Why Giants’ newly acquired star pass-rusher could help Kayvon Thibodeaux blossom

Syndication: The Record, brian burns, kayvon thibodeaux, new york giants

When the New York Giants secured Brian Burns from the Carolina Panthers and locked him in with a five-year extension, they envisioned more than just a formidable pass rusher—they saw a mentor for third-year linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Drawing on his own experiences with mentor Haason Reddick in Carolina, Burns is expected to play a crucial role in Thibodeaux’s development. The presence of a seasoned professional like Burns can be invaluable, providing guidance and boosting the career trajectory of a promising young player like Thibodeaux, who has yet to have a star mentor in his professional journey.

The Giants Are Hoping For a Beautiful Burns and Thibodeaux Relationship

Last season, Burns demonstrated why he’s regarded as one of the top rushers in the league, registering 40 pressures and nine sacks along with 30 tackles.

Now, with the Giants, he aims to maintain this high level of performance and foster a similar success trajectory for Thibodeaux, who posted 43 pressures and 13 sacks over 981 snaps last year. Although Thibodeaux’s numbers slightly edged out Burns in some areas, his play was marked by bouts of inefficiency and inconsistency.

Carolina Panthers offensive linebacker Brian Burns (0) (New York Giants)
Dec 31, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers offensive linebacker Brian Burns (0) against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

Burns showcased his skill during the Giants’ OTAs, making a noticeable impact by penetrating the offensive backfield consistently. This level of performance not only sets a high standard but also provides Thibodeaux with a direct example of professional excellence to emulate. With three years remaining on his rookie contract, Thibodeaux has a significant window to harness his skills and maximize his potential under Burns’ tutelage.

The strategic addition of Burns is likely to shift some of the offensive focus away from Thibodeaux, potentially affording him more one-on-one matchups as opposed to facing double teams. This shift could dramatically increase his effectiveness on the field.

Additionally, the presence of Dexter Lawrence alongside Burns will further draw attention away from Thibodeaux, creating more opportunities for him to excel.

The Giants’ defensive line has seen substantial reinforcements this offseason, which, combined with an improved offense, could lead to a revitalized team in 2024. If the offense can perform well and keep the defense from being overstretched, the Giants are set to show marked improvements, fueled by the strategic pairing of Burns and Thibodeaux. This duo has the potential to significantly elevate the team’s defensive prowess in the upcoming seasons.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: