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View Full Version : Giants Move Kiwanuka to LB


TwOne
04-29-2007, 11:51 PM
wow, he was good at DE.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2853745

Mathias Kiwanuka is changing positions and moving into the New York Giants' starting lineup at linebacker.

The linebacker spot has been a concern since Reese waived veterans Carlos Emmons and LaVar Arrington in a salary cap move earlier this year.

Moving Kiwanuka is an attempt to get another good player on the field. Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora both went to the Pro Bowl in 2005, but missed considerable action last season with injuries.

cunningham06
04-29-2007, 11:57 PM
Wow, he's a smart guy but that's going to be a rushed transition.

RaiderNation
04-30-2007, 12:04 AM
DUMB move.

niel89
04-30-2007, 12:08 AM
i don really like it, he was a damn fine DE.

i wonder what BBD will think

Number 10
04-30-2007, 12:23 AM
Fine move. He will be utlized properly as a LB on 1st and 2nd downs....pass rusher on 3rd downs when he is in there as a blitzer from wherever. He was often in coverage last year and he always did a forimiddable job, had 2 INTs.

The guys that say it is a "dumb" move....I'd be suprised if you watched more than 2 Giants games last year.

255979119
04-30-2007, 12:37 AM
They needed an outside backer and why draft one when you spent a pick on a guy last year. Besides it is not like theyre losing a starting DE.

diabsoule
04-30-2007, 12:50 AM
I think it's a great move by the Giants. They have two great pass rushers in Strahan and Umenyiora so why not try to get them on the field at the same time, as well as a guy who showed a lot of promise last year in Kiwanuka?

A smart move.

The Great Jonathan Vilma
04-30-2007, 12:54 AM
i can see y they'd do it. they have 2 very talented ends and their LB issues over the last 2 years have been a concern. I'll be interested to see how he makes the transition, and will he stay there if Usi or Strahan get hurt during the year?

yourfavestoner
04-30-2007, 01:05 AM
If I'm correct, the Giants defensive scheme is more of a 4-3 over than a traditional 4-3, with the SLB lined up on the line of scrimmage. They'll use him in the same way that they envisioned they would use Lavar Arrington.

255979119
04-30-2007, 02:28 AM
If I'm correct, the Giants defensive scheme is more of a 4-3 over than a traditional 4-3, with the SLB lined up on the line of scrimmage. They'll use him in the same way that they envisioned they would use Lavar Arrington.

I love how you said "envisioned".

Shiver
04-30-2007, 02:31 AM
It depends how they use him. There are a lot of match-up Backs and Tight Ends in the NFC East. I would worry about him, if they ask him to cover. If they use him as a Shawne Merriman type, attack the backfield on every play, I think it will work.

Paranoidmoonduck
04-30-2007, 04:10 AM
There are definitely plenty of ways to effectively utilize a rush 'backer in a 4-3 scheme, but, like Shiver said, they can't protect him from covering 100% of the time and until he gets used to that aspect they won't be able to leave him on the field as much as they'd probably like to.

Caddy
04-30-2007, 06:13 AM
I really hope the job isn't just handed to him. Strahan won't be around too much longer and Umenyiora/Kiwanuka could be a beastly combo.

eacantdraft
04-30-2007, 07:22 AM
I think it's a great move by the Giants. They have two great pass rushers in Strahan and Umenyiora so why not try to get them on the field at the same time, as well as a guy who showed a lot of promise last year in Kiwanuka?

A smart move.

Do you know how often Strahan hasn't been able to play in the last couple of seasons? He's about done with his stellar career. This probably will be his last season.

Jughead10
04-30-2007, 07:27 AM
If I'm correct, the Giants defensive scheme is more of a 4-3 over than a traditional 4-3, with the SLB lined up on the line of scrimmage. They'll use him in the same way that they envisioned they would use Lavar Arrington.

Exactly how he'll be used. Kiwi is extremely smart. I wouldn't be surpised if on top of learning to play SLB, that he will also take part in some of his old DE drills. If Strahan or Osi were to go down for any period of time I would expect Kiwi to go back to DE and DeOssie to step in at SLB.

Jughead10
04-30-2007, 07:28 AM
It depends how they use him. There are a lot of match-up Backs and Tight Ends in the NFC East. I would worry about him, if they ask him to cover. If they use him as a Shawne Merriman type, attack the backfield on every play, I think it will work.

Kiwi showed very good coverage ability last year for someone who was pretty much never asked to cover up until that point. 2 INTS like Number 10 said earlier. In one season with limited snaps standing up, he showed more coverage ability than Reggie Torbor has in 3 seasons.

bigbluedefense
04-30-2007, 08:55 AM
i don really like it, he was a damn fine DE.

i wonder what BBD will think

This is a great move that we've been discussing on the Giants team board as early as last year. We've envisioned this for awhile now.

If you look back, Ive always felt that Kiwi was actually at his best last season when he was standing up. He was more impressive as a rushbacker/lb than as a LE. He has amazing fluidity in coverage, long arms, a knack for the ball, and sure hands. He makes plays standing up, he's actually better suited at that position with his current frame. Every single time they stood him up (maybe 15 plays total), he was a playmaker. He got INTs, he got sacks, he broke up passes, he got hurries, he was a playmaker every time. This was another big reason why if you look back, Ive been pushing for a switch to a 3-4 defense for us after Strahan retires with Kiwi and Osi as rushbackers and Chase Blackburn and AP as ILBs.

As a fulltime DE, I noticed he lacks the strength to really hack it as anything more than a situational pass rusher DE. He needs to add 20 more lbs to be a full time DE. Thats not an easy process by any means. Right here right now, he's simply not strong enough to hack it there fulltime.

In his new role, think Julian Peterson. He'll be a rover/rushbacker type of SAM/WILL (mostly SAM) on 1st and 2nd down, and if need be, will put his hand on the dirt and rush as a DE on 3rd.

Its also important to understand the system that we run now. With Spagnuola, expect heavy blitzing. SAM responsibilities on the TE are minimal, he'll mostly either rush or play a zone or get safety help up top in man coverage with the TE.

We also got DeOssie in the draft, which is another versatile type player who will either back him up, or if he can hack it, maybe even play WILL can really make our front 7 very formiddable in terms of pass rush.

portermvp84
04-30-2007, 09:34 AM
This ought to be instersting.

Bengals1690
04-30-2007, 09:48 AM
well, considering the giants have strahan and osi, and have really no linebackers, i think this is a good move. If it pans out.

portermvp84
04-30-2007, 09:53 AM
It could be a good move, I'm not sure who they have in the libacking core right now.

Number 10
04-30-2007, 10:00 AM
Actually....now that I think of it, I see them using Kiwi much like how the Seahawks use Julian Peterson. He is athletic enough and long enough to be effective in coverage, at least more effective than any LBs we have had here in awhile.....and he will be a rush backer on passing downs.

I also think he'll still be a DE on the depth chart should someone go down. One thing I know, Spags is going to go nuts with him.

ricky bobby
04-30-2007, 10:04 AM
Kiwanuka is way too athletic to have his hand in the dirt with the rest of the hogs. He can be put to much better use. I love this move. I'm kind of wondering why we drafted Zack DeOssie if we were planning on moving Kiwanuka all along.

Jughead10
04-30-2007, 10:06 AM
Kiwanuka is way too athletic to have his hand in the dirt with the rest of the hogs. He can be put to much better use. I love this move. I'm kind of wondering why we drafted Zack DeOssie if we were planning on moving Kiwanuka all along.

We drafted DeOssie for depth and versatility. If a DE goes down I would assume Kiwi would switch back to DE and DeOssie would step in. The fact that DeOssie can long snap will only help in the future as well.

bigbluedefense
04-30-2007, 10:08 AM
Kiwanuka is way too athletic to have his hand in the dirt with the rest of the hogs. He can be put to much better use. I love this move. I'm kind of wondering why we drafted Zack DeOssie if we were planning on moving Kiwanuka all along.

DeOssie could maybe play WILL? He has the speed and coverage skills, its worth giving a shot during PS. Having DeOssie only makes my desire to switch to a 3-4 defense even that much larger.

AP and DeOssie at ILB, Osi and Kiwi at OLB. All we need is a NT and a DE and we can make the conversion, and have a scary good front 7 in a 3-4 front.

I would give serious thought of trading a 3rd round pick to Pittsburgh for Casey Hampton and switching to the 3-4 next year.


Yes, my mancrush for bringing the 3-4 back where it belongs is still large and in charge.

ricky bobby
04-30-2007, 10:15 AM
DeOssie could maybe play WILL? He has the speed and coverage skills, its worth giving a shot during PS. Having DeOssie only makes my desire to switch to a 3-4 defense even that much larger.

AP and DeOssie at ILB, Osi and Kiwi at OLB. All we need is a NT and a DE and we can make the conversion, and have a scary good front 7 in a 3-4 front.

I would give serious thought of trading a 3rd round pick to Pittsburgh for Casey Hampton and switching to the 3-4 next year.


Yes, my mancrush for bringing the 3-4 back where it belongs is still large and in charge.
Get over it already.

First of all, Casey Hampton is arguabely the best NT in the entire league and nobody will depart with him for a 3rd round pick. Second of all, we don't have the defensive ends that can play in a 3-4. Third and most importantly, we don't have a defensive coordinator that runs a 3-4.

Number 10
04-30-2007, 10:22 AM
DeOssie was not brought in to start, don't get too excited there. Could he start someday? Possibly, but he has to work on some things before that happens. I think Mitchell would play SAM before DeOssie would should Kiwi go down.

bigbluedefense
04-30-2007, 10:24 AM
Get over it already.

First of all, Casey Hampton is arguabely the best NT in the entire league and nobody will depart with him for a 3rd round pick. Second of all, we don't have the defensive ends that can play in a 3-4. Third and most importantly, we don't have a defensive coordinator that runs a 3-4.

I honestly don't think its as farfetched as some Giant fans think it is. Theres no guarantee that this coaching staff stays for another year, which is why I said a 3-4 for NEXT year (meaning 08/09 season). And there will be lots of available 3-4 coaches available if TC gets fired. The conversion is not as crazy as one would think.

And we do have the Ends for it. At least one end. Coffield played 3-4 End in college. Strahan if need be can man 3-4 End, he's stronger than most DTs anyway. And 3-4 DEs can be had in later rounds. The only real investment would be NT, which of course, is the main piece to the puzzle. Of course I would not favor a switch until that piece is found. Im simply throwing it out there as a future possibility. Look at the makeup of this team. Its not unrealistic to foreshadow a possible future switch.


In terms of the immediate future, worst case scenario is have DeOssie develop behind Kiwi as a rookie which is not a big deal at all. Ive said forever that our LB situation was blown out of proportion. We have good LBs, and with DeOssie, we have potentially a very good LB core. Whether its a 4-3 or 3-4 front for the long term future, we definately have the pieces in place in the front 7 to do damage. Its the back 4 that needs to be shored up, and we're on the right path to fixing that as well.

Paranoidmoonduck
04-30-2007, 11:39 AM
Get over it already.

First of all, Casey Hampton is arguabely the best NT in the entire league and nobody will depart with him for a 3rd round pick. Second of all, we don't have the defensive ends that can play in a 3-4. Third and most importantly, we don't have a defensive coordinator that runs a 3-4.

I don't think it's that unrealistic. The Steelers won't be running the 3-4 past this coming season (allegedly), and while Hampton would a be a perfectly fine 4-3 NT, he wouldn't hold the same value to Pittsburgh that he did before.

As for the rest, I'm not sure I know the Giants well enough to say how they'd handle a 3-4 switch, but it at least appears like they have the linebackers to pull it off.

niel89
06-13-2007, 07:57 PM
oops sorry just needed a quote from BBD

SFbear
06-13-2007, 08:44 PM
Ive been pushing for a switch to a 3-4 defense for us after Strahan retires with Kiwi and Osi as rushbackers and Chase Blackburn and AP as ILBs.


Please. You would be pushing for the 3-4 even if the Giants had the Colts personel on D.

The Tampa 2 will be coming to NY in 2008 once Coughlin is fired. Accept it.

BaLLiN
06-13-2007, 08:53 PM
Yea, I don't see the 3-4 happening, our LBs are not good enough to dominate the field and we don't have the kind of linemen for 3-4, the system we have right now suits us the best.

SuperKevin
06-13-2007, 08:57 PM
I think it's a great move. He has the speed to stay with RBs and TEs in coverage and the strength to jam them at the line. Plus with his height there will be a lot of deflected passes

TheChampIsHere
06-13-2007, 09:24 PM
Well when they picked him I was having a hard time figuring out what theyre gonna do with him with Strahan, Umenyiora and Tuck at DE. So I guess this makes sense as long as Kiwi can make the transition.

HoopsDemon12
06-13-2007, 10:09 PM
well i think this will be a great move for the giants... they have no playmakers in their linebacking core.. and he is an athletic player.. he dropped back into coverage a fair amount last season and looked great at it, if one of the defensive ends goes down i could see him being slid down to take the place until the injury is healed, besides he is a smart guy i dont think it will be any problem for him to learn

princefielder28
06-13-2007, 10:21 PM
Good planning?

Damix
06-13-2007, 10:25 PM
well i think this will be a great move for the giants... they have no playmakers in their linebacking core.. and he is an athletic player.. he dropped back into coverage a fair amount last season and looked great at it, if one of the defensive ends goes down i could see him being slid down to take the place until the injury is healed, besides he is a smart guy i dont think it will be any problem for him to learn


Antonio Pierce is not a play maker?

255979119
06-13-2007, 10:29 PM
Kawika Mitchell is also a solid starter, so I do not know why he would drastically underrate the G-men's LB core like he did.

HoopsDemon12
06-13-2007, 11:30 PM
well i think this will be a great move for the giants... they have no playmakers in their linebacking core.. and he is an athletic player.. he dropped back into coverage a fair amount last season and looked great at it, if one of the defensive ends goes down i could see him being slid down to take the place until the injury is healed, besides he is a smart guy i dont think it will be any problem for him to learn

Antonio Pierce is not a play maker?

sorry... 1 playmaker out of 3, or are they changing to a 3-4? cause then they would have 1 playmaker out of 4 spots... winning combo

steelernation77
06-13-2007, 11:51 PM
I don't think it's that unrealistic. The Steelers won't be running the 3-4 past this coming season (allegedly), and while Hampton would a be a perfectly fine 4-3 NT, he wouldn't hold the same value to Pittsburgh that he did before.

As for the rest, I'm not sure I know the Giants well enough to say how they'd handle a 3-4 switch, but it at least appears like they have the linebackers to pull it off.

there's been no talk whatsoever of the steelers switching to a 4-3 anytime soon and LeBeau has said in numerous interviews that he is writing up tons of new plays for THIS defense and doesn't plan on retiring after the season. I think that he's going to help install a new hybrid D that is still a 3-4 base in the next couple seasons and then when he retires, Keith Butler the LB coach who has been with the team for awhile will take the job and continue the defense. Anyway, if by some twist we did switch to a 4-3, Casey wouild be fine if not dominating because he is athletic and will still require double teams because he will bull rush any single blocker right in to the backfield.

Phrost
06-14-2007, 12:27 AM
He was once considered by most Bucs fans the heir apparent pass rusher in Tampa. Now look where he is. I wish him luck though.

Damix
06-14-2007, 02:39 PM
He was once considered by most Bucs fans the heir apparent pass rusher in Tampa. Now look where he is. I wish him luck though.


Who are you talking about?

simms2clayton
06-14-2007, 02:44 PM
Yeah, Tom Coughlin, enjoy your last season as head coach in the NFL.

bsaza2358
06-14-2007, 02:50 PM
Coughlin will likely be gone as HC, but it won't be because of Kiwanuka. His game management and player-relations skills will be his downfall.

Giantsfan1080
06-14-2007, 02:58 PM
DE Michael Strahan on Coughlin: "I think Coach just has an easier demeanor about him. When you look at him, you don't get tense. Before he just was a very intense fellow and now his demeanor seems to be a lot easier. You understand what he wants and you're going to hustle and fly around, but you look at him and you feel like you can go talk to him. Guys enjoy playing for him. I couldn't always say that, but now guys enjoy playing for him."

Hopefully that continues all year round.

scottyboy
06-14-2007, 02:59 PM
not a big fan of Coughlin, but he has made the playoffs 2 years in a row. granted he lost both times in the 1st round, but the 1st year was sheer garbage play by everyone on the team and last year was because our D couldnt stop anyone late in the game.

THIZZorDIE
06-14-2007, 03:08 PM
Kiwi showed very good coverage ability last year for someone who was pretty much never asked to cover up until that point. 2 INTS like Number 10 said earlier. In one season with limited snaps standing up, he showed more coverage ability than Reggie Torbor has in 3 seasons.

You could say he looked good in coverage, especially w/ two picks. But I know one was just a simple zone blitz coverage drop where he was responsible for the flats, and got a gift from the QB. Popping off the line of scrimmage and coverage in the flats is diff. than a basic coverage drop for a OLB. But as mentioned earlier, they wont just throw him out there, they'll use him for pressure specifically. It could work, but the NY Giants are garbage and this could be a last resort move.

Will the staff have him drop weight? Can I assume he will remain a 3rd string DE?

Damix
06-14-2007, 03:14 PM
You could say he looked good in coverage, especially w/ two picks. But I know one was just a simple zone blitz coverage drop where he was responsible for the flats, and got a gift from the QB. Popping off the line of scrimmage and coverage in the flats is diff. than a basic coverage drop for a OLB. But as mentioned earlier, they wont just throw him out there, they'll use him for pressure specifically. It could work, but the NY Giants are garbage and this could be a last resort move.

Will the staff have him drop weight? Can I assume he will remain a 3rd string DE?


They decided before the draft this was the best move for him, if they weren't confident then they would have drafted someone higher. Yes the Giants are garbage :rolleyes:

etk
06-14-2007, 03:14 PM
In his new role, think Julian Peterson. He'll be a rover/rushbacker type of SAM/WILL (mostly SAM) on 1st and 2nd down, and if need be, will put his hand on the dirt and rush as a DE on 3rd.



There's a small problem with that comparison: Julian Peterson has the athleticism of a defensive back and is one of the best linebackers in cverage, man (TE) or zone. Kiwi is far too lanky to ever come close to Peterson in coverage ability. I'll believe it when I see it, but I can't imagine a 6'8 DE having the fluidity to play as a LB in a 4-3.

bsaza2358
06-14-2007, 03:19 PM
Yes, and you wouldn't think that a 6'4", 260 lb RB could run a 4.48 40 yard dash and be an inside/outside threat, but Brandon Jacobs can do that.

ricky bobby
06-14-2007, 03:22 PM
There's a small problem with that comparison: Julian Peterson has the athleticism of a defensive back and is one of the best linebackers in cverage, man (TE) or zone. Kiwi is far too lanky to ever come close to Peterson in coverage ability. I'll believe it when I see it, but I can't imagine a 6'8 DE having the fluidity to play as a LB in a 4-3.
6'8" was his Boston College height. He shrunk 3 inches once he got drafted.

THIZZorDIE
06-14-2007, 03:25 PM
lol, BC listed him 3 inches taller than he is?

Jughead10
06-14-2007, 03:51 PM
lol, BC listed him 3 inches taller than he is?

Eh, He's 6'5"/6'6". So I guess he is 2 inches smaller. Maybe BC gave him some inches for his dreads that he has since cut off.

bsaza2358
06-14-2007, 04:11 PM
Irrelevant. The point is that moving Kiwi to LB was probably the right move for his skill set.

cunningham06
06-15-2007, 08:48 PM
Irrelevant. The point is that moving Kiwi to LB was probably the right move for his skill set.

How do you figure that? He's got a prototypical pass rushing DE body. He's tall and lean. He's got a body like Jevon Kearse. He is good in coverage for a DE, but who knows how he will fair in coverage as a LB? This is a smart move by the Giants to try him at LB but his skill set is that of a DE, or a 3-4 OLB, not a 4-3 LB.

Number 10
06-15-2007, 08:50 PM
How do you figure that? He's got a prototypical pass rushing DE body. He's tall and lean. He's got a body like Jevon Kearse. He is good in coverage for a DE, but who knows how he will fair in coverage as a LB? This is a smart move by the Giants to try him at LB but his skill set is that of a DE, or a 3-4 OLB, not a 4-3 LB.

He was great in coverage last year, probably better than any LB we had.

HoopsDemon12
06-16-2007, 11:09 AM
He was great in coverage last year, probably better than any LB we had.

and thats the truth... the giants had him drop into coverage a LOT last year and he looked comfortable back there and knew what he was doing