Giants’ Pass Rush Gets Much-Needed Help

Josh Mauro is sick of watching football. He’s now ready to play it.

And it couldn’t come at a better moment for the New York Giants who need some fresh ideas coming off the edge.

In need of some help with their pass rush, Mauro’s return from suspension for the season’s first four games should desperately help the Giants. And while Mauro isn’t necessarily known for getting to the quarterback in what is now his fifth year in the NFL, he is a good, steady defensive end. Through his first four seasons in the league, Mauro has 75 tackles and two sacks.

His addition should help the Giants along the line as he comes in with fellow defensive end Olivier Vernon, moves that should help solidify a defense that is already doing a nice job of punching above its weight.

Mauro acknowledged that there will be a bit of a learning curve as he joins his teammates at this point of the season.

“Physically, yes,” Mauro said. “Mentally, I’ll be there. I know four weeks seems like a long time, but it’s really not that long in the grand scheme of things. It’s keeping your body sharp, so I’m just excited to be back and if I get my number called I’ll be ready to go.”

The Giants are last in the NFL with just five sacks, a number that Mauro and certainly Vernon should be able to help improve on. The team’s “Adjusted Sack Rate” of 3.6 percent, according to FootballOutsiders.com, is at the bottom of the league.

As part of his suspension, Mauro couldn’t be in or around the team.

That means not only no games for the defensive end but also no practice, no time in the film room and no use of the team’s facilities. He was on his own to train and stay sharp, meaning that the onus was on him to put in the necessary effort to step into a defense that is already sharpened from four games of play in the regular season.

He trained in the tri-state area and admits that he’s “sick of watching football.”

“Like I said before I left, you try to balance out and try to do as much football-simulated stuff that you can, but I can’t find 300-pound dudes and put pads on and say come and attack me. There’s just not guys out there like that,” Mauro said.

“That’s why the guys in this locker room are in this locker room. So it’s rare to find people that can keep you sharp on that level but as far as running, trying to do football movements, weights and everything, I just tried to stay as sharp as I can. Really excited to get back out Wednesday and really just fly around.”

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