Prince Amukamara hopes new skill will help with interceptions

  • Dave Ragazzo
PHOTO COURTESY:  IM MCISAAC/NEWSDAY

PHOTO COURTESY: IM MCISAAC/NEWSDAY

Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara learned to juggle this off season.  He didn’t do this so he could entertain house guests; he learned in an effort to perfect his skills on defense.

Part of Amukamara’s offseason workout was to juggle which he thinks will boost his interception numbers.  The fourth year cornerback says his new skill helps with his hand-eye coordination and will allow him to take the next step to become one of the top corners in the league.

From the New York Daily News:

Prince Amukamara can admit it. The first few times the Giants’ corner yelled to his wife in the living room to show off his new hobby, she walked away laughing.

The fourth-year corner would toss three tennis balls into the air, trying to juggle them. In a matter of seconds, the balls would be lying on the carpet, and wife, Pilar Davis, would be giggling.

“Every time I would get close, I’d yell, ‘Babe, babe! Watch! Watch!’ ” Amukamara said Friday. “I’d be like, ‘I got it! I got it!’ And I wouldn’t get it.”

But Amukamara kept trying, kept battling through living room comedy hours, because juggling was a critical part of his offseason training program.

Over the last three years, he’s gradually blossomed into a lockdown corner, and he enters this season hoping to finally be mentioned as an elite cover man. Thing is, despite all Amukamara’s natural gifts, despite his thickly built 207-pound frame and his 4.4 speed, he’s been held back by his stone hands. The Giants’ 2011 first-round pick has just three career interceptions, and far too many passes have slipped through his hands. In 2013, his finest all-around season, Amukamara estimates that he “definitely dropped four or five easy” picks.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “Six picks, and you can go from the least talked about (corner) to now you’re up there, just from those balls being caught.

“I think a corner’s graded on how often he gets his hand on balls,” he added. “That’s how you make your team better.”

Amukamara picked up the trait while training with Bengals wide receiver AJ Green.  During those training sessions, Amukamara said that Green would juggle to help with his hand-eye coordination.

So far, that has worked out pretty well for Green and Amukamara is hoping it has the same result for him.

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