New York Giants fans are looking forward to many things this season, but one thing in particular has them both stoked and curious.

That would be the pairing of outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux with edge rusher Brian Burns, the former Pro Bowler the Giants acquired in a trade with the Carolina Panthers this past offseason.

The pass rush should be vastly improved in 2024. Thibodeaux finished with 11.5 sacks last season and is seen as an ascending player and Burns has never had less than 7.5 sacks in any of his five NFL seasons.

“It’s exciting,” Thibodeaux told NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero. “Me and Brian, we have a similar body type. We have a similar style of play. But he’s a little bit different. He’s faster, he’s quicker. He’s obviously farther in his career than I am, so there’s a lot of gems he’s been giving me. And he’s been able to help up my game a little bit, and I’ve been competing with him, giving him a few things I know, and it’s been great so far. I’m excited to see what’s all to come from that.”

Thibodeaux was the fifth overall selection in the 2022 NFL draft out of Oregon by the Giants and they have seen flashes over his first two seasons. The addition of Burns to the defensive front could unleash Thibodeaux’s dominance.

Thibodeaux has great support in East Rutherford with the Giants. He recently had a conversation with the greatest outside linebacker of them all — Lawrence Taylor — at the team’s 100th anniversary event.

“You know what I think is funny, you go into these conversations and you’re always looking for something,” Thibodeaux said of his chat with L.T.

“If they’re a legend, you’re like, ‘What did you do? What was the secret sauce?’ And I think it was funny, L.T., he looked at me crazy when I said, ‘L.T., what’s the secret sauce?’ He was like, ‘Now you know damn well there ain’t no secret sauce.’”

True. The formula is hard work and talent every time. Thibodeaux has the second in spades, but the hard work part is what most fall short on. He plans on not letting that happen.

“It’s just funny thinking that when you make it to this level, you make it on the same things that you’re taught as a kid. Hard work. Integrity. Dedication,” he said. “And there’s nothing different. All that’s different is you’ve got to be a little more dedicated and work a little harder, but other than that, we have the tools as athletes. You’ve just got to continue to apply them and do your best.”


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