Posted by Andy Benoit
Recently, the New York Giants have been tinkering with the idea of playing defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka at outside linebacker. You may recall, Kiwanuka moved to a fulltime outside linebacker role in 2008.The results were, frankly, unimpressive. (Kiwanuka never broke the habit of having his initial step be towards the quarterback and struggled mightily with read-and-react assignments.)
But with a loaded defensive line, thin linebacking corps and, most importantly, a desire to create confusion for opposing offenses, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is concocting a few packages that will put the fifth-year end in a two-point stance. (Backup end Dave Tollefson has also gotten some work at linebacker.) ESPN New York notes that the Giants have already been working on their “big base” front, which features Justin Tuck and Chris Canty at the ends, Barry Cofield and Rocky Bernard at tackles and Kiwanuka in a blitzing linebacker role.
Kiwanuka has made it clear that he’s an end, but his desire to put his hand in the dirt does not trump his desire to win. “We’re here in camp, and it’s about winning games and getting better as a team,” Kiwanuka told The New York Times. “If we have a better chance of winning games with me back there (at linebacker), then I’ll do that.”
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