[quote user="RoanokeFan"]CREDIT H.S. COACH FOR UNLEASHING PIERRE-PAUL
"If you cannot block Jason Pierre-Paul, cannot keep him from laying out your quarterback, blame Manny Martin.
If you cannot believe what you are seeing with Jason Pierre-Paul, cannot comprehend how this driven athletic marvel has soared for the Giants like some wide-winged bird of prey, thank Manny Martin.
There was a time when Pierre-Paul was a teenage basketball player infatuated with dunking and highly skeptical of those guys outside on the field wearing helmets and shoulder pads. Someone had to convince this son of Haitian parents that if he switched sports he could one day line his pockets with riches beyond his imagination.
The transformation from dunker to sacker happened at Deerfield Beach High School, the logical starting point for this investigation, to find Jason Pierre-Paul’s football godfather.
“OK, I know who you can talk to,’’ Vincent Tozzi, the athletic director at Deerfield Beach High School, told The Post. “Call Dillard High School, this is the one you’re looking for. Ask for coach Manny Martin. Manny was the defensive coordinator here when Jason started to play football. He was the one that pursued him the most.
“Manny was the bridge. Manny is the guy you’re looking for.’’
The call to Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was routed through the main switchboard, directly to the head football coach, Manny Martin. So, Coach Martin, you are responsible for turning Jason Pierre-Paul on to football? You are the man all Giants fans should hail as their guardian angel as this once-sickly playoff push was injected with adrenaline following the rousing 37-34 victory over the Cowboys?
“I guess it would be,’’ Martin said, chuckling. “Not to brag about it, but it would be me.’’
Martin first laid eyes on Pierre-Paul as a 10th grader on the basketball court, saw this tall, lean kid, introduced himself and extended his right hand.
“When I shook his hand I knew how long his hands were, they came like to the middle of my arm, his fingertips,’’ Martin recalled. “I said ‘Damn, you don’t play no football?’ He’s like, ‘Nah, I’m a basketball player.’ He didn’t know nothing about football.’’
Martin couldn’t get out of his mind the image of Pierre-Paul rushing around the edge.
“I knew how long his arms were,’’ he said. “The kid could stand up and probably scratch his kneecap without even bending over. I just knew he had a body frame to be a nice defensive end.’’
Pierre-Paul’s parents, Jean and Marie, arrived from Haiti in 1983; his father, Jean, went blind when Jason was an infant. Money was tight and Jason had to work in fast food joints, cutting grass; not much extra time. The growing Haitian population in Broward County was just starting to cultivate an interest in football. Pierre-Paul broke his leg more than once playing basketball. The stars were aligned.
“I wound up getting him in my class,’’ said Martin, who taught Geometry. “When I had him in my class I felt like I had the right to put a little more pressure on him. I told him, ‘You talking about passing this class? You better start thinking about getting on that football field.’
“The first day, I knew he could run. What made me say there was something special was the day when he was out there and the kids were clowning around on the field. When I saw that long kid doing those back-flips I said, ‘Oh snap, that was impressive.’ ’’
Pierre-Paul was already in his junior year, quite late to be picking up a new sport. Martin kept it simple. He got on the field for the first time in the playoffs.
“He was decent, but didn’t make an impact right then,’’ Martin said. “He made a few sacks, he was getting a little bit more confident and then his senior year he just dominated.’’
Martin sat Pierre-Paul down and said: “If you focus and do what you need to do for the next two years you’ll be able to take care of his family for the rest of your life.’’
It wasn’t merely lip service. Martin, 42, spent five years (54 games) in the NFL, starting in 1993 with the Oilers, spent time in the Canadian Football League and lasted four seasons as a defensive back with the Bills until he retired in 1999. He intercepted Troy Aikman twice — in one game.
“I’m proud to see him out there,’’ Martin said. “That’s my pay, to see him out there.’’
Eli’s fulfillin’ destiny
John Mara chooses his words carefully and so it was interesting how the Giants co-owner phrased his praise of Eli Manning minutes after the quarterback produced yet another fourth-quarter comeback to overtake the Cowboys 37-34.
“It’s good when the first pick in the draft comes through like that,’’ Mara said.
At times, it seems, we forget that Eli was born for this because of his low-key demeanor and his subdued aura as Peyton’s kid brother. With Peyton off the scene with his neck injury, it is as if a Manning had to rise and Eli was next in line.
The Giants reconfigured their 2004 draft to get Eli and they are using a huge chunk of their salary cap ($8.5 million salary this season, $10.7 million and $13 the next two) for him to excel.
When Mara was asked his level of concern for the Giants defense and the inability to clamp down on opponents, he quickly shot back: “With our quarterback on the field no lead is safe, either.’’
Eli, no doubt is playing great, which is what the Giants expected out of him."
Thats alot of info...but +1 on it ..good job