DT Marvin Austin
Q: Coach Coughlin said that one of the big things about you is that you clearly would like to prove people wrong and get the job done this year. How much is that a motivation for you?
A: It is extremely motivating. I feel like I am one of the best athletes that was in the draft and I feel like I'm just ready to go and perform and get a chance to play the game that I love so much.
Q: How tough was last year for you and what kind of lesson did you learn, if any, about what happened to you?
A: It was tough to sit back and watch and not be able to play, not to be able to go out and compete with my teammates. And I learned that every decision that you make is an important decision and you have to think everything out. And also not being able to play football – it makes you grateful for the game. It makes you appreciate the game.
Q: Coach Coughlin said that he spoke to you before they told you that they were going to pick you; sort of laid down the law and told you what their expectations were. Did that hit home to you; did that sink in?
A: Yeah, it definitely did. Coach Coughlin and I had a good conversation; very healthy conversation. He told me what was going to be expected of me. I told him that I am ready to be a professional. I'm ready to come in. I'm glad they invested a second round pick in myself. And I can't wait to get to the facility and start working.
Q: Do you feel that when people talk about you, they kind of get the feeling that you are the bad guy?
A: Sometimes some of the things that are said and the way that people say them I feel like some people feel that I'm a bad person or something like that. And that is not the case at all. I'm a good guy who made a bad decision and I'm ready to move on. I am ready to become a Giant.
Q: Outside of the one all-star game last year, you haven't played a whole lot of football recently. And now with the labor problem in the NFL, how much do you think that hinders your development in terms of trying to make an impact as a rookie?
A: I don't really think it hinders my development if I come in there and listen to the coaches and get with the older guys, see what the veterans, try to cut the curve as much as I can. I don't think it will hinder me. I think that I am in pretty good shape. I feel healthy so not being able to play football for the past year, it has it's downside but it also had an upside. I feel as healthy as I have ever felt in my life.
Q: You also seem like you are saying that you have matured over the last year. What have you learned specifically? What is the difference between you now and a year ago?
A: My situation was an extremely humbling experience from being one of the top players in the country to going to be a guy who nobody wants to (draft). That was extremely humbling. I just learned that hard work will pay off. That is what I want to do. And when I get to the facility, I'm going to bust my tail.
Q: What did you do this last year with regard to football drills and those kinds of things? How much of that were you able to do? Who did you work with?
A: I was down in Tampa at Saddle Brook Resort working with Jason Riley, who was my trainer. And I pretty much did a lot of balance stuff. I did a lot of yoga; did a lot of defensive specific drills. And a lot of stuff to become more explosive.
Q: Could you describe for us what kind of player you are – a thumbnail scouting report?
A: I think I am a smart player. I am a passionate guy. A guy who goes out and gives everything he has for his teammates. And I think that by being coached by Coach Blake that I have knowledge of the position – the defensive tackle position. And I think that I can bring it to the New York Giants organization. I will bring that to the New York Giants organization.
Q: Had it not been for the problem of last year, do you think you were a first round pick?
A: I don't know that. I can't really worry about that. I am with the New York Giants now and right now I am so glad to be in the National Football League.
Q: In 2008 you were benched for the final two games. What happened there? Why was that?
A: One of the games I showed up in class late. And coach wouldn't play me. He is a no nonsense type of thing and I had to sit out. So I suffered the penalty they assigned me. It was a learning experience.
Q: I know you are close with Hakeem Nicks. What has your former teammate told you about the Giants? How much did you have a chance to talk to him last year?
A: Actually he was the first person to call me up after they selected me. And he just said, "Come up ready to work." And his goal was to get me up there. Because he knows what kind of guy I am and he knows what kind of player I can be and bring to the organization.
Q: You said you are a passionate guy when you play. Jerry Reese used the word, "nasty" three times when he was talking about you as far as how you play. Do you agree with that and where does that come from?
A: I do. I do agree that I am a nasty guy on the field because I have to go out there and just put it all on the line. From the way that I get off the ball, the way that I use my hands and stuff like that. I like to play violent. And being a defensive lineman that is just what you have to do.
Q: When you came out of high school you were one of the top players in the country. Is it a humbling experience to you knowing that everyone forgot about you?
A: It was extremely humbling. But I'm glad the Giants gave me a chance and they believed in me and they believed that I could come in and help their organization. So now it is just time to get to work.
Q: Do you think you are a big risk?
A: Not at all. I don't think so. I don't think I am a big risk. As I said, the things that happened are in the past. Now I am ready to be a professional and I think coming up to this point I showed that I can be in shape given that I was out of football for five months I can be….professional. Because I had to become a professional way before a lot of other guys because they were still in college. So I think I am ready and I don't think I'm a big risk at all.
Q: How do you think Butch Davis prepared you for the pros?
A: Coach Davis, he ran the whole program like it was a professional program. And he just did things like a professional program would. From the meeting standpoint to the way the practices ran. I think I am well prepared when I come to the Giant organization. He really doesn't put up with a lot of nonsense. So I think I will be well prepared to come in and help the organization out.
Q: Is there a pro player that you have watched at your position over the course of time that you try to model yourself after?
A: I like Warren Sapp. Warren Sapp is a guy who could get back to the quarterback and made plays and make big plays from the defensive tackle position. Also John Randall is the one who I think pioneered the three-technique, the other tackle position with the quickness and the speed. So those are two guys that I like to pattern my game after.