New York Giants Jason Pierre-Paul
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bruce Arians confirmed that he wanted to sign New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul when he coached the Arizona Cardinals.

Back in 2016 when Jason Pierre-Paul signed a one-year deal to remain a member of the New York Giants, James Kratch at NJ.com reported that the Arizona Cardinals were interested in signing him.

Then-head coach Bruce Arians confirmed this in an interview with Dan Duggan, also with NJ.com, saying “heck yeah, we really went after him.”

New York Giants

Arians sees new defensive coordinator James Bettcher using Pierre-Paul similarly to how he used Chandler Jones in Arizona, namely as a 3-4 outside linebacker, which would make the transition to that scheme seamless. Jones collected 28 sacks in his two seasons in Bettcher’s scheme, including a league-leading 17 last season.

“What he did with Chandler Jones was amazing,” Arians said. “You drop into coverage some, but the majority of the time you’re rushing the passer.”

For fans worried about where that would leave fellow star defensive end Olivier Vernon, Arians thinks that will work itself out as well.

“(Bettcher will) find a spot for them,” Arians said. “Nickel defense is 70 percent of the game anyway, so they’re going to be playing a 4-2 anyway. They’ll be put in their natural position. It gives them a position to grow into and get more sacks.”

Arians also sees safety and emerging leader Landon Collins as a great fit for the new defensive coordinator’s scheme as well, comparing him to Tyrann Mathieu, who shined in his three years with Bettcher, producing 179 tackles, eight interceptions, three sacks, three forced fumbles, and 28 passes defended.

“I think he’s perfect,” Arians said. “What (Bettcher) did with Tyrann Mathieu and then this year with Budda Baker (and) Antoine Bethea had five picks this year. So, the safety role is so versatile and you’ve got a guy that’s a versatile player. What Tyrann has done from that position, Landon is perfect for.”

Jones’ success as Bettcher’s second option should leave Giants fans very excited for what Bettcher will be able to do with Pierre-Paul.

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