Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 6/26/12

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.


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

var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61


Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Lawyer who litigated against NFL: Brady plays every game

Cowboys should sign interested RB Steven Jackson

Jameis Winston confirmed as Buccaneers starting QB

Russell Wilson contract increases likelihood of change

The Wind Up: a wild and crazy trade deadline

DeMarco Murray: fantasy football’s riskiest pick

Jim Harbaugh has interesting name for rival Ohio State

Jimmy Garoppolo: the most interesting QB in the world

San Francisco Giants: impact of adding Mike Leake

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

RB signed by Chiefs day after tweeting them highlight video

Evgeni Malkin had real penguins at his birthday party

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Jonathan Papelbon thinks he became ‘scapegoat’ for Phillies

Padres don’t sell at trade deadline, reportedly because AJ Preller still believes in team

First photos of Jason Pierre-Paul’s injured hand emerge

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker