Home » Kayvon Thibodeaux sparks Giants’ pass-rush dream as teammates laud ‘IQ’

Kayvon Thibodeaux sparks Giants’ pass-rush dream as teammates laud ‘IQ’

by 100IQ Win The Knowledge


You’re a true blue Giants fan and you have a dream: 

Kayvon Thibodeaux blows past the tackle and sacks the quarterback. Or Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari free up Leonard Williams to sack the quarterback. Or Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari meet at the quarterback the way Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora did back in the day. 

It is what the Kayvon Effect will look like. 

It is a dream chased feverishly by the long-suffering Giants fan tired of seeing his quarterback on his back while the other quarterback is upright with enough time to read “War and Peace” in the pocket. 

It is a dream where the other quarterback is flinching, or running for his life, or buried under Big Blue predators who are making the Giants defense feared again. 

Of course it is unfair to set great expectations for Thibodeaux and the sudden impact he might make even as the fifth overall pick of the draft. 

But if you can’t let the imagination run wild in May, when can you? 

And if Williams and Ojulari already are, why can’t you? 

Because after three light practices, he is Rave-on Thibodeaux. 

“He’s shown great speed, great pass rush IQ and stuff like that,” Williams said. “Meaning … he knows when to speed around the corner, he knows when to like try to beat a guy inside. So far what I’ve seen, he seems to have a good understanding of reading the offensive lineman’s set and stuff like that.” 

Kayvon Thibodeaux runs a drill at Giants minicamp.
Kayvon Thibodeaux runs a drill at Giants minicamp.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Williams slumped to 6.5 sacks last season following a career-best 11.5 in 2020. If Thibodeaux and Ojulari can form a Batman-Robin tandem, Williams should benefit. 

“It’s gonna be great for me inside playing with guys like that, that are gonna make the quarterback step up,” Williams said, “and if I’m playing in the middle and they’re going their job, I’m gonna make them roll out to them and vice versa. We feed off of each other.” 

Ojulari, who recorded eight sacks last season as a rookie, is excited about his new bookend. 

The New York Post has you covered for all the details of the 2022 NFL schedule:

“He’s explosive for sure,” Ojulari said. “Great athlete, too. Just can’t wait to keep playing with him and getting better every day with him.” 

Ojulari gained 10 pounds of muscle and is now 255. 

“I feel like as a rusher, you’ve gotta have some type of power with you,” Ojulari said. “When you rush, you can’t just always go speed, these tackles nowadays they’re doing athletic and good. They’re professional, so you gotta switch it up a little bit. “ 

Thibodeaux is no shrinking violet, but his much-ballyhooed big personality has taken a backseat to the task at hand. 

Kayvon Thibodeaux
Kayvon Thibodeaux’s teammates have been impressed with the attitude he’s brought to minicamp.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“Honestly, I thought he was gonna be more than he actually is, just ’cause from what you see on TV and from his draft day and stuff like that,” Williams said, “I was like, ‘This guy’s definitely a character.’ … But meeting him in person, he’s a humble guy and he’s ready to work, and he’s one of the first [defensive] guys to go in there and [give offensive linemen] a show look and things like that. I’m definitely impressed with those things.” 

Williams was the sixth pick of the 2015 draft by the Jets and can serve as a mentor to Thibodeaux, the fifth pick of the 2022 draft. 

“He’s definitely a confident guy — in a good way though,” Williams said. “He’s confident, not too cocky or anything like that. He knows he’s a rookie. He knows when it’s time for him to like do his duties as a rookie and stuff like that. He’s a good kid.” 

The personality of Big Blue is undergoing a transformation under blitz-happy new defensive coordinator Wink Martindale. 

“He’s making the offense react to us instead of the opposite way around,” Williams said. 

With the secondary in flux and in need of a talent infusion, the Kayvon Effect will be that much more critical in this quarterback-driven league. Lawrence Taylor won’t be walking through the door … though he did recently, alongside Super Bowl XXV MVP Ottis Anderson. 

“He said that LT wasn’t much of a talker, and he talked about how his presence alone was how he showed his leadership,” Williams told The Post, “and I felt that immediately when he walked in. You hear all the defense like, ‘Ohhh, that’s LT!’ ” 

The true blue Giants fan has a dream: 

“Ohhhh, that’s KT.”


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