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DE Osi Umenyiora

Q: How's your hip?

A: Good.

Q: Have you had to really manage that hip?

A: It's something I've been managing for the last couple of years. It's something that I'm going to continue to manage.

Q: Is it any different now than it has been since you've been managing it?

A: You know, it flares up every once in a while but it's nothing that I don't think I'll be able to handle.

Q: Were you hobbling in here just from training camp soreness or something else?

A: It's my one-a-day trick (laughs). It's something that will have to be dealt with eventually but hopefully I'll be able to push through it this year.

Q: Was there any point that you actually considered having the surgery in years past?

A: Obviously, there's nothing about the warning that Dr Brian Kelley and Ronnie Barnes haven't been telling me for the last couple of years, but I'm really not looking forward to getting cut open again. It's something I really don't want to do but at some point it's going to be necessary and at some point -  if I feel like I need to prolong my career or something – that I'm going to have to do eventually.

Q: You were so excited about coming out and proving you should be starting. How does the injury affect that?

A: It doesn't affect it at all. It's something I've dealt with for a while now so it doesn't affect it at all. As far as me coming out here and competing, I'm going to compete and I'm going to play to the best of my ability and whatever happens after that happens.

Q: With the hip, are you going to be able to get to top form?

A: I've been playing with it since 2006 so obviously I've done a couple of good things since then so I'm not going to point to that as an excuse why maybe I didn't perform at as high of a level as I wanted to. It is what it is. It's pain. It's something that I can deal with. It's something that everybody in the NFL is accustomed to dealing with and it's something that I'll continue to play with. I might not have that surgery after this year.

Q: Is it getting worse and worse or have you had flare ups in other years? Does it stay the same?

A: Well, from what the doctors say, they really don't know. They're saying that it's really not getting any worse but at the end of the day it is what it is and it's something that I need to do, that I need to have taken care of if I want to prolong my career but I'm not sure if I want to do that anyway.

Q: Is it hurting during the game or is it the kind of thing that when the adrenaline goes down that the pain sets in afterwards.

A: It's always afterwards. It's never really during the game or when I'm practicing or when I'm playing. I don't really feel it then but it just takes much longer to recover. Maybe like an hour or two before I'd be able to recover now it takes a couple of hours to recover from…

Q: So you're not sure you want to prolong your career?

A: Sometimes I think about it, that I do, and sometimes I'm like, really what am I prolonging my career for? I mean, everything that I wanted coming into the NFL, everything I wanted, I've accomplished, whether that's winning a Super Bowl or being an all-star player or being financially secure, I've accomplished all that already, so I'm not sure that that's something I want to continue to do and that's why I elected not to have the surgery because at this point, this year, this season is more important to me and to, I think, the fans than any injury. When I look around all I see is negativity and people saying I can't do this and I can't perform and I suck and at the end of the day I still feel like a professional player and when I look around and I hear about people saying that this team can go forward – I think we have an exceptional team – so this season right here is the most important, probably the most important year of my life.

Q: Do you think that you can live without having this surgery?

A: No, no – absolutely not. It's something that has to be taken care of eventually but I'm just not sure if now is the time.

Q: It sounds like you're saying that the fun has been taken out of football for you…
A: No – never that, man. The fun can never be taken out of this for me. I love this game and I love this football team so I'm still having fun and I'm still enjoying it. I'm in a very, very good mental mind place right now. When I go out there I'm having so much fun and I'm so excited to be out there with my teammates and to be playing for this organization and this team, so the fun is not going to be taken out of this for me no matter what happens.

Q: So we're not sure if the injury is getting worse, but is the pain getting worse?

A: It flares up every now and then. I wasn't even sure I was going to play in the Super Bowl, honestly, because it flared up right before that game so you never can tell what can happen.

Q: Is it torn again or is it just kind of residual stuff?

A: I can't really go into detail about exactly what it is but it's something that the doctors are very well aware of and they think it's okay for me to keep on playing, so I'll do that.

Q: Couldn't you have taken care of this in the offseason, done the rehab, and come back better?

A: I mean, there's no telling. There's no guarantee that that's exactly what would have happened and, like I said before, it's been going on for like five years now so it's something that I didn't feel like was going to be a problem and I don't feel like is really going to be a problem right now.

Q: So this isn't something you're going to say, well I wasn't great but I had an injury…

A: I'm not going to do that, man, that's the sissy way out. I think everybody is playing the same right now and I'm no exception. Whatever happens after this year happens. However I go out there and play, it's not going to be because of my hip. I feel like I have the mental willpower to overcome all that and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Q: When you're thinking about life after football, this isn't something you're thinking that this is going to be your last year is it?

A: I mean no, I don't think so. I hope not. But obviously this is my eighth year in the NFL. When I say that it sounds kind of crazy because it seems like I just got out here yesterday but you've got to start preparing yourself for that. The body is not able to recover the way it used to. But I don't think this is my last year. I hope it's not my last year anyway.

Q: Do you think you'll be playing on your last contract?

A: What kind of question is that? (Laughs) I don't know. I can't answer that question right now but I feel like the only question I can answer right now is how we're going to go into the season and how we're going to perform this season and I think that's going to be exceptional.

Q: Have you heard about how all of you defensive linemen are going to be used and rotated in?

A: I think they're going to use us to the best of our abilities. I think there's enough out there for everybody. Obviously I've been very selfish in the past with my demands and some of the things that I have wanted but I don't really feel that way anymore right now. There's enough playing time for everybody. As soon as I get on that playing field I'm going to make plays, period. No matter where they put me, if I'm coming off the bench, I'm just going to be the best bench player ever so whatever they require me to do, I think they're going to use me to the best of my abilities because this team wants to win. It's not a personal vendetta against me or anything that I've done in the past. I think that everybody needs to be a little bit less selfish and realize that there's enough playing time, there's enough money, there's enough everything out there for everybody and I think we'll be good to go.

Q:  Have you consulted with Marc Philippon?

A: You'll have to call him and ask him about that one? I can't go into that one, I'm sorry.

Q: Best case scenario. How many more years do you feel like you want to play?

A: Best case scenario. Four.

Q: It sounds like you'd be cool if they decided that Mathias Kiwanuka were to start and they decided to use you a lot off the bench…

A: Would I be cool with that? If they really felt like that was going to help this team win, then of course I would be cool with that. It would not affect my bottom line in any way.

Q: When did you come to the conclusion that it wasn't a personal vendetta?

A: I've been talking to the coaches and talking to everyone around and I realized that they probably really felt like what they were doing was in their best interests and it wasn't anything personal against me and that's just the way I have to roll with it.

Q: Does the potential work stoppage next year factor into your thinking much?

A: There's not going to be a work stoppage man. Everybody's talking like there is but at the end of the day you're talking about – what's the NFL worth? Like 12 or 13 billion dollars – why would they do that? That's ridiculous. We'll come to an agreement.

Q: So you want to be a representative now in the player's union?

A: I mean I think I should. I mean if I would have been a representative we wouldn't even be having these discussions right now. This is really ridiculous when you think about it. The amount of money that is being made…it's ridiculous. Owners are making so much money…we can come to an agreement as long as everybody stops being so greedy. Everything will be okay.  

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