After being out of football for the past two seasons, New York Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin has a lot to prove this training camp. For starters, he needs to show that he has the ability to play to the speed of the NFL game. Theres a long list of college players who come to the NFL and never fully adjust themselves to the elite competition around them. Given Austin's long layoff, it wouldn't be a shock for that to be the case.
However, so far, it looks as if Marvin Austin has shown up in shape, ready to play, and eager to learn. With Chris Canty on the PUP, the team will rely on the 6'2"/ 312lb interior defensive linemen to contribute more then expected early on in the season. While it sounds worrisome to fans that the Giants are going to depend upon a rookie who hasn't played in two seasons to play in the heart of the teams' seemingly strongest asset, defensive line coach Robert Nunn does not sound too concerned.
“A lot of quickness and explosiveness. Off to a good start, very good condition. You know, the thing with Marvin, he hasn’t played in a couple of years. It’s a good thing, pulling back a little bit sometimes. It’s better to have to tell him, ‘whoa, then go.’ He’s got to slow down a little bit, concentrate on technique a little bit more, but he’s off to a good start in camp," Nunn said.
Before Austin was suspended for his final season at the University of North Carolina, he was widely heralded as a projected first-round pick and one of the top defensive tackles in the draft. His intriguing combination of size, strength, and overall versatility made him an attractive prospect. The Giants felt very luck to have him fall down to the second-round. Nunn acknowledged Austin's potential while speaking about his attempt to make it back onto the field
"Preseason will tell us, give us a picture of where he is…He’s very sudden, coming off the ball. He shows some strength and power…I’m pleased with where he is. ”
For the Giants to have the formidable defensive line that many so called "experts" are predicting for them to have in 2012, Chris Canty must get healthy. He was the teams best defensive linemen, and should continue to play that role if healthy in 2012. However Marvin Austin's athleticism will allow him to come in and almost immediately compete for a starting role, even after missing two seasons of football.
Hopefully the youngster keeps it up through training camp, and into the regular season.
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