Q. So do you have any comments about what happened with you and Madison Hedgecock yesterday?
A. Yesterday was a great NFL football practice (laughs)… Actually I was on the phone last night with my wife, trying to explain why in practice in football we're not supposed to be on the ground. She was having a tough time, she was saying so you don't tackle you don't knock people down I thought that's what football is all about. But anyway, that's practice in the NFL, it's a fine line you've got to shred. You can't be soft, can't be slow to react, you've got to be physical, got to be aggressive, but you've got to keep people safe…keep people healthy.
Q. How's your health?
A. I feel great, feel like a champion.
Q. Was that a "ten tow" as you would describe it?
A. Oh he got me, he definitely got me. It was a great football play and the crowd loved it. In a game that's what you want to do. That was a great hit by him and a heads up play. In a game that's what he should have been doing.
Q. But it wasn't a game.
A. But it wasn't a game…Its just one of those things, it happens.
Q: When it's all over do you go up and talk to him?
A. Yeah I talked to him this morning. It stays on the field, it's a professional thing. You've got to be able to leave it on field, I talked to him, and we both had smiles on our face. I mean, he's our fullback, so I wouldn't want him to be any other way. If he was any other way then we wouldn't be the best running offense in the NFL. He's got to do what he's got to do, I understand that.
Q. You talked about how this year you're more aggressive, do you think something like this maybe wouldn't have happened last year?
A. Yes absolutely, there's a fine line like I said. When you're at practice you have to be physical, you have to be aggressive and I play linebacker in the NFL. I'm supposed to be a bad mouth, hit you in the throat, head-butt you type of guy. That's what I'm supposed to be on the field, but off the field I'm not that guy at all. So when I put that hat on, metaphorically speaking, I have to be that guy on the field. I'm trying to be more of that type of player on the field. Last year I wasn't popping people the way I have been trying to this training camp.
Q. Is it something you have to learn? That you can knock somebody's head off on the field and it doesn't make you bad person? Is it kind of like that?
A. Yeah it is. It does take a certain level of professionalism. Football is football, when the whistle blows, you've got to be able to get up, pat somebody on the butt and say nice job you got me or vice-versa, it goes both ways. I don't think that there's anybody at this level of football that's never been knocked down. You don't sit and pout, you get up, dust yourself off, and live to play another day.
Q. Coach Kevin Gilbride talked last year about how Madison Hedgecock was very valuable to the offense for doing the intangible things of a blocking back. What's it like from the linebackers perspective, his technique and what he does positively?
A. You know Madison Hedgecock is something else. He is an NFL fullback which means he's tough, crazy, ferocious, vicious…he's all those things and that's what we want him to be, he's a big reason why were such a good running offense. You take him away and we are not the same New York Giant, hit him in the mouth running team that we are. So he needs to do all those things and he has done a good job at that. He's essential for our offense and our running attack. If you watch film of last year or any year, by the third quarter the other team is literally running away from him, the linebackers and the defensive backs. They're scared because he's just been pounding them. So as a defense that's a huge asset for us to be able to get that look because then on game day, were not usually going against a fullback like Madison.
Q. Did Coach Tom Coughlin say anything about the scuffle?
A. Coach Coughlin is really good at saying the right things and doing what he's supposed to as a coach. That same fine line that I have been talking about, he realizes it and he's not going to tell us to go out there and play patty-cake, but at the same time, we can't have people getting hurt. So he just addressed all the things that you would imagine and basically just said to us what I said to you, that we have to be physical, we have to bang, we have to have blocks, we have to do all those things but we can't have people hurt, we can't be on the ground. We just have to be professional about it and when the whistle blows… the whistle blows.