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Osi Umenyiora likes Giants drafting of Pierre-Paul

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Two-time Pro Bowler Osi Umenyiora says the New York Giants made a good move by taking fellow defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in the NFL draft.

Umenyiora said in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Friday evening that Pierre-Paul's selection won't affect him because the best players will play, and he intends to be one of the NFL's top ends next season.

"I'm not unhappy at all," Umenyiora wrote. "The team has come out and said I won't be traded so now it's time to just go out and play. I truly believe I'm among the best ends in the league and now its time to stop talking and go out and prove it. That goes for everyone also."

Umenyiora said the Giants followed their usual draft strategy of taking the best player available.

"I thought it was a good move for them to draft an end actually," Umenyiora wrote. "The lb (linebacker) wasn't available, and the Giants have always drafted the best player available and he obviously was it."

Umenyiora, who was unhappy with his playing time in the second half of last season, admitted that he believed he might be traded if the Giants drafted a defensive end. But he said he no longer feels that way.

Citing sources close to Umenyiora, several New York metropolitan area newspapers reported on their websites Friday that the veteran wasn't happy with the selection of Pierre-Paul with the 15th overall pick.

"All those stories are completely false," Umenyiora said in his e-mail.

He had somewhat of a falling out with coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese at the end of last season, and Umenyiora said that has cast him in a bad light.

"The perception of negativity surrounding me and my relationship with the team is ludicrous," Umenyiora said. "I'm happy to be with the team and now it's just time to go out and perform the way I know the team can perform."

Umenyiora scoffed at reports that he, Mathias Kiwanuka and Pierre-Paul will be competing for one end spot and that Justin Tuck will get the other.

"Do they really believe it will be me, Kiwi and Pierre-Paul competing on one side and Tuck by himself on the other side? That's hilarious," Umenyiora said. "Why would I be upset?"

Pierre-Paul said in a teleconference call on Friday that he was looking forward to working with the veterans.

"I know they have a lot of defensive ends," Pierre-Paul said. "I'm ready to learn from them, you know. I'm ready for them to teach me (how) the whole process goes because they have been there and they know the defense. I'm ready to learn and help."

Pierre-Paul, who didn't play his first full season of football until his senior year in high school, downplayed the tag that he is a raw talent, saying when he is on the football field, he knows what he is doing.

"I'm a very good pass rusher," Pierre-Paul said. "Actually, I'm a great pass rusher. Pass rushing is just one of the things I can do though. I feel I can become better and better at that, and I want to come up to New York and hopefully become a better football player."

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