CB PRINCE AMUKAMARAPress Conference Transcript
Q: How does it feel being a prince and coming to New York?
A: It sounds like Coming to America. I'm excited to be here. It is my first week in the city and I'm loving what I see.
RE: Your first conversation with Tom Coughlin in person
A: He seemed like a guy who is very calm and collected – a black and white guy. And those are the kind of coaches that I like.
Q: Talk about your transition to cornerback from running backA: You just have to switch your mentality from offense to defense. On defense you are more of the attacker. Even though I still like the feeling of the ball in my hands, that just makes me want to have the knack of getting after the ball that much more.
Q: Is that something you were open to right away?A: No, I definitely wasn't open to it. I definitely wanted to transfer right away. I thought running back was my position to play. But I'm just trusting Coach Pelini. And my pastor Matt and I just stuck it out at cornerback and it has been working out good so far.
Q: What was the moment like when you made the decision to switch?
A: When I first tried it out, Coach Pelini had me at nickel and dime and I started making plays, stripping balls, covering from both ends. That is where I developed my aggressiveness. And it just grew on me after that.
Q: What have you learned about the Giants in the last 12 hours?A: Everyone just keeps talking about the fact that it is a huge market place. I still haven't fathomed that yet. It is a huge media place. Just with that comes a lot of pressure but I think I'm prepped for that I'm just excited to get out there and play.
Q: Have you had a chance to talk football with anyone regarding the Giants defensive schemes?
A: No, not at all yet. But I'm sure after everything gets settled with the labor situation then I'll get more well acquainted.
Q: You mentioned that you played nickel and dime. Can you play that here?A: At Nebraska whenever it is one of the best wide receivers would be on the linebackers in the slot position, Coach would have me just go and guard the slot guy. So I feel like I'm pretty versatile and I can play that position.
Q: What was last night like for you? Does the fact that you were passed by give you motivation down the road?A: I kind of expected that as soon as I saw it was going to be more of a quarterback round. It kind of feels good – only Patrick was ahead of me. It was not like they were just picking corners before me. So I think they just went by needs, really. That is probably always going to be at the back of my head. And if I always just use that as motivation, I'll probably – the teams aren't going to come out and apologize to me if I pick off all of their quarterbacks. But no matter what, I'm still going to compete hard and try as best I can.
Q: With the labor situation being sketchy, are you going to take home a playbook or study material?
A: I am going to take whatever they can give me. I have just been asking a lot of questions of just the kind of schemes they do. But I don't know what the rules are and what they can and can't do.
*Q: One or two teams passed you by. *A: About five or six teams flirted with me pretty well and had me thinking that they were going to pick me. But that is just the whole draft process.
Q: Growing up, what was the reaction to your first name?
A: The first reaction was, "No, you are lying. That is not your real name," or "Are you really a prince?" And once they ask if you are really a prince, then I just go back and explain just where my parents are from and just all of that.
Q: What was it like growing up with five sisters?A: That is one of the best situations ever. My sisters are very good to me. They spoiled me, probably a little bit too much. But in return I'm very protective of them. I just love them.
Q: What number are you; are you the youngest?
A: I'm the second oldest.
*Q: You said there were four or five teams that showed interest in you. *A: I have been telling everybody that I definitely got that Brady Quinn flashback. For a little bit it kind of seems, "Okay, am I not going to get picked tonight?" But I know that it was nothing that I could control and I'm just glad that I landed here in New York City.
Q: If you come here, maybe you could kind of work yourself in a little bit. Is that a better situation for you with just slowly getting yourself acclimated?
A: A little bit. I guess you can say the pressure is not as high. But it kind of is high just playing for Giants, and just because how high the expectations here are. But no matter where I went, I would have had the same mindset. And that is just to compete and win.
Q: How much contact had you had with the Giants leading up to the draft?
A: The only time I talked to anyone affiliated with the Giants was the DB's coach, Coach Giunta, at the Combine where he did drills with us.
*Q: You had an interview with him? *A: No……., at the Combine, no.
Q: When you were drafted by the Giants, you said, "I really don't even know much about them." Does that make you nervous at all?
A: Not at all. I feel like my personality is very open and outgoing. And I'm pretty sure that we will click right away.
Q: How much contact have you had with Perry Fewell so far?A: Not that much, but we have been in contact a little bit.
Q: How familiar are you with the receivers in the NFC East.
A: I have heard about DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin and Dez Bryant; all great, great wide receivers. So that is a war week in and week out. And I'm sure once one of the veterans has taken me under their wing, and I just keep learning and grinding, I'll ………………
Q: Who was the toughest wide receiver you have ever faced?
A: Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma State.
RE: The dropoff in interceptions. Is that the reason why teams may have shied away from you?
A: That could be a factor. I did have a very successful junior year, which just means more hands on balls. I was told that I wasn't going to get a lot of action my way, but that wasn't going to shy me away from not trying to make plays. So whenever there was an opportunity to make a play, I'm going to make it.
Q: Have you heard from Phillip Dillard?A: I have over 300 text messages, and I haven't really seen them all, but I'm sure he wished me luck.
Q: You haven't called him to get the dirt on the Giants?A: What dirt is there?
Q: Your thoughts on pressure of being the number one draft pick?A: Yeah, it is a huge …….. You can't really compare it to the pressure like at Nebraska. But as long as I just keep doing the right things and working hard day in a day out, I don't think I'll have anything to worry about.
Q: Have you been back to Nigeria?A: Yes. I have been there a total of two times. The last time I was back it was 2001.
Q: Did you visit your father's village?
A: Yes. We actually lived in my dad's village.
Q: What was that experience like?A: Before going back I just thought of stuff I had seen on National Geographic which was lions and stuff like that. But it is definitely nothing like that. It is a place that is beautiful. And it is just like paradise.
Q: Did your father know people people in the village?A: Yes, he is very well respected and well known.
Q: What would you like to learn from your teammates?A: Just any tricks and tips that a cornerback or that a rookie needs to know, whether it be just keys on how to read routes better or just keys on the receivers I am going to be learning about.
Q: There were rumors today that the lockout might be put back in place. If this thing should last for weeks and months here, what would be your plans as far as staying in shape or staying in a football mindset?
A: I'm definitely going to keep working out and try to connect with the veteran players and see where they are working out so that I could get an early start on just learning.
Q: Cornerbacks on your team?A: Our cornerbacks, yeah.
Q: If you had stayed in Nigeria, would you have been in line for the chief or the king someday?A: Well, I think what my mom told me, is that my father would have to pass away first for that to happen, so yeah.
Q: Would that be chief or king?A: The chief of the village.
Q: Your thoughts on Jerry Reese's and Coach Coughlin's comments regarding the team being so lucky to get you and that you would be in the mix - competition for a job?A: It really fires me up. It is always good to play for coaches or players that have your back. So I'm just fired up to just get on the field.
Q: Do you like to just cover or do you like to get physical?A: Yes, I take pride in my physicality. I think there is no such thing as a cover corner. I think the corner should be able to play the pass and run. And I just take pride in that.
Q: At what point did pro football become part of your thought process?A: I tend to not look too far in the future, so I just try to take things day by day just to keep myself humble. So probably not until the end of my junior year when my coaches were just telling me that I was getting a lot attention.
Q: What are your plans – are you staying here or are you going back to Arizona?
A: I do have a flight back to visit my parents. I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I don't know what I'm doing after that.
Q: You defended Dez Bryant in college. Are you looking forward to doing that in the NFL?
A: No, I didn't get a chance to guard Dez Bryant. And for sure I'm looking forward to guarding all of the best wide receivers in the League.
Q: Did you consider leaving college early?
A: Not at all.
Q: Why not?
A: It was my first true year at corner and I felt like I still had a lot more to learn.
Q: What number will you wear?A: I haven't thought about that yet, either.
Q: Have you ever seen the Giants play?
A: Yeah, for sure. I remember the catch against the Patriots in Glendale, AZ. And I'm sure there were other games, too.
Q: Do you have a favorite team?
A: Not at all. I was always on the bandwagon.
Q: Are you a Cardinals' fan?A: No comment. The Cardinals are in my back yard and I'm a hometown kid so it is natural for me to just like the home town team.
Q: Were you at the Super Bowl in Glendale?A: No.
Q: What was your reaction to the Cardinals picking Patrick Peterson?A: The Cardinals did what was best for them. They took the best player available and Patrick was available. So I can't argue with that.
RE: Giants playing at the Cardinals this year.
A: Yeah, I heard that we play them October 2.