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12/14 Transcript: Giants Players

Q: Injury status?

A: Not a lot of pain, it's just the same thing as last week.

Q: So you don't expect to practice this week?

A: No, I don't expect to practice.

Q: Are you starting to think at all that they may shut you down for the season? Would that even help?

A: Right now, all that my shoulder needs is rest.

Q: Have they talked to you about being put down for the season?

A: No, coach hasn't talked to me about that.

Q: Would it be wise for you to even come back?

A: Yeah, we want to win these last games, so I'm definitely going to be trying to come back, but it depends on what the doctors say.

Q: You're playing well yourself even though the team is losing. Does that at least help a little bit?

A: I guess you could say you're playing well, but when you've lost five or six games in a row how well are you really playing? I would trade in the tackles for a couple of wins if I could, but it's just not that simple. Like you said, it's hard to look at what you've done personally when you're on a six-game losing streak.

Q: So you can't even go home and say you're playing well, it's completely team oriented?

A: Yeah, because if I did a good job, we'd be winning as far as I'm concerned.

Q: You know what defenses have been trying to do to Eli. Do you feel like you can do the same thing to Roethlisberger or is he beyond that already?

A: It's kind of hard to look at it like that because their run game is so prominent. They're going to come out and definitely run the ball the majority of the time, and you know that going in and that's allowed him to be very effective passing the ball and using the play-action to hold the pressure off a little bit. That's what we kind of expect going in. From that point on, we know we have to put pressure on him and force him to make some bad decisions. The Jets, I think, did a pretty good job last week with it and it caused him to make some bad throws. It's just a matter of going out and first stopping the run. That's going to be easier said than done this week.

Q: Are you surprised a little bit with their turnaround since you know that team so well, especially with a rookie quarterback coming in?

A: It's just the way the NFL is. You don't know how things are going to work out. With the way that they're going, the solid run game has been there and their key is not to turn the ball over and they've had a lot of success at doing that and creating turnovers on defense.

RE: Steelers and it just hasn't gotten any simpler running the ball?

A: No, it hasn't been. You're talking about their offensive side of the ball, but their defense is phenomenal as well. They've got guys that are disciplined and they know their roles and they make a lot of plays and it's going to be a challenge again for us offensively.

Q: What is the level of frustration right now with this offense?

A: It's there, but I think what I can control for myself is to not lose my faith and to not lose my belief and to keep doing the things that made me successful in the season and have that focus throughout the week and let it permeate throughout the guys I'm around.

Q: After starting the way you did could you have fathomed being in this position?

A: No, I mean you can't. You get opportunities in this league to get good starts like we did and we hoped it would continue, but unfortunately it hasn't.

Q: When you see what Pittsburgh was able to do from last year to this year does it give you some hope that this team can do the same thing down the road?

A: We hope so. We've just got to take these things days at a time and weeks at a time and, first of all, just get the attitude right with the players and hope they still have that belief that we talked about and still have the faith in each other because that's what it really comes down to as a team.

Q: Do you have that belief and faith in one another?

A: Yeah, I think so. It's hard to say because I can't speak for every guy in this locker room, but that's a challenge to all of us.

Q: After not playing well for two weeks on the road, what do you have to say to the fans that are going to come here Saturday?

A: It's the NFL and it's a great game. You have to trust that we're going to do our job to the best of our ability. I can't sit here and say that I can guarantee a win because I can't. But I know that myself and the guys around me are going to try as hard as we can.

RE: Eli?

A: We try to support Eli as best we can and give him our confidence in him because we know he's going to struggle a little bit, but that's not the point. The point is that we believe in him.

Q: Have defenses gotten progressively more aggressive?

A: No, I think we just played some pretty good defenses over the last few weeks. Washington is right up there, Baltimore is the number one rush defense in this league and these are the challenges you face in the NFL. It's just our time to face them.

Q: Does it feel like last year?

A: It's starting to. I can't let that creep into my psyche and I know what I did this off-season to wash it out and I have to do it again.

Q: Is there a different feeling from last year to this year?

A: Yeah, just because of who he is, who Tom is as a person. He does the best he can to insulate negativity and to find ways, despite his disappointment and hard nature, to encourage us and to try and get the best out of us. That's important.

Q: What do you say to the people that are saying that you should be back on the field and the best thing for Eli is to maybe take a step back and watch you again?

A: I say that I disagree. I think that this is Eli's team, and I think that he's going to go through some of these things and he's got to battle through them. This is about the team, too. Eli has to understand the confidence that this team has in him and this team has to understand the confidence that this whole organization has in Eli. That's why it's important that he's the guy. This decision was made four or five weeks ago, and nobody said it was going to be easy, nobody said it was going to be the best situation in every single game, and we've got to battle through and fight. As he goes through some of his struggles, the rest of this team has to play at a higher level. The rest of this team has got to pick up their game and show him that they have confidence in him and make plays for him and that's the bottom line. You can always second-guess and look back and say this or say that. Five weeks ago everybody wanted me out of there. That's just the way the tide turns and that's the way the business goes, but the bottom line is that this is Eli's team, period. No question about it, no doubt about it, this is Eli's team from this point on probably until he retires. That's all there is to say about it. I don't have anything to say to anybody because I think this is the right decision, and this is a decision that this organization made weeks back and there's nothing they can do but stand behind that decision.

Q: Nobody is disputing that it's Eli's team, nobody is disputing that he is the future for this team; the question is will he benefit from maybe sitting again instead of continuing to lose his confidence or continue to become frustrated?

A: How do you make that decision? How do you say that? How do you come in and say this is going to be the best thing for him now? If I'm Eli, I want to be out there as much as I can and try to have as much success as I possibly can throughout the rest of this year and build on that for next year and that's what this whole team needs. We need to continue to build and gain confidence and make plays and do that type of thing right now. We're still at an outside chance to get into the playoffs, but more importantly we just have to get back on track. Everything that is accomplished the rest of this year…if it leads into the playoffs, great. If not, then it needs to be used to build on for next year. First starting with Eli for the rest of his career but also for this team and everybody in the locker room and that's the thing that we have to do right now. That's the thing that Eli has got to do. He's just got to continue to build and grow and try to get as much positive out of this season as he possibly can and use that to build on and to have confidence going into next year. How would you feel if all of a sudden you struggle and have a game like he did last week and all of a sudden you're out and you don't play again the rest of the year? What's everybody think? Well that's the best thing for him.

Re: But it's happened before in the NFL, other quarterbacks their rookie year have been taken out either through injury or decision and come back and have great careers?

There have also been guys that have struggled in their first season and have played it out and have had great careers and are Hall of Fame quarterbacks. You tell me, I don't have the answer for that. I don't know what the best situation is. In my opinion, I believe he is going to grow, he's going to learn, he's going to get better, he's going to continue to prepare and in the long run he is going to learn and be better because of some of the struggles early on. Again, I can't say that that's going to be the case or that's always the case because it isn't. I think there's as much on one side as there is on the other and to try to speculate and say I know what's best for him or to have anybody else say we know what's best for him or this organization…you can't. You're going to second-guess no matter what happens and how it works out. Either it's a great decision or it's a lousy decision and everybody is going to have their opinion eventually, but this organization has to make this decision. I can't go in and say I know what's best for Eli can or one guy, you just don't know. You just have to make the best decision you possibly can with all of the people involved saying we believe this is the best thing for Eli, we believe this is the best thing for the New York Giants and you have to run with it. You can't look back and you can't second-guess and you can't look over your should. You've just got to do it.

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