Don't know exactly what Linval Joseph is going to turn into, but you've got to like his attitude.
"I can play inside or outside, but I like to stop the run," the Giants' second-round defensive tackle said. "I like to hit the running back. I don't know why, but I like to hit the running back, so I feel comfortable inside. But on third down, I like to get outside and hit the quarterback."
As long as there is some sort of hitting going on, Joseph will fulfill his promise of at least adding depth to a middle front that was constantly pushed around last season. Blame some of that on the fact that Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins were coming off microfracture knee surgery, and that Chris Canty got hurt in training camp.
But the fact of the matter is that offensive lines had their way all across the Giants' defensive front. If Joseph lives up to his reputation as a rock-solid run-stopper, at least one area could be stengthened.
That was only made possible after Joseph's freshman season at East Carolina, when back problems caused by carrying 370 pounds resulted in minor surgery and a commitment to weight loss. He's listed at 328 now, but he did his Pro Day at 319, and currently weighs 315 now.
He feels he's at a good weight.
"When I had the weight on, it was hard to breathe, hard to tie my shoes. It was too much. And when I had my back surgery freshman year, I got tunnel vision. I could see a lot of people really didn't care about me. Only three people called me, my mom, my coach, and my little girl. That's when I started caring about life.
"I knew what I had to do and I knew what I had to do to do it."
So he lost the weight, and he doesn't plan on going down any further.
"Right now I'm strong and fast," Joseph said. "Strong and solid. When I'm smaller than 315, I drop off strength-wise."
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