Thursday, February 2, 2012

Brady is a marked man

Ahead of Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s directive is clear – stop New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Pierre-Paul has enjoyed a whirlwind start to his professional career since being drafted by the Giants 18 months ago. The Florida-born rookie has 16.5 sacks so far in his sophomore season.

Pierre-Paul realises the Giants must disrupt the flow of the Patriots three-time Super Bowl winner if they are to repeat their shock victory over the same opponents in 2008. The best Super Bowl betting odds reflect this.

That victory came before Pierre-Paul’s time, but the plan hasn’t changed in four years. The defensive end knows closing Brady down will go some way to deciding which team lifts the Lombardi trophy at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Pierre-Paul said: "We have to get after him (Brady), and that's what we have to do.

"He can pick our defence. He can throw the ball even if our coverage is very good. That's scary, but as defensive linemen, we just have to get to him fast enough. Our secondary can cover the guys real quick, and hopefully that will help us out."

The 23-year-old originally had his sights set on a career in basketball. A twist of fate redirected his career path. He broke his leg in high school and was convinced by his coaches that his physical attributes would make him a star in the NFL.

"I never thought of playing football. They dragged me onto the field. I didn't know what I was doing. All they said was rush the quarterback, basically, and that's what I did from there on out," Pierre-Paul added.

If Pierre-Paul and his team-mates can stop Brady, he could well be celebrating a first Super Bowl victory in just his second season on Sunday evening.

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