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Redskins vs Giants Week 12 Player Spotlight: Jason Pierre-Paul

Whether he has all of his fingers or not, JPP is an important piece to the Giants puzzle.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Pierre-Paul

Defensive End

Age: 26

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 275 lbs.

College: South Florida

NFL Draft: 2010 - Round: 1 - Pick: 15


Obviously, at least so soon after the accident, it all starts with the hand.  JPP missed most of this season in large part due to a fireworks-related accident that occurred in the off-season and left JPP with a mangled hand (and some missing fingers).  Since his return, he's been playing with a "club" over that hand and said yesterday (Monday) that he'll continue to play with said club.  Against the Pats a couple weeks ago, he briefly tried to play with a glove on his altered hand, but that didn't last long and he decided to go back to the club.  He's still undergoing rehab on that hand (a lot especially over the past week with the Giants on their bye week).  Here's what JPP had to say about the upcoming match-up with Washington:

"I really have to go study the film," Pierre-Paul said. "I know he’s a good quarterback, both of the quarterbacks they had were good, but he’s getting better and better. Each game he’s making plays and getting better and better. I have to study them really hard, study my opponent, study the tackle in front of me. Trent Williams, he’s a good tackle. I played against him for five years now and he’s been dominant. He made me better as a player, so I have to study him, and that’s basically it from me."

He also thinks he's actually gotten better since last year... though apparently the Giants weren't so sure, at first.  It wasn't until October 27th that the team actually came to an agreement to sign JPP for the remainder of the season.  Before his accident, the Giants made JPP their franchise player, which meant he would have had to play this year for $14.813M or not at all.  Obviously, after missing so much time, the Giants weren't particularly interested in having him back at that price.  Due to the new contract he was given, the Giants have the right to franchise JPP again next year if they so choose.  Of course, they could also sign him long-term or simply let him walk.  Regardless of how effective he is, he'll be motivated and playing for a contract.  So far this year, he has 2 tackles.  Both came in his first game back against the TB Bucs.  He didn't amass any stats in the Giants last game against the Pats.


JPP has the prototypical frame for a DE in the NFL.  He excels as a pass rusher and is decent against the run.  He's very quick and plays with great anticipation.  Before this year, he was (and may still be) easily one of the top edge rushers in the league.  He's very disruptive and has very long arms.  He excels at being able to run down plays from the backside of a play.  While still very strong, the best way to attack him is definitely in the running game going right towards him.  He's not the best at holding up at the point of attack.

He's got size, athleticism, and ideal frame, and is really just a natural at the DE spot in a 4-3 defense.  He's fast and productive and excellent at chasing down running plays.

Potential Against the Redskins

Not to dismiss JPP at all, but his potential this coming Sunday has about as much to do with Trent Williams' health as it does about JPP himself.  When both are healthy, it's always an epic battle between two of the best in the business at their respective spots.  JPP is still getting up to speed, but he has a couple of games under his belt now and is coming off a nice bye week to really work on getting his game conditioning back up to where it needs to be and to continue his hand rehab.

Trent Williams sustained a knee contusion last Sunday against the Panthers and is currently day-to-day.  He's said he hopes to and will do everything he can to play this Sunday against the Giants.

Looking at the bigger picture, JPP's potential against the 'Skins is theoretically minimized due to the quickness with which Kirk Cousins usually gets rid of the ball on passing plays.  While he's not great against the run, the Redskins have done just fine containing themselves in that area without any help.  Obviously, if Trent misses this game, JPP could be a huge problem.

Interesting Facts

Jason's parents are Haitian immigrants who came to the United States in 1983.  He lettered in basketball all four years in HS, but suffered a serious leg injury playing basketball and took up football his junior year.  After HS, Jason went on to play football at four different colleges.  He played his freshman year at College of the Canyons, his sophomore year at Fort Scott CC, and his junior year at South Florida.  He skipped his senior year to go pro.  Jason is a father and has made a conscious effort to be more of a role model since his hand accident.  Checking out his Twitter (@UDWJPP), two things immediately jump out: he's a faithful, religious person and he's certainly not hiding that hand anymore.