City Sports Report

Time For Prince Amukamara To Take The Next Step

Prince Amukamara

The Giants defense was less than stellar last season. In fact, they were downright awful. They ranked 23rd against the pass and 19th against the run last year. Some thought they played bad enough to get defensive coordinator Perry Fewell fired and keep some of the same personnel. The Giants had other ideas as they got rid of veteran leader Justin Tuck and are banking on the re-emergence of Jason Pierre –Paul and 2013 trade acquisition Jon Beason to lead this defense. In the secondary, safety Antrel Rolle is definitely the leader. But unfortunately he is not the guy they need to step up the most. The Giants cornerback play has been awful the last two years and one man is being charged with taking over and being the star corner of this team.

When the Giants drafted Prince Amukamara with the 19th pick in 2011, they thought they were getting a star player with great coverage skills. After all, Amukamara had been a star at Nebraska. He was physical and he would also blanket the best receiver on the field. At the time he was drafted, cornerbacks Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster were there along with another former first round pick of the Giants, Aaron Ross. It seemed like Amukamara could not get his footing at first after he was diagnosed with a broken foot the day after he was drafted. He eventually made it back and was part of the Giants team that defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl 21-17. Amukamara has since played two more seasons with the Giants with ok results. Honestly, the Giants felt like they were getting more than they actually received from the highly-regarded cornerback. His tackling statistics have risen every year, but unfortunately he has not picked off very many passes. In fact, throughout his whole NFL and collegiate career to date, he has only had over three interceptions in a season once.

Heading into this season, there is a new expectation for Amukamara. Sure, the Giants brought over Walter Thurmond from the Seahawks and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Broncos, but he they look at Amukamara as the key piece to making their secondary work. . The Giants have moved all their chips to the table with Amukamara and quite frankly, they are running out of patience with him. This year they want to see more of the physical, shutdown corner they thought they drafted in 2011 instead of the guy who is still trying to find himself on the football field. He has good size for a corner, but unfortunately his hands are not that great. For him to take it to the next level, he has to capitalize on the mistakes quarterbacks make and pick off their passes. Amukamara had a good start to that with the first preseason game and tried to build on that in the second one versus the Steelers. But he has to take the next step in his development because the Giants are counting on him. It’s time for the Prince to start ascending towards the throne.

For more sports talk, feel free to contact me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

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