Good morning. Now we prepare today to play a very, very good Denver Broncos team. Not just an offensive team, but a complete team, to be honest with you. All you have to do is start with their return man (Trindon) Holliday and you know that someone that has that kind of scoring potential is indeed very unique with four touchdowns. As a matter of fact, two touchdowns in the playoff game against the Ravens last year accounting for 14 of their 35 points that put the game into overtime. So Holliday is an outstanding player, but defensively they were fourth in scoring defense last year, first on third downs. They had the most sacks in the league. They play a multiple form of (defense), lots of substitutions, lots of situational defenses. The offense gave up the fewest sacks in the league with 21 last year. I believe we had 22. They scored 30 points a game. They led the league in second-half scoring. They scored 35 the other night against Baltimore in the second half. They’re a very good, well-balanced football team and so we’re deep into our preparations this morning and the players have been very good, very attentive. I’m looking for a very good practice today.
Q: Your thoughts on bringing back
A: Brandon comes in at a time when the veteran running back with size is someone that can help us. He has been out of football for a while and is very anxious to have another opportunity and is willing to do whatever we ask him to do in order to help our team. I’m happy for Brandon and his family, and let’s get to work.
Q: What can you expect from him since he’s been away from football for a while?
A: I think he’s in pretty good shape. We worked him out and he’s looked forward to the opportunity that would come, whether it be here or someplace else, and I think he’s going to go practice and we’re going to try to deal with him just like we would any player right now because quite frankly we need him to get ready to play. He wouldn’t be here if that wasn’t the case.
Q: Do you think he adds physicality to your team?
A: I certainly hope so.
Q: Is mentoring
A: He’s here to contribute to our team. What David Wilson can learn from Brandon, fine. Brandon will do a good job in that regard, but that’s not the primary reason he’s here.
Q: You’ve had to manage Brandon in the past. We would ask you about things he had said publicly. Do you sense any difference in his attitude this time around?
A: I think, of necessity, he certainly is more humble. Manage is what we do with everybody. There’s nothing unusual about that.
Q: Is there anything David is doing to secure the ball differently or better?
A: He’s following the technique that he’s been taught, and we’ll see under pressure if he can continue to do that. The problems occur when you try to make a move and the ball leaves your side or the pocket that you’ve established for it. You have trouble and when there’s no place to go and other people are surrounding you, you have no choice but to cover it up with both hands and get in position where you’re taking care of the football and that’s not that a difficult a thing for David Wilson because of his body style and because of the height of his running position. He can do a good job of covering the ball up, and he was careless and it cost us dearly, but I’m confident he’s going to learn from it.
Q: Is he going to start?
A: We’ll see. As I’ve said many times, we need him. He’s necessary. He’s going to have to overcome this issue. He’s a marked man. So he’s really going to have to overcome it.
Q: Typically there is a good deal of improvement from week one to week two. Are you looking to see improvement from the first game?
A: That goes without saying for our team. When I talk about being concerned about our team, that’s what I’m talking about. It’s the improvement that has to take place in a circumstance like this, especially in the position we find ourselves in that I’m most interested in with our team and I think that’s why it was so important that we look at, study and go over the tape in great detail on Monday afternoon because this experience at this time of the year and you said it. You had a defense that played almost 80 snaps. You had an offense that really didn’t have many snaps, but they had almost 500 yards. There’s an awful lot to see and improve upon and consistency is one thing that has to take place for us in all phases.
Q: Are you surprised you haven’t been asked yet about Peyton and Eli?
A: Not really.
Q: Does that show you have a lot of other issues with your team right now?
A: Because we didn’t win a game, we have a lot of issues. We have a lot of things to straighten out and correct. I don’t know if it has anything to do with that question, but my standard answer for that question is there are two great quarterbacks that are going to be on the field this weekend.
Q: What’s the level of concern at linebacker with
A: It is a concern because of the numbers. We’ve added a young man (
A: Not today. He does feel pretty good, but he’s got to follow the protocol.
Q: Given the way David Wilson started last season and the responsibility he has with this team now, the fact that you would describe him as ‘careless,’ is there a larger issue here for you to address at all?
A: I don’t know where you’re going with that. He fumbles the football, he fumbled the ball twice. He’s got to straighten that out. We’re not going to have a guy on the field who’s fumbling the ball. He wants to play, he wants to do it, he wants to improve, he wants to be a part of this team, and he wants to help this team win. That is something that he must overcome. And the interesting thing is we didn’t see it in training camp, we didn’t see it in any of the preseason games, but it showed up then.
Q: Do you have a little more insight on Peyton because you’ve coached Eli for so long and know how smart he is and how quickly he picks things up. Obviously Peyton has the same type of awareness out there.
A: I don’t know if it’s an advantage. We certainly do, and have, watched, over the years, Peyton play his position and play it extremely well. I don’t know if that’s an advantage.
Q: Is there any way for you to find out on Wilson whether he is…
A: I can’t say any more about David Wilson, except I’ll watch him in practice and if his technique doesn’t improve, I’ll let you know. OK. I’ll let you know.
Q: You say ‘under pressure,’ you mean practice…
A: Yeah, in practice he’s going to have to have the ball in that position all the time, not just when he thinks he’s running free and there’s nobody around him. I want to see the ball in the right spot all the time. And, quite frankly, there’s nowhere else to go with this. I don’t know what else to say to you. I realize it’s a major issue for everybody, but there’s a way to carry the ball and there’s a way to protect the ball and there’s a way to protect the ball and there’s a way, that ball security is number one, and that’s what he’s going to have to demonstrate.
Q: Do you think Da’Rel Scott is a viable option. Did what he show you, up until that last play and including that last play…
A: Well yeah, I think he played pretty well the other night. Obviously it wasn’t perfect but he did play pretty well the other night and he did do some of the things that he needed to do under those circumstances that helped us at least get in the position where we take the ball down, drive it and score, maybe we’re talking about this stuff from a little different point of view than where we are right now.
Q: Clearly, when your starting quarterback is trying to focus and come back and win that game, do you find that there’s more pressure on him because obviously he is playing his brother.
A: Eli is very interested in playing his position to the best of his ability with our team and making the improvements that are necessary there. That’s what I think.
Q: When you watch the two of them play, are there commonalities between them? Do they do the same things or are they totally different?
A: There are a lot of commonalities. They’re two different individuals, no question about that, both extremely admirable but there’s a common ground and there are differences as well.
Q: What about your defense as far as how many plays they played?
A: It’s good, that’s a good thing. Conditioning – it helps.
Q: What I meant was just the way they responded in tough situations.
A: I was very pleased with that and I told them so. That first series when they went into the game … I don’t know why we’re talking backwards; I understand but I hate talking about this; we’re supposed to go forward, we were doing this on Monday … but they did come in the game when the ball was at the 15 and held them to a field goal. That should have been enough right there. That should have been enough. That should have been the thing that got us all back on the same page. The resiliency, the fight back, the whole team, the defense certainly but the whole team, getting the ball back for us at the end of the game when we had to have it back, that was very much positive as well.
Q: In your discussions with Eli this week, has Peyton come up at all?
A: I talked to him, it wasn’t this week but we sat last Saturday morning, we talked about Peyton’s game Thursday night. We just talked about the way in which it was conducted and how well he played, that type of thing.
Q: You’re at a point with Eli where maybe you don’t have to address any emotional component.
A: It may enter in. I haven’t done that at this point in time. I introduced the opponent exactly as I always do, without regard to…
Q: I’m not sure how much, if any, you observed Peyton last year, his first year there…
A: I didn’t. So I didn’t see him.
Q: So getting back to Thursday night’s game, what did you see out of that?
A: I saw what you saw. A very patient young man playing the quarterback position, whose team was very much in the game, never played outside of himself, and then came back in the second half and took advantage of opportunities that he was given and really kept the pressure on the opponent’s defense consistently throughout the entire four quarters and, as I mentioned, scored 35 points in the second half.
Q: What are your thoughts on facing Peyton?
A: This is a big game for us just because we’re 0-1 right now and we need to get a win. All week in preparation, I’m worried about their defense. I’m worried about the Denver defense and trying to get a game plan and trying to go out there and play well and play smart football and score touchdowns and try to get a win. Obviously, I know who the opposing quarterback is and they’re a good offense and high-powered and obviously scored a lot of points last week, so I know we’ve got to play smart and just go out there and try to play my best.
Q: Was there any family chatter during the offseason when the schedule came out?
A: No. Not a whole lot. Obviously, we knew we played this year. We didn’t know when the game would be until a few months ago and kind of figured it would be early. I was hoping it wouldn’t be the first game, so we wouldn’t have to talk about it for three months instead of just talking about it for one week. But obviously we knew it was going to happen, but there wasn’t a whole lot of conversation about it. For us, we’ve got a game to play. It will be good to see him before the game for a little bit and see him afterwards, but besides that, it’s just a football game.
Q: Is it more of a distraction?
A: No. It’s still neat because it doesn’t happen very often and it is neat seeing your big brother on the sideline or seeing him before the game. Those moments are the things you remember and we’ll remember for a long time. Hopefully when I think back on these games that we played against my brother, I can think back and remember at least one win.
Q: Do you ever think about how rare it is that two brothers are playing against one another in the NFL?
A: I understand it. I feel very blessed and grateful that I get to play in the NFL and obviously there are 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL right now and one of the other ones happens to be my brother. I understand that is rare. I don’t know how it quite happened. I don’t think my parents know how it quite happened. It just worked out that way, but I do feel blessed that I get to play this sport and I know Peyton feels the same way.
Q: Given what happened to Peyton in 2011, did you ever think that this day could be impossible?
A: I was obviously hoping that Peyton would be playing football again and rooting for him and doing everything I could to support him and try to give him feedback on his rehab and give him support as he was going through a tough time and kind of a time of unknown of what he was going to be able to do, whether it was to be able to play again or how quickly he would be able to play again. So at that moment, I was just more thinking about him and just knowing how fortunate that I am that I was playing football. You don’t know when it’s going to be over or how quickly the game can be taken away from you. So you’ve got to cherish it every day.
Q: What do you see from the Broncos defense?
A: The Broncos defense shows a lot of different looks. They do a great job of getting to the quarterback and getting sacks. Last year, they were amongst the top in the league in sacks. They got after Joe Flacco in that opening game and got good pressure. They have a lot of speed at cornerback and they do a good job of generating turnovers, so we’ve got to be smart with the football, have a great game plan and really go out there and execute well and try to hold on to the ball and convert on third downs and don’t give their offense too many possessions.
Q: Is their more pressure on you to win this game because if you finish your career 0-3 against your brother you may never hear the end of it?
A: No. It’s pressure because we’re 0-1 right now and that’s the mindset. We’ve got to get a win from this season and this team. It’s the second game of this season. We’ve got to make improvements. We’ve got to get better. The mindset and the focus is just on this year and this being the second game of the season, it’s a big game because of that scenario.
Q: You probably don’t want him to repeat his Week 1 performance against you guys.
A: Hopefully not. Hopefully he doesn’t throw seven touchdowns this week, but I think our defense is up for the task and they’ll have a great game plan and offensively we have to do our job and go out there and play well.
Q: How about having Brandon Jacobs back here?
A: Obviously, Brandon has been a great teammate over the years. He knows this offense well. He’s a guy that I don’t know exactly what his role will be or how many carries, but he does know the offense and he will be able to learn it quickly and however the coaches decide to use him and how much… He’ll be ready.
Q: Will you cringe if one of your defensive linemen gets a good shot at your brother?
A: No. I’m rooting for our defense and I want them to play well and do their job. When you’re out there a lot of times I’m not watching him and seeing exactly what he’s doing. I’m watching the game rooting for our defense, trying to support them, and hopefully they can get stops and get turnovers and play a great football game.
Q: What was it like watching him on Thursday night?
A: He had a great second half and made some great throws and really got on track. It’s fun. I’ve been watching Peyton for a long time. I think he started in sixth grade. I’ve seen a lot of his football games over the years. I love watching him and he’s one of the best. As a quarterback, you enjoy watching him because he plays at a high level.
Q: Do you remove the fact that you’re facing your brother? Does that come into your thought process as you prepare?
A: In the preparation it doesn’t come in at all just because I don’t look at their offense. I’m just watching their defensive schemes, their defensive players, trying to think about how our plays are going to work out versus their scheme in certain techniques. The only time it comes up is when I’m asked about it or before the game I’m sure I’ll see him a little bit and talk to him, but besides that, I’ve got to do my job and I’m just focused on going out there and trying to win a football game.
Q: You guys are 0-1 and a good team is coming in. How are you guys approaching it?
A: That’s the only aspect that there is. It’s a big game. We’re playing an extremely talented team. We’d like to go out there and play better than we did last week and find a way to win the game and hopefully get our first win of the season.
Q: You’ve played Peyton before. Is there anything that stands out from the experiences?
A: Yeah. It is neat to see your brother on the sidelines when the national anthem is playing and you look across and you see your big brother and you give him a nod. Those are neat moments or seeing him before the game for a little bit and just talking and seeing him at the coin flip. Those are neat moments and you do understand how special it is with both of us playing this game at a high level in the NFL. It is rare and we just appreciate the road we’ve both taken to get here and we support each other along the way. So those are special moments. Besides that, though, it’s a game. You’ve got to go out there and try to do your job.
Q: Were you guys competitive when you were kids?
A: No. We didn’t really compete a whole lot just because he is five years older than me. When he left for college at 18, I was 13. There’s only so much you can compete at in sports. As I got older, we competed in a little basketball or even now we play golf. You compete a little bit, but a lot of it is a lot of fun and we enjoy being around each other and from a football standpoint, we always try to support each other, help each other, work out in the offseason, look at tape of each other and during the season we try to help each other out if we’re playing similar teams. So it’s really more of a support deal than it’s been competitive over the years.
RB David Wilson
Q: How are you approaching this week and how are you handling the difficulties from the Dallas game?A: It was a tough loss. I definitely want to do things to help my team and not hurt my team. We’re just moving forward from that point and learning from our mistakes and going forward and looking forward to getting a win this weekend, getting things going back in the right direction, a positive direction.
Q: Had coach talked to you specifically about holding onto the football?
A: Yeah, not just to me, though, the whole team because next time it could be somebody else. So he wants to fix it with the whole team, the whole practice he was screaming high and tight, making sure we put two hands on the ball in certain situations. He’s doing his part and we’ve got to do our part when we get on the field.
Q: Are you taking this as a personal challenge to try to come through and secure that football?A: Yeah, that’s something I have to do at my position. For me, I’m just moving forward. You can think about it too much and hurt your play, so right no I’m just focusing on going out there and making plays and helping my team.
Q: What does the addition of Brandon Jacobs mean to you?
A: It’s another guy in the locker room that can help this team win some games. We’re glad to have him back, he looked good out there today. A lot of us were struggling because of the heat, there was a lot of humidity, but he was right there with us. Like I said, he’s a guy that can definitely help us win some games.
Q: Now last year against Dallas you had that fumble opening day and then you didn’t have another one the rest of the season. You were able to fix it then, does that give you confidence that you can fix it this time as well?
A: Like I said, I’m just moving forward and trying to help my team. Fumbles have to be eliminated and that’s something I’m working hard to do.
Q: You’ve seen twice in your career that Tom will pull you if you fumble. Are you worried at this point about your job?
A: You can’t worry about that kind of stuff, you’ve just got to go out there and play your game and make plays. Fumbles have to be eliminated and that’s something that’s not going to help the team win. You can’t worry about it too much but you’ve got to make sure you don’t do it. If you do it, it’s not going to help the team, you’ll have bad results. I’m just going out there and playing my game.
RB Brandon Jacobs
Q: How’s it feel to put on that helmet and uniform?
A: Blessed, blessed. I feel like I’m on top of the world. I’ve been waiting for this for a year and something now. I’m happy. When I came back in the building yesterday, did a little workout and I just knew then, I’m not going to fail. I’m not going to fail. I’m going to succeed. I’m going to get this done because I’m not trying to go home. Guys bringing in these little suitcases, I’m like, I have two big suitcases. I’m not going home. I’m here to stay. I’m not going anywhere. It’s a blessing for me, my family. My wife and I have been talking for a long time about coming back because we miss this place. It’s good. I’m happy to be back.
Q: Coach said it’s clear you’re part of the plan for Sunday against Denver. How much do you need to get you back up to speed?
A: I need every day this week. I’m not cutting any corners. I’m coming straight. I’m jumping over every bit of adversity that comes my way. I’m trying to get back to where I was in ‘06/’07. I feel good. My body feels good. I’m just trying to get back with the program and do what I have to do to help this team win.
Q: Does this feel like a dream to be home again?
A: Feels like a dream. I still don’t think it’s real. After that practice I was kind of pretty sure like, yeah I’m back. It feels good to be with my boys again. To be among these coaches and being in this organization, it felt good to see Mr. Mara and Jerry Reese today. It was awesome and wearing number 34 isn’t bad.
Q: What’s the hardest thing about the practice reps that will get you up to speed?
A: The hardest thing is trying to be 100 percent correct. Trying to get your wind and do everything the right way. I’ve been a year removed from the offense, but it’s pretty much the same thing. A couple of tweaks here and there, but I’m 100 percent day to day. I’m just trying to get myself back in football shape. I’ve been running, I’ve been doing everything I can do down in the 100 degree heat in Georgia, but it’s not like football shape, so I’m out here working and trying to get myself back where I need to be.
Q: What about dealing with David Wilson and trying to be a mentor to him, trying to be a big brother?
A: I’m not really here to be a mentor to David. I’m here to work with David, to team with David to get this thing done. David is a great runner, I’ve been trying to get back here with David for a while. I feel blessed to be here with him, he’s a talented guy. I’m really looking forward to working with him.
Q: Do you understand what he’s going through in a sense? A guy like that, all of the pressure …?
A: Absolutely. I was talking to him, my rookie year in Dallas we got a chance to go up and win, I fumbled on the goal line. I don’t know if you remember that or not. I fumbled on the goal line, they picked it up, they ended up stopping him and I was blessed because Shockey came out and scored a touchdown. We gave up again, but I know what he’s going through and it’s tough. I talked to him and David’s a good kid. Like I said, I’m blessed to be with him, to get this thing going.
Q: They say you can’t go home and you did. Sum up what it means to just capitalize on not just being a Giant again, but making an impact here as a Giant.
A: It means a lot to me. To be a Giant, that means more to me than anything. Second of all, making an impact and making a little noise and trying to get this thing right and be with my teammates, that means a lot to me as well. I’m blessed and happy to be back and I just can’t wait until Sunday gets here.
Q: Do you think the way last year went, did you think it was over? Did you wonder if your career is already finished?
A: Last year was a curse. I don’t want to talk about that at all.
Q: Did you think your career was done or did know you were coming back?
A: I didn’t think it was done when they didn’t want to release me. I was told point blank, ‘do I look like a fool to release you and you go play for someone else and come back and play against us? Do I look like a fool?’ I felt good about it. I was like, okay, I see you’re scared of me, but it was cool. I’m alright. I had a great stay in San Fran. That place was beautiful. I was cool with a lot of people on the team. I had fun, other than playing and stuff like that. It was hard for me, but it was even harder Week 6 when I got a chance to see everybody.
Q: When you sat around in the offseason waiting for somebody to call in the summer and then training camp comes and goes, did you ponder retirement?
A: I blocked tons of calls. A couple of teams called and I was like, I don’t want to go there.
Q: How productive do you think you can be?
A: I think I can be as productive as any running back in the National Football League. That’s the way I feel now. I feel fast, my weight is gone, I feel good about his opportunity I have in front of me right now.
Q: What will it be like when you step on the field? What do you think it will feel like?
A: I can’t even explain it. I can’t even explain how it’s going to be because I know it’s going to be a great feeling. I may cry, you never know what may happen. I’m going to be really happy.
Q: What’s your weight now?
A: I weighed in yesterday, it was 265. I was coming down last month from 290-something. So within the last month or so, I lost 30-something pounds. In my mind going through it, I wanted to come back here, but I wasn’t too sure it was going to happen and I just started working with my company, pushing pro energy and just working within the business. It’s doing well and I was happy to be a part of something that didn’t have anything to do with football. Our company is growing and it’s getting stronger and stronger every day. That’s what I was doing. I’m back, though.
Q: What kind of company is that?
A: It’s not an energy drink. It’s protein water with a splash of energy in it. All natural, no caffeine, no sugar. It’s the real deal.
Q: Was Sunday night when you thought, this might work out. I might be coming back here. That’s when they called, right?
A: I knew when it was before the game, just because of that veteran role. I pretty much knew.
Q: You knew before?
A: No one said anything, but I knew. I hadn’t even talked to anybody before one o’clock. Monday morning, should I say. I wanted to come back, I had plenty of opportunities to go elsewhere, but that’s not what I want to be. I want to be here.
Q: Had they been talking to you over the summer? Kind of letting you know that you might be in the plans in the future?
A: I was probably hitting someone up. I came and watched a couple of practices. I came to watch training camp practice. I turned into a fan. I’m always going to be a fan of the Giants. I’m just here right now to help this team win. Whatever I have to do to be productive and help this team win, I’m there for.
Q: So basically you guys had a gentleman’s agreement, sort of speak? You and the Giants?
A: No. They got me here to come play.
Q: No you said you kind of knew before.
A: I hadn’t spoken to anyone. I just knew in the back of my mind that this was going to happen. You see people go down all the time and you never know. I had that feeling all along.
Q: How hard is it to not focus on the hype of a Manning-Manning game?
A: It’s not hard at all, especially for an offensive player. We’ve got to go out and, it’s not like we’re going against Peyton, we’ve got to go out there and worry about what defenses we’re playing, what coverage’s, things of that nature, and to be able to beat the man in front of us and win our individual battles.
Q: Everybody’s talking about the seven touchdowns that Peyton threw, what about their defense?
A: There are a lot of opportunities for us. We like when guys play bump-and-run, play a little bit of man coverage as well as some zone but we like the challenges. They present some challenges for us and having some one-on-one opportunities, we want to be able to exploit that.
Q: For a long time Peyton’s been considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. How do you rate your quarterback as it relates to the entire league, not just against his brother?
A: I think tops in the league. He’s definitely a top five, top ten quarterback in the league.
Nicks: Top three
Top three, Hakeem said it first. But he knows how to read coverages and he knows how to get the ball downfield, he can make any pass in tight coverages. I’m happy he’s on my team.
Q: Do you think he doesn’t get enough credit for his ability based on the shadow he lives in with his brother?
A: I think he gets credit. I don’t think he cares about what he gets in relation to his brother, I think he’s focused on what he has here and focused on his own craft. He’s worried about what we have on this team. I don’t think he’s worried about him and his brother, that competition. I think he understands what that is and he’s probably been facing it his whole life so he’s happy to come in here and be his own person and come in here and make plays.
Q: You’re 0-1, the home opener, how important this game?
A: It’s very important to come out and get a good start on our home field against a valiant opponent. It’s going to be a tough game but it’s definitely important to start off on the right foot, especially at home, so we’re excited about the opportunity.
Q: How about Brandon Jacobs being back in the house? How about having that shadow down the hall here?
A: That’s my guy, man. I’m happy to see him back. We needed some help in that specific position and I think that he’ll definitely be a guy to not only help us on the field but help David Wilson as well, getting his morale back up, his emotional state. He’s going to do nothing but help this team.
Q: Is it fair to say that Peyton is one of the most challenging quarterbacks?
A: He’s one of the best quarterbacks that have ever played this game and he’s still playing this game. You have to respect that and you can’t take him for granted. We have Eli here too. Eli and Peyton are two different people. If you ask me who is better, I would tell you I don’t know. We’ll see who is better come this game.
Q: How much better do you think an extra week of practice will make you feel?
A: I don’t know. I’m just thinking day by day. This is my fifth day of practice… tired. He and the … to burn them off. I’m doing the best I can. That’s all that counts.
Q: For the first time in a while, the Giants give out an injury report and you’re not on it.
A: I’m not on it. I’m doing what I can to get better every day. I’m not going to be on the injury report unless something happens to me. Quite likely, that’s not going to happen to me. I’m basically out here practicing with this team. I’m back on and I’m doing everything I can to get better.
Q: You went fifty plays the first game.
Q: Fifty-two was it? Did that surprise you?
A: It actually did. Coming right off and not having played a preseason game, that did surprise me a little. They managed my snap count, normally it’s like 76 plays, normally I would have had 60-something/70 plays out of that. They manage it very well. I’m not at that game mode. I’m fatigued. My legs are getting fatigued sometimes. I’m just trying to do the best I can. I’m on the quad … burning my legs out. I’m trying to get that burning sensation out of my legs. I’m out here trying to get it.
Q: If you were playing your older brother, what would it be like? Would you be talking some trash to each other?
A: If they were going against each other, one player offense and one player defense, that’s a little bit different, but they don’t face each other. They’re just facing each other as opponents, they don’t face each other. I would probably handle it the same way Eli handles it.
Q: You’re a very cerebral player, you like to play with the mind as well as the body. So does Peyton. Do you relish those challenges, do you like to play mind games?
A: I love it, I love it. I love the opportunity. I love going up against the best of the best and we all know what Peyton brings to the table, a Hall of Fame quarterback. You’re not going to find a quarterback that understands defenses more than Peyton. He’s just that kind of guy, he understands formations, he understands rock and roll coverages, he understands it all. There’s not going to be much you can throw at him to really throw him off and confuse him but it’s not going to stop us from trying and, more importantly, we just have to be on top of our game.
Q: How much of his theatrics at the line do you think are fake and just bluffing to try to get you guys to react?
A: I wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t know until we actually go in there and get a feel for the game but, you know, it could be dummy calls, maybe not, who’s to say. But we’re just going in, we’re going to play defense. We’re not going to worry about too many of the calls, the dummy calls, we’re just going to go in there and trust ourselves as a defense.
Q: Seven touchdowns in a game, that’s pretty nuts isn’t it?
A: That’s excellent. I would definitely take my hat off to Peyton. Seven touchdowns in a game, that’s nothing less than miraculous, but at the same time, he wasn’t going up against the Giants and we’re going at him. We’re going to play ball, we’re going at him. It’s a great way for us to go out there and test ourselves.
Q: Have you ever been on a team that allowed a quarterback to throw for seven touchdowns against your defense? At any level.
A: Against my defense? I played against Aaron Rogers, I believe it was in 09’ in a playoff game, I’m not sure how many touchdown passes he threw, I know it was a lot. Not sure. Like I said, that’s Baltimore’s defense. Him throwing seven touchdowns has nothing at all to do with this week, has nothing at all to do with the New York Giants and we can only go out there and see what happens come Sunday.
Q: What was it like as a defensive back to know that you’re going to face him in 10 days when you’re watching that game on Thursday?
A: I love it. I love going up against the best, man. I love going up against the best of the best, and I can only speak for myself, I think it tests myself to see where I am as a defender, go out there as a defense entirely to test ourselves. He’s going to give us everything. You’re going to see a little bit of everything from Peyton and, more importantly, this game is not so much about Peyton, it’s about us as a defense and how we go out there and how we are effective as a unit.
Q: Some have said if you get a contusion by the shoulder joint that it would take longer to heal.
A: They know better than me. They get paid to do that.
Q: How close are you to playing?
A: Honestly, I don’t even know. It’s their decision. It’s a day by day thing. I just show up and go when they tell me to go. When they tell me not to go, I don’t go.
Q: This is a long time for a bruise. Is it in a place that makes it hard for your shoulder to move?
A: I don’t even know. I just know my shoulder was hurting and they told me when I have to sit down and when I play. I do what the coaches say.
Q: Is it underneath?
A: Not really. It’s just the whole shoulder. I’m not sure.
Q: Does it feel better?
A: Yeah. It’s improving. It’s improving each and every day. I’m just waiting until that one day when they say you can go ahead and go all out.
Q: Is there anything you can’t do?
A: I’ve been doing treatment, practicing and lifting. I’m just doing everything I can do.
RE: Any benefit Eli might provide in preparing for Peyton
A: Go to him, try to get some tips and insight but, you know, I think you’ve just got to study film and let the film talk to you and what you see on the film is what you’re going to get on Sunday.
Q: Is it fair to say that he’s one of the most difficult quarterbacks to prepare for?
A: I would say so. Like I said, over the past 15 years, however long he’s been in the league, he’s always been thought of as one of the top two, three quarterbacks in the league. He’s well-respected and has every accolade known to a quarterback. You’ve to go to in there and prepare.
Q: Is this about the entire defense and not just the secondary when you’ve got a guy who’s that explosive as a quarterback.
A: Well, it’s always about the entire defense, no matter if we’re playing an explosive quarterback, running back or wide receiver. We all work together as 11 on the field, so like I said, we’ve just got to be disciplined. Whatever coach Fewell calls we’ve got to go out and execute.
Q: When you see seven touchdowns in a game, though, does that make you take a step back and say, “wow” or…?
A: Well, you’ve got to evaluate it. You take a look at the film and seven passing touchdowns is a big number but hopefully we can limit that on Sunday.
Q: Have you ever seen seven passing touchdowns?
A: Yes, I have. I played with an outstanding high school quarterback by the name of Steve Breaston. He was the man. He was definitely the man. It wasn’t him necessarily throwing the ball but he ran the ball every play and I was a wide receiver, so basically I would run down the field, 40 yards down the field, and look at him. He wouldn’t throw it, I would be out there blocking. He would just tell me to go deep like a decoy and just take off like it was a punt return.
Q: As a football fan, did you watch it on Thursday at all or did you just watch film?
A: I was in and out of the game but I checked out the coach’s topics.
Q: When you see that unfold and it seemed to happen so quickly and that was a pretty good defense over the past couple years, is that eye opening at all? Going against the Super Bowl champions.
A: That first game is always tough to evaluate. I think conditioning comes into play, especially when the defense goes out to Denver. We had that experience last year, but you know, the second half they turned it on. They scored a lot of points in the second half so we can’t just relax and feel good about the first half, we’ve got to come out of that locker room and be ready to play the second half.