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1.8 DE Mathias Kiwanuka

How excited are you to be in the playoffs after missing out last year?

This is a great feeling.  This is where you want to be at this point in the season and a lot has been said about me and Derrick not being there last year and that is definitely part of my motivation, and I heard him say that it was part of his, too, so it is definitely an exciting time for all of us.

Were you excited watching the Super Bowl run last year but also disappointed to not be part of it?

That is fair to say.  I was definitely very happy and very excited for my teammates and I definitely felt like I was a part of this team, but when it comes down to it you are a football player, you are a man, you have a job, and when you can't do it and you can't contribute, it takes a little bit out of you and it hurts a little bit.
Does it make you that much more anxious for this year?

Absolutely.  From the day that you get cleared to run you are running a little bit harder and the day you get cleared to hit you are hitting a little bit harder and that is something that can carry you all the way through.

Last time you played the Eagles you couldn't get off the field on third downs. What was going on there?

They just out-executed us.  That is the bottom line.  It is always going to be a physical game whenever these two teams meet each other, but a lot of what it comes down to is stopping big plays and like you said, getting off the field, especially on third down.  We just didn't do that.  They did a lot of good things, you have to give them all the credit in the world, but we understand that we did not play a good game that time.

A lot of the third downs were more manageable ones where you couldn't really get the pass rush going?

It may have been a factor.  Regardless of what the down and distance is you try to get off the field in three downs and that is always a goal, that is always a key.  We have good schemes, we have good players, and we should be able to get it done.

How much harder is it pass rush-wise when they have third-and-shorts as opposed to third-and-longs?

It is a factor.  It is always going to be a factor, but it is not going to be the deciding difference.  It is not going to be the difference in the game.

What did you take from what Coach Coughlin said to you about being in the playoffs after missing last year?

I think it is the same thing that Coach is going to tell anybody who can't play.  You cannot take this game for granted.  You hear it from the time when you grow up when you first start playing, you have to play every play like it is going to be your last one, every snap like it is going to be your last one, but I think until you are actually out there and you feel the snap or feel the pull or feel the break and you can't actually go back out there, it never really hits home.  I was a guy who I don't think I missed a game until my senior year in college, so to be sidelined hurts, but to be sidelined for an extended period of time… it is real tough.

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