Q: After a tough loss against the Eagles last week, what is your overall impression of the Giants and, in particular,
A: Ok, thanks for narrowing it down (laughs). Eli, heck, I have a great deal of respect for Eli. When I was in Philly, I was involved in over 20 of these games against the Giants. At any point in the game, Eli can get hot, and he has the confidence to lead his team to victory. I’m sure the guys in the huddle with him know that. You have to play them all the way out, and it’s very important that you keep trying to get pressure on him (Manning) because, regardless of the quarterback, that’s the best way to disrupt them.
Q: What’s the challenge of having such a young team?
A: Oh boy…That’s another long one. I think the biggest thing is that they understand that the process, and going through the process, the preparation, the displaying a dependable attitude, trying to do everything you do right and to the best of your ability is the most important thing. When the process gets right, then you start winning games. I think our guys, each person individually and as it applies to the team, has to try and develop yourself into the best version of yourself, and then put it into play.
Q: With Brandon Weeden, although he is a rookie, does his age change the “type of rookie” that he is?
A: Well he’s obviously unique in terms of the rookie status because he’s 28-29 years old, but I will say this, there are certain things that although his age has helped him with some of the off the field things that young players deal with, you still have to go through the process of playing; first your opener, then on the road, then at home, before or after a loss, you have to go through the process. I think he’s displayed, at least to me, that he’s improving. I think now he has to improve and put together a winning performance, much like Eli. I have a great deal of respect for Eli because he’s won football games and two championships, so he’s found that right combination there in
Q: How’s your receiving corps looking for this Sunday?
A: Yeah, we’re like every team, we’re dealing with some injuries at different positions. I’ve kind of got the “next man up” theory. It’s important that everyone on the squad understands that when they’re in the football game, they’re in charge with helping us win it. I think that’s the approach that we take.
Q: Will Josh Cribbs play Sunday?
A: Yeah, Cribbs, he’ll be out there.
Q: With Trent Richardson, what is something you can share with us that most people wouldn’t know about him?
A: He’s extremely tough, he’s extremely competitive. I’ve watched how hard he works. He comes from a winning program so he knows what it takes to win, and he knows how to demand from himself. All the things about process that I just talked about earlier, and I think we’ve all seen that when he gets the ball in his hands, he can get in the end zone. This league is about scoring points and eliminating scores, and if you have a running back that can get the ball in the end zone, it’s a big value.
Q: Does the Giants’ pass rush still separate them from other teams?
A: When you talk about the Giants’ defense, of course, it’s very easy, and the right thing to do, to start up front. That group there is very accomplished. There’s a mixture of youth, there’s a mixture of age and experience, and really to a man, they all have the skill and ability to be fine players, whether they’re at defensive tackle or defensive end. Yeah, I think where you start with the Giants’ defense is up front, but I will say this, they, as a unit, have won a heck of a lot of games playing a team defense style which is very important.
Q: What are your team’s thoughts on losing so many close games this season?
A: Well I think I have a group of guys here, they fight they’re tail off and they respond to what I, and the coaches, tell them. They’re just as determined as anybody to get a victory. I think once we have the taste of that, more will come. I think what’s important is you focus on the process of winning and we all know that it’s very difficult, and a good example is the Giants-Eagles (game). It’s hard to win a game in this league. You have to fight them all out to the end. Had the opportunity to watch some of the games this weekend and there were a heck of a lot of games that came down to the last play, where wins and losses were determined. I think what’s important is that the guys just keep fighting and play the game out at the end, however it happens.
Q: Coach Coughlin started his press conference this morning by saying, “Don’t be misled by the Browns’ record,” do you remind your players of that as well?
A: I’m pretty much a, “you are what you are” type guy. I understand what our record is. I understand what this team has and the character that we have. We’re going to continue to keep fighting. What’s important is that we amp up our effort even more, and each guy feel the pressure to make one or two plays better than the week before. That’s the message here. There’s no moral victories in finishing close. I make sure our players are reminded of that as well.
Q: Do you feel as if each game has been one or two plays away from winning?
A: I think so. I think what’s important is that I have a roster of players here that I think the world of. You put 11 of them out there at any time and you don’t know when those one or two plays are going to make a difference. The focus could be on a big play late in the game, but for example, a quarterback that doesn’t take advantage of a “gimme” early in the game may get you off the field three plays sooner than you should, which means Trent Richardson doesn’t touch the ball maybe once or twice more. If that happened, you might’ve scored a touchdown early. I think what’s important is that you keep telling the guys to play hard and keep trying to put as many good plays together as you can.