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Transcripts

David Tyree & Ike Hilliard Conference Calls

DAVID TYREE

Q: David, we saw you in June and you had an inkling that your career was probably over – what was it that finally got you to make the final decision?

A: The final decision really came upon – I guess you guys know me – just positioning myself and seeing what was best. You know, just to put it out there, that I didn't get the interest that I expected in free agency but that really wasn't the final decision. I really felt I finished the season strong enough and positioned myself to be on somebody's roster at some point this year but what really made it the final decision for me was just looking at the body of work over the past seven years, what was I really trying to stay in the game to accomplish? And just really trying to position myself to hear from God and what was next for my family and it just kind of unraveled that everything that I was passionate about at this point in my life was more so off the field.

Q: Why was it so important for you to get one last day with the Giants and retire as a Giant?

A: I mean, honestly, that was extremely important for me because I never thought that – just to be all honest – I never really saw my career even happening to begin with and once it did get off to a start it was kind of a fairy tale ride for a kid out of Essex County and the story couldn't have been written any better and I was honored from the start of things even in the most shakiest of moments to have played my career with a class organization and it was only fitting that I ended there.

Q: Can you give an approximate number of times that you have watched your Super Bowl catch since it happened and when is the last time you watched it and are your feelings any different today about it than they were at the time?

A: I guess an approximate…you know…I guess I couldn't even approximate the numbers. Usually only when I'm dealing with something media-wise. I am going to take the time –I was just chatting with someone yesterday – I've never watched the game in its entirety so that's something I'll look forward to doing. I know it means a lot more to me now and – I was sharing this as well – and I don't think that I had the full understanding of the true depth of what occurred and I think that the more I am removed from it the more I appreciate it. So goes with my entire career. Obviously that is the one signature moment which I'll be remembered for as a football player, but I was definitely satisfied with the complete body of work as well.

Q: When you were down in Baltimore did it feel strange to you? I know you wanted to continue your career but did you feel a little out of place not being with the team you grew up with?

A: Yeah, there were definitely some weird feelings going along but obviously I knew I had some things to contribute and looking back even at that – not that it was so far removed from it – but it was really something that was being built up in me, just character-wise, that sense of perseverance that I needed to, you know….it was a sense of , can you come back from one of your most emotionally draining experiences that you've had in your life and compete at this high level. You know, y'all have heard me time and time again that you're only as good as your last opportunity and I think I've made the most of my opportunity down there in Baltimore, obviously proving my worth and doing what I do as far as those special teams. So as the season progressed, I played better and didn't obviously win the Super Bowl but advanced to the second round of the playoffs and had a successful team.

Q: What are your plans now?

A: It's going to be a combination of business and ministry. Be careful because I'm not a big fan of the word religious but I am passionate about my relationship with Christ so to me I truly understand that that was the primary focus of what that catch means to me. It give me a voice, it gives me a platform to reach others, to share, to encourage others in whatever area of their lives. Kind of what I'll be doing in business is – I have a passion to see guys do well, to have an understanding of what it means – this whole NFL career – what it sums up to and the fact that it's really not a career in itself, it's more of a springboard into your next area of life. So that's – even in the business realm – what I'll be doing and helping guys walk this journey a little bit.

Q: David, you always worked hard and were always very astute about the game. Do you think coaching might be in your future?

A: No, I can't see any coaching in my future. I just had my fifth child in June. I've really been tuned in. And the last two years and some of the struggles that that has presented me after the Super Bowl has really gotten me tuned in to the fruitful…just being around my family more…how much more the kids give me than I give them and also by way of being a husband. So I'm really enjoying my place and my role in my home right now so whatever I do I don't want to take too much from that – I would never want to. Coaching is probably one of the most draining but rewarding vocations and jobs that somebody could get themselves into so I see coaching as just as much of a calling as preaching. You need to be called to that.

IKE HILLIARD

Q: We asked David Tyree the same thing, but why was it important to you to retire as a Giant?

A: It was a no-brainer for me. I think I gave it a great effort, my best effort I should say, every day for my 12-year career. You know, being a Giant was obviously more special to me than anything in my professional career, with no disrespect to my four years in Tampa. If I didn't have my start there, I wouldn't have been a part of a great organization and playing with a number of great ballplayers and being able to play for the Mara family and the Tisch family.

Q: We know you are coaching in the UFL in Florida…could you ever see yourself coaching with the Giants?
A: I think that is completely up to the families that are running the business. You know, I'm doing the best I can now not to disrespect the craft. I'm trying to learn as much as I can. I've had an unbelievable experience in such a short time. I'm hoping that at some point I'll have the opportunity to coach in the NFL for a number of years. I definitely would love to have that opportunity, but that's not up to me at this point. I have to work as hard as I can, and do a good enough job to be considered.

Q: Are there one or two games, plays, or special moments that stick out in your career over others?

A: I think that my entire career has been special to me, and it's hard to pick out just a couple moments. From the first drive during the second game of the year, fourth play when I got injured during my rookie season to being fortunate enough to play in the Super Bowl even though we didn't close the deal, and even how it ended as far as us parting ways. All of the moments I enjoyed I will cherish until the day that I die. Just being fortunate enough to be with those guys for as long as I could, it's hard to pick out a moment.

Q: Ike, you took a beating and had some injuries, some were even serious at times. How do you feel physically as you reach the end of your career today?

A: I feel ok. I think had eight surgeries in my 12-year career, which was part of the reason I'm not playing today. Obviously after that hit from Leroy during that Sunday night game in '08 in Tampa, I still have some nerve damage from that hit. I think it's too much of a risk to your team, then and now, if you choose to play after that, which I'm not. To come back and play, I think, isn't in the future. I still get some pretty bad burns and scrapes doing normal activities, but not enough to deter me from doing anything I want to do. I think it's part of the game, and you know what you sign up for once you get into it. It's all partly my fault because I didn't fully prepare myself bodily wise, but I enjoyed myself and I'm doing ok.

Q: What brought you back from those injuries, some we probably never even knew about that you played through?

A: I just love football. Some people call me crazy, but that's okay. I just think that you know what you're getting into and I enjoy the physical part of the game. I just couldn't deal with it very well as far as holding up and staying healthy throughout my career. I never shied away from the physical play, and I enjoyed everything about the game. Just the will to be out there with the guys, do the best I can, and make plays was really what motivated me to play as much football as I could, barring not having that opportunity to play because I was injured.

Q: When you look back at all those injuries now, the pain and suffering nerve damage, do you think it was worth it?

A: I wouldn't change a thing, man, especially in terms of how I played the game. There would be so many things I look back in hindsight and say 'I wish I would have done things a little bit differently' in terms of how I prepared, some of the things dealing with the media and certain teammates, etc., but as far as what I left on the grass, I did the best I could on a quarter by quarter basis. Whatever is said about my career and whatever opinion people have, so be it. But as far as everything on the grass, I'm very comfortable with what I did.

Q: Tyree hinted that coaching is a 'calling' with long hours and a lot of preparation. Does that make you hesitant at all?

A: No. The beautiful part of the situation is that my wife is along for the ride. She is very understanding and committed to what we are trying to do as a couple. We understand what comes along with the beast known as coaching. So we know that hours and hours are involved going into that craft that those hours are spent for a reason. It's a big business, and there is a lot of money involved and we only get paid to get it right. We'd be doing a disservice to the guys who show up prepared if we didn't.

Thanks guys.

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