tightness in his back, but he expects to be out there Monday night.

"Just seeing my teammates get to the quarterback and sack them nine times, it was great," Pierre-Paul said. "Get the quarterback."

Hall also had a sack against Carolina. But he and the younger players will have to step up even more if the coaching staff expects to hit the regular-season opener in Washington confident in the depth behind Pierre-Paul.

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