During the offseason, the New York Giants acquired Keith Rivers from the Cincinnati Bengals for a fifth-round draft pick. It was a low risk move for a player who, in 2008, was drafted ninth overall out of USC. However, Rivers believes he is worth much more than a fifth-round pick. In fact, he thinks the Giants got such a good deal, it was practically criminal.
"I was the ninth pick in the draft," Rivers said Tuesday. "Anywhere near that [level of play for the Giants] and it's beyond a steal. It's armed robbery."
Although Rivers believes he is capable of becoming a major contributor to the Giants' quest to defend their Super Bowl, it's his responsibility to prove that he is still capable of producing like the player many thought he could be.
Rivers showed promise during his rookie season in Cincinnati; however, his season ended when Steelers receiver Hines Ward blindsided him and broke his jaw. His career was further derailed by injury when he missed all of last season due to a wrist injury. However, Rivers in anxious to get back onto gridiron.
"For me it's more about proving to myself that I am who I was and nothing has changed. It's a situation where when you've been hurt, you always want to show people what they've been missing. I'm excited to get out there and prove a lot of things to myself. Whenever you get hurt, there's always a little bit of 'Will I come back the same way?' And you work hard to make sure that you do."
Rivers is currently playing behind Michael Boley at the weak-side linebacker position. If he has a good preseason, Rivers could entice Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell to move Boley to middle linebacker and start him on the weak-side. Furthermore, second year players Mark Herzlich and Jacquian Williams will also push Rivers for playing time. However, if he can master the defensive schemes, as well as learn the middle linebacker position, look for Keith Rivers to contribute significantly in 2012.
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