Defensive lineman RJ McIntosh, the New York Giants’ fifth-round selection in last month’s draft, is in East Rutherford for rookie workouts, but was mostly a watcher, his first NFL helmet nowhere to be seen.
Speaking in person to the New York media for the first time, however, McIntosh assured his new followers he’d be ready to go once the team fully convenes.
“I’m dealing with a medical condition and I’m being treated for it. I should hopefully be back soon,” McIntosh said. Though unwilling to go into further detail about his condition, he flatly added that it shouldn’t affect him on the field, and that it would not keep him out of June’s minicamp saying it’s “something minor.”
The final pick of the Giants’ 2018 draft, McIntosh isn’t going to let a forced relegation to the sidelines prevent him from working during rookie minicamp weekend. He’s disappointed he won’t be working with his fellow newcomers, but still plans to use his time constructively.
“I’m just hanging in there, being comfortable around the guys,” McIntosh said of his minicamp plans. “(I’m) getting mental reps out there, watching the other guys rep it out because I can’t. I’m just excited and ready to be back and be ready to perform.”
Though McIntosh was unable to adorn his Giants helmet for the first time, he was wearing his practice jersey, adorned with the number 90.
Those numerals represented the one of the most popular and fearsome Giants defenders in recent memory, Jason Pierre-Paul, who was traded to Tampa Bay earlier this offseason. It’s a hard act for McIntosh to immediately follow, but he’s using the increased pressure as on-field motivation once he’s allowed to enter.
“To me, it’s an honor. He’s a great player and not that I wasn’t going to work hard, but it’s another chip on my shoulder to have his number,” McIntosh said.
“He’s a great player and I want to follow his footsteps and what he’s done in the league so far.”
McIntosh, who drew comparisons to Mario Edwards during the draft process, said he didn’t model his game after Pierre-Paul, but he’d love to emulate the Giants career the new Buccaneer was able to build. “Hopefully I can follow what he’s done in the league so far and follow his footsteps.”
A Miami alum, McIntosh, who wore 80 in college, tallied 103 total tackles in three years with the Hurricanes, 23 for a loss.
(Photo courtesy of Miami University Athletics)