Giants’ Jihad Ward working with Kayvon Thibodeaux: ‘I’m on him’

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When the New York Giants signed veteran linebacker Jihad Ward this offseason, the transaction largely flew under-the-radar. He was considered a solid depth addition but little more thought was given to it.

That’s not a knock on Ward, but the reality of how many balls the Giants were juggling after another regime change.

Fast forward to now and Ward is playing a significant role in the locker-room. In fact, despite being the new guy, he’s taken on somewhat of a leadership role.

“He’s got constant energy. He’s excellent in meetings. I’d say from my experience, not all the time, but when you’re a player that comes in as a free agent from another team, it’s a little bit harder to lead right away because you are swimming with a new playbook and new surroundings,” head coach Brian Daboll told reporters.

“He kind of jumped right into the deep end. He’s got a great personality, energetic. I love the way he practices. He’s always running to the ball. I’d say he helps out…he’s great with like Kayvon and those young guys in his room.”

Ward and rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux were quick to bond, but that doesn’t mean Ward will treat him with kids gloves. He’s actually embraced the rookie with a tough love approach.

“I’m on his [expletive]. Make sure he’s studied the playbook and stuff like that, because I don’t want him to play slow. I don’t want any of my guys to play slow. That goes for all positions,” Ward said. “But him, he’ll be ready. He’ll definitely be ready, and I can’t wait.

“We drafted him, and he’s a special guy for the defense. My job is to get him right and all of our jobs basically — he’s dialed in. He’s ready. . . . I just don’t want him to be learning while he’s playing. I want him to go.”

Thibodeaux has been slowed by an undisclosed injury, but both Daboll and Ward seem confident the rookie will return in time for training camp. For now, it’s all about helping him learn as much as possible and preparing him for what will be a significant role in Wink Martindale’s defense.

Will Thibodeaux lead the Giants in sacks as a rookie? - Powered By PickUp

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