Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 11/18/14

Expectations were extremely high for linebacker Keith Rivers when he was drafted in the first round (9th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was supposed to help solidify the Bengals' front seven and rapidly develop into one of the most dangerous linebackers in the game. Unfortunately for Rivers, that didn't happen and a wide range of injuries have plagued his young career. As a result, Cincinnati waived the white flag on the former USC Trojan and traded him to the New York Giants for a 5th round pick earlier this offseason.

Now facing a fresh start in a new location with a new team, Rivers has been able to refocus himself and get himself mentally and physically prepared for the season ahead. And with no distractions or first-round expectations, he's been able to process and move on from the "bust" label that was applied to him in Cincinnati.

"I don't think it was a situation of being a 'bust.' It was a situation where I was injured a lot, and it was unfortunate injuries — some things were out of my control," Rivers said. "It happens like that, and hopefully the injuries are gone and we can move forward from there."

In New York, Rivers has only one goal in mind: to help Big Blue win in any way that he possibly can.

"Hopefully I can come in there and contribute and do whatever they need me to do, whatever position at linebacker they need me to be," he said. "I've been working really hard this offseason to get out there and make the plays I need to on the field and stay healthy."

As it will be for every other player on the Giants, health is going to be key. Rivers is very athletic and very talented, but that means absolutely nothing in the NFL if you can't stay on the field. However, if he can remain healthy and get a firm grasp on the style of defense Big Blue plays, the 6'2'', 245 lbs. linebacker brings a lot of versatility to a unit that's already very deep. And having too much of a good thing is exactly what Tom Coughlin and Perry Fewell want headed into training camp.

Also…

  • Be sure to "like" Giants 101 on Facebook and to follow Giants 101 on Twitter
  • Text "oneteam" to 20222 to donate $10 to the One Team for the Lights charity initiative.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Did Rex Grossman turn down Browns offer?

Wes Welker admits to feeling effects of repeated concussions

Report: Jim Harbaugh's decision down to Michigan or Raiders

Jay Cutler to start again due to Jimmy Clausen concussion

Aldon Smith was reportedly drinking with Ray McDonald

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17 with injury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dwyane Wade hopes Heat fans give LeBron a warm reception

Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

Video: Aquib Talib's amazing interception for a pick six

Alleged love child of Jerry Buss wants piece of family fortune

WATCH: BYU, Memphis fight after Miami Beach Bowl

FSU sends recruit 75 reasons to play for Seminoles

Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend wear great Christmas sweaters

Brandon Marshall: Raiola mocked my mental illness

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

Raiders player gives game check to young girl in need

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Wes Welker, wife confused over his concussions

BYU, Memphis fight after bowl game

FSU sends recruit an eccentric pitch

Brandon Marshall unloads on Raiola

Did Aldon Smith violate probation?

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17

Appreciating Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab TD celebrations

D-Wade: Heat fans should cheer LeBron

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

'Manny' is the must-watch film about Manny Pacquiao

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.