Under the lights. Primetime network broadcast. Running out of the tunnel with the defending champs onto the NFL stage for the first time.
In the United States, that’s a typical dream growing up.
But what about overseas?
“This kid from Germany dreamed about it, too,” said Markus Kuhn, tapping his chest with his index finger.
The expat from Weinheim, Germany and the New York Giants’ newest defensive tackle will be living that reality come Wednesday night. From starting to play football at age 15 in his home country to traveling up and down the eastern seaboard in the States with his father showing college coaches a highlight DVD, the 26-year-old rookie has more than just an extraordinary story to tell.
He has opportunity.
He also has talent, as evidenced by his inclusion on the Giants’ 53-man roster, which was finalized on Friday.
“That’s what I worked for every day, and that was definitely the goal in coming here,” the seventh-round draft pick said. “Now my next goal immediately after was to be part of the rotation or see playing time, especially with all the injuries right now. They need me to step up. I’m just excited out at practice every day. I know what I have to do in the playbook, and now it’s me going out there executing the plays.”
With Marvin Austin still not participating in practice due to a back injury and Chris Canty on the PUP list, Kuhn is it behind starters Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard.
“I have to give Rocky or Linval a breather whenever they need it,” Kuhn said. “I’m excited to do it. There’s nothing better than starting the season playing against Dallas here at home. I’m excited as I can be.
“My dad is in town right now and we were sitting together, talking about how I imagined it six years ago in Germany and thought, ‘You know what, let’s maybe come to the U.S. and try to play some college football.’ Now I’m with the New York Giants and I’m about to play in the NFL against the Dallas Cowboys in New York.”
Yesterday defensive coordinator Perry Fewell spoke about his confidence in Kuhn, who had six tackles and a blocked pass in the preseason, and how he has no hesitation throwing him in the deep end.
“Shoot, that’s why we drafted him,” Fewell said. “He’s a New York Giant. He’s going to get his feet wet really early and, shoot, we’re going to play his butt…He’s going to get in there and mix it up. He’s not afraid to mix it up. He’s a German guy, so he doesn’t know the difference. He just says ‘I’m going to get in there and play ball.’ We’re going to play ball.”
Tags: Markus Kuhn, Rookies
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