Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari a pass-rush dream

The Déjà Blue Dream goes like this: Kayvon Thibodeaux turns the corner on one side, Azeez Ojulari turns the corner on the other side, and they meet at the quarterback.

Ojulari being activated off the non-football injury list (hamstring) Sunday and returning to the practice field for the first time in training camp will only whet the appetite of a fan base starving for the good old days when no quarterback was safe from Big Blue terror.

“We have that same energy, same motor, so we’re definitely gonna push each other, feed off each other’s energy and just get after people,” Ojulari said.

It is a mere fantasy at this point to close your eyes and harken back to Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora, but Giants fans enduring what is starting to feel like an eternal nightmare can be forgiven for this sweet Déjà Blue Dream.

“It’s the best it’s looked on the outside in a long time,” NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger told The Post, “since Strahan and Osi. And I don’t want to put them in that category, they gotta go do it, so I don’t want to make any comparisons. But it’s the best since that era. It’d be good if it happens sooner rather than later — it’d be great if it happens Week 1 or Week 2, and you really see these guys meet at the quarterback. That’d be a lot of fun to get some early returns.”

Ojulari recorded eight sacks as a rookie and is five to 10 pounds heavier at 254 pounds and stronger in Year 2.

The Giants' Azeez Ojulari participates in a practice at the team's training facility in East Rutherford, N.J., May 26, 2022.
The Giants’ Azeez Ojulari participates in a practice at the team’s training facility.
AP

Your Baldy Breakdown: “He showed some bend and speed off the edge, which is good. I think he’s got a chance to, really with Kayvon, to have a real pass rush for the first time in a decade, from guys that can really bring something off the edge.

“And so I want to see his development this year. Most of these guys don’t know what they’re doing their rookie year, they’re just using their ability. I think that’s what he did. And if the quarterback gets flushed, both these guys can really run and chase, and you can force quarterbacks into mistakes when you do that.”

Thibodeaux was the much-ballyhooed fifth pick of the draft.

“You could see that he’s got suddenness, and he’s got a change of direction,” Baldinger said, “and he’s smart from the standpoint that he’s not gonna try to just run guys over. I don’t think he’s got that kind of power, although he’s not not strong. But if you look at him, he’s kinda light in the back end, compared to a lot of these pass rushers that are really good.”

Thibodeaux has hushed his football-isn’t-important-to-him naysayers.

Giants rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux looks on at training camp, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
Giants rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux looks on at training camp.
Corey Sipkin/New York Post

“He showed that he could rush inside, he’s got a good long-arm stab, he’s got a pretty decent array of moves already,” Baldinger said.

Thibodeaux has emphasized the importance of fourth-quarter winning time.

“The one great thing about both Osi and Strahan was they showed up when it counted the most. When you gotta affect the quarterback, can you do it when you have to? I think both these guys are pretty smart. And so, they have talent … that’s the next step. I want to see Azeez learn more. But also understand when the balance of the game is, and how you can affect the balance of the game.”

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