Last season was rough on New York Giants corner Prince Amukamara.
After the Giants selected Amukamara out of Nebraska with the No.19 pick in the draft, Giants fans celebrated with aspirations of having there own Darrelle Revis type of back in blue and white; however, those aspirations quickly faded in the summer. The rookie defensive back ended up breaking a bone in his left foot during training camp, sidelining him for the first nine games of the year.
Upon returning to the team, Amukamara was relied heavily on to pick up some of the slack in the secondary. With CB Terrell Thomas out for the year, the rookie defensive back was asked to immediately step in and help the depleted secondary with New Orleans, Dallas and Green Bay on the upcoming schedule. His on-the-fly development showed with weeks of poor coverages and blown assignments.
After weeks of inconsistency, Amukamara's lack of production finally got him benched during the second half against the Washington Redskins in Week 15.
Even with all the ups and downs Amukamara faced, he managed to stay positive.
"I've dealt with adversity in my life, so it was easy just to persevere throughout this whole experience," Amukamara told keepingupwiththeatheltes.blogspot.com Thursday night.
That adversity was magnified because of a compressed schedule thanks to the NFL lockout, which seemed to drag on for years rather than just months. Now that Prince has a year under his belt, he believes he has learned some things to help prepare him for the season.
"I think just practicing like a pro, knowing when to not go too hard because durability is very huge in the NFL," Amukamara said. "Just knowing when to turn it down a little bit."
Now entering his second year, Amukamara will get to experience a full year of practicing and preparing like a pro, something he feels is very important.
"Last year, I didn't have OTAs, or minicamps, or training camps, so just to have those three big parts will help me make big strides."
With cornerback Aaron Ross leaving to Jacksonville, the Giants will once again rely on Amukamara to contribute in the secondary, and if his play is a reflection of the confidence he showed Thursday night, then the Giants' defense will indeed have a royal Prince.
All quotes were obtained first-hand unless otherwise noted.
Kyle McMorrow is also a Correspondent for Bleacher Report, and a writer and producer for 1010 WINS Radio in New York City. He has also worked for the Big Ten Network and ABC-TV in New York City. Kyle McMorrow has interviewed numerous prominent athletes, such as Larry Fitzgerald, Justin Tuck, Eli Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson. Twitter: @Kyle_McMorrow
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