Q: Do you feel like it’s your turn now that the spot is open?
A: My opportunity is open a lot more now so right now I just have to give it my all, give it my best and just be ready.
Q: Do you feel a lot more ready this year?
A: Right now I’m just getting back into things, that’s what I have to do. I feel like I’m getting there.
Q: It seems like last year was a red shirt year almost for you. What did you gather from those six games on the field and your practice time?
A: Practice to me is just like a game because you have to practice to be ready for game day. Last year I felt like I was ready but at the same time there was
Q: Have they specifically told you that you’re the starting defensive tackle?
A: Not yet. Right now they tell me you have a lot of opportunities, right now just take advantage of it.
Q: What do you think of
A: He’s a good guy. He’s a rookie. He’s in my same shoes right now. Right now I just coach him, help him and as a team we’ve got to do this together.
Q: Is he too rusty to be a threat to you?
A: Rusty? No. He doesn’t call for that. It’s just been a long time for him and he’s trying to get back into it.
Q: What’s one thing the coaches have told you to focus on, to improve on, to earn that starting spot?
A: Right now nothing. Just make plays, be fast and the small things. Work on the little things.
Q: What’s the difference between this year and last. Obviously, last year you come in as a rookie trying to get acclimated, but now that you have a chance to be a starter and have a significant role in this D-line, what’s different about the mindset coming in this year?
A: This year has started slow but so far you have just a little more time to rest up, to study, to look at film and prepare yourself. Last year you had to do a whole bunch of rookie stuff. Rookie meetings and stuff like that so this year I have a lot more time to focus a lot more.
Q: In the offseason did you do anything particular to gain more muscle or lose weight?
A: In the offseason, I really didn’t have an offseason. I kept on track. I went back down to Florida and I was doing a lot of running and trying to train my body more and get my body weight down and try to make everything a lot more solid than last year.
Q: Did you gain muscle?
A: Yeah, I leaned out.
Q: Would you be upset if they added a veteran defensive tackle?
A: No, not at all.
Q: Someone to compete with?
A: They want to win and if there’s somebody out there that’s a vet that’s better that comes in, I can’t be mad at them. That’s their decision. So I’m just going to go with it and play my part.
Q: Have you seen Osi yet?
A: Yeah I’ve seen Osi.
Q: Is he smiling?
A: He’s smiling, everybody’s smiling. I like Osi. Osi’s a great player and right now hopefully everything works cool and he’s back on he field with us.
Q: Would you expect him back after tonight?
A: I don’t know what’s going on with Osi so I’m just waiting to see.
Q: Was it a distraction for someone like you to not know who’s on your line?
A: Well it’s not just focused on me. Whenever he comes back out there and reunites with the team, he’ll be ready to go.
Q: Coach Coughlin said yesterday that he expects you to be the one to step up. What does that mean to you that he has that kind of faith in you and does that put any added pressure on you?
A: Not at all. No added pressure. I’m going to do what I need to do and I just want to help the team in any way I can.
Q: In terms of defensive snaps last year, how many did you get?
A: In the last couple games I got a lot of snaps, 30-40 snaps.
Q: How much does that experience help?
A: Every snap, every play helps. So just to get some snaps on the field in practice or preseason it felt pretty good just to play and just to move around.
Q: Is it a good feeling knowing that the head coach has that kind of faith in you that he thinks you’re gong to be the one to step up?
A: It feels real good. I don’t want to let him down.
Q: Does it motivate you a little bit more?
A: I still have the same motivation that I had when I first came in my first year. I don’t want to make him mad at me. I want to make him proud.