Isaiah Simmons ready to make big plays, help Giants’ defense take ‘next step’

New Giants linebacker Isaiah Simmons during warm ups. The NY Jets against the NY Giants on August 26, 2023 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, as the rivals play their final preseason game before the start of the NFL season / Chris Pedota – – USA TODAY NETWORK

The Giants made a potential big splash for their defense earlier this week, picking up Isaiah Simmons in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a seventh-round pick.

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale got a chance to show off his shiny new toy right away, as Simmons suited up and got the start in Big Blue’s preseason finale on Saturday against the Jets.

He played a total of five snaps and rushed the passer from different spots on the field on all five plays. Simmons showcased his speed and missed recording his first sack in a Giants uniform by a matter of inches.

Overall, though, he was happy to be able to get out there so soon.

“It was exciting to be able to get out there in the new threads,” he told reporters postgame. “Felt amazing out there in the new environment, Giants fans are amazing. It felt really good, I appreciate them giving me the opportunity.”

Simmons said it’s been a crazy few days since the trade, which he didn’t expect, but now that things are settling down he’s thrilled to be joining a team that includes his offseason workout partner Saquon Barkley and college teammate Dexter Lawrence.

“Extremely excited, how could I not be? This is a great organization, great coaching staff, and just from being around the guys a little bit everybody here is great,” he said. “Personally, it’s been a bit hectic but it’s been good, I’m excited.

“Everybody’s welcomed me with open arms like I’ve been here from the jump. I appreciate them for that, that says a lot about the culture here and just what type of team this is. I appreciate all the guys just bringing me in and welcoming me in.”

The former first-round pick has appeared all over the field, but was mainly used in the secondary during his time in Arizona. Now with Big Blue, he’s expected to slide back to more of a pass rusher and linebacker role, like he played in college.

Despite saying in the past that his preference is to play safety, Simmons says he’s ready to be a playmaker and is willing to help the Giants’ defense in any way.

“I’m here to make plays for the team and to help the defense take the next step,” he said. “What Wink’s vision is, I have full trust in him. He’s a great coordinator and he knows how to utilize his players to their best abilities. I don’t have any worries about what his plan is for me.

“There’s plays to be made and they’re going to be made.”

Despite arriving late in camp, Simmons expects to be ready to roll for the Giants’ Week 1 matchup with the division-rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.

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