Dave Gettleman tip helps lead to Oshane Ximines' bust out - New York Post
Before Thursday’s game, as he was making the rounds in the visitors’ locker room at Paul Brown Stadium, Dave Gettleman stopped by the locker occupied
Before Thursday’s game, as he was making the rounds in the visitors’ locker room at Paul Brown Stadium, Dave Gettleman stopped by the locker occupied by Oshane Ximines, a rookie outside linebacker the Giants general manager deemed worthy of the 95th-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The message imparted was short and succinct: Worry about the little things and the sacks will come.
“That’s something I really pay attention to,’’ Ximines said. “That’s all I did.’’
What Ximines did was put together his first breakout spurt of the preseason with two sacks in the second quarter of a 25-23 victory over the Bengals.
“He probably was as disruptive as he’s been in the preseason,’’ coach Pat Shurmur said Friday. “He’s just getting used to playing, I think he is one of the guys that he can find a way to the quarterback. We were pleased with some of the rushes he had. He was a little better in the run game as well.’’
It sure looks as if the NFL game is starting to make sense for Ximines, who arrived as a third-round pick with serious pass rush credentials from a level of competition — Old Dominion — that allows for a healthy dose of skepticism.
The two sacks against the Bengals gave Ximines three in the past two games, evidence that, yes, indeed, things are starting to click for him.
“I’m not going to say that because this don’t even count,’’ Ximines said. “I’m just focused on getting better for next week. And making sure I’m ready for Dallas when the time comes.’’
There is not enough time for Ximines to vault into a starting spot for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Cowboys. He does not have to make such a move in order to make a dent in the defensive rotation and, perhaps, a dent in Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. The coaching staff’s hope is that Ximines can fill an immediate role on third downs, screaming off the edge as a situational pass rusher. It could happen as early as Week 1.
Not long after Ximines was selected on the second day of the draft, Gettleman detailed what he liked best about the player. It was not that Ximines set a school record with 33 sacks, it was how he did it, with moves and countermoves more advanced than most. This was no one-trick pony.
Ximines showed this on his assault on the Bengals. On his first sack, he dropped Ryan Finley after slithering through the offensive line from an interior rush position. It is not something the 254-pound Ximines is supposed to specialize in and served as evidence as to the pass rush maturity he possesses. When defensive coordinator James Bettcher made the call to see what the rookie could do with it, the results were promising. Lorenzo Carter from the outside came crashing in as well, opening up a lane for Ximines to cruise through.
“I had an inside move, that’s what coach Betch called up and I just tried to take my inside step and get vertical as quick as possible,’’ Ximines said.
“When you do an inside move as an edge rusher it helps your game even more because the offensive tackle is always going to be a little worried about that. It kind of opens up your game for you.’’
The second sack was textbook speed and anticipation. Ximines beat tackle O’Shea Dugas so decisively at the snap that Ximines figured it must have been a missed assignment by the Bengals lineman, who barely got into his pass set before he was looking back and watching his quarterback get thrown to the turf.
“Just got freed up off the edge, I always try to get off with that juice and I was able to come and make a play,’’ Ximines said. “He stepped down and I feel like he was supposed to have me, but nobody blocked me so I’m going to go tackle the quarterback.’’
In other words, your confusion up front isn’t my problem.
“Hey, I ain’t got nothing to do with that, that’s between him and his coach and whatever they got going on,’’ Ximines said.
“I don’t think I had one in college that easy, but I’ll take it.’’
These were the big things that came about because of the little things Gettleman reminded Ximines to focus on beforehand. Getting his technique, footwork and his stance right, reading his keys.
“It doesn’t feel like I’m back in college yet,’’ he said, “but it does feel good to get home.’’