- Posted: 3:48 PM, January 27, 2012
Osi Umenyiora didn’t exactly throw down that challenge to Patriots left tackle Matt Light, but the Giants pass-rushing defensive end did admit there’s bad blood between the two and came up with what he figured was a smart tradeoff for the Giants for Super Bowl XLVI.
“I think he’s more important to his team than I am to mine right now,’’ Umenyiora said Friday, “so if we can both fight and both get kicked out, and JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) and (Justin) Tuck will have a field day. I’ll be good to go, I’ll be OK.’’
Umenyiora was laughing when he said these two combatants have a history and it’s not amicable. Umenyiora said he fought Light on the field in the last game of the 2007 regular season and again in this year’s 24-20 Giants victory at Gillette Stadium.
“It is what it is, man, I’ve actually fought him twice,’’ Umenyiora said. “Actual real fight on the football field, twice. Me and him we have history, we’re gonna rekindle that on Sunday.
“He wasn’t as bad in the Super Bowl but this past game we played we fought again. I don’t know what it is he does but there’s something that he’s doing that really gets under my skin. I’m not that type of guy, he’s probably the only person I’ve ever fought on the football field.’’
Umenyiora knows the key to this game from a defensive standpoint is putting pressure on Tom Brady. Tuck said “The way to kill a snake is to take its head off’’ then went on to explain that the Giants must make sure they put enough heat on Brady to get him out of his rhythm.
“He’s a very good quarterback, an excellent quarterback and they do a lot of things to protect him, a lot of quick throws, their receivers run shorter routes and he gets the ball out of his hands really, really quick,’’ Umenyiora said. “It’s gonna be hard for us to get to him but whenever we have the opportunity, because there will be a time we have the opportunity, we have to take advantage of that.
“Any quarterback, it doesn’t matter who he is, you put him under that much pressure his performance is going to be affected. He’s one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play, anybody under that pressure is going to have a problem and if we do he’s gonna have a problem.’’