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Inside the Giants Locker Room



Q: How does it feel to make the Pro Bowl?**A: It is a great thing but hopefully I won't get to see it.

Q: What does it mean for you to know that it was the players and coaches that voted for you?A: All year I have been getting briefed about it but I didn't really care about it. At the end of the day, people are going to decide who is going to be in it and I just continue to play football.

Q: Did you feel like it was a complement?A: Yes, it was the coaches, players and the fans so it was a good thing.

Q: What do you remember most about the game in Dallas?A: I really remember the blocked field goal to win the game. It was at the last second, the blocked field goal, and we won the game. It was a big win and this week we have to play all out and leave everything on the field. Either you win or you go home.

Q: Is that the game when you feel like you burst on to the scene?A: Yes, it was but every game I play hard and I get complements every time.

Q: What does it mean to see Osi back on the field?A: It is good because now I get a chance to rest. It is a good thing to see him out there going as if he is going to go this week so we will see. 

Q: Will that extra rest help you if he plays this week?A: That rest will help me a lot and it will get me going. I was playing like 80 snaps a game and that is a lot. You don't really think about it, you just have to go.

QB ELI MANNINGQ: How does the game plan change from the last time you played the Cowboys?A: We have our game to look at and see how they attacked us, some different things that they did. So we'll game plan that. We just have to see how we can be consistent. They're talented. They're a talented defense. They do a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback. We have to block up their key guys. Receivers are doing a good job of getting open and see if we can run the ball successfully like we did last time.

Q: How do you correct the drops and miscommunications that occurred last week?A: We just keep working on that. We talk about it. I thought we got off to a good start today and just everybody being on the same page. Have a great week of preparation and a great mindset that we're going to have to go in and play great football.

Q: Are the emotions under control with the stakes being so high?A: We've known the circumstances these last two weeks, that we have to win these games. Obviously Dallas is coming in, we're both playing for the same thing, for the same prize, so we know we're going to get their best effort. We have to match that and play better football.

Q: Is this fun?A: Definitely. These are situations that you want to be in – at the end of the season, a chance to make the playoffs, win one game and you're in the playoffs. This is exciting playing against a division rival at home – Should be a great crowd, great environment Sunday night and looking forward to it.

Q: What could you tell from the guys this week?A: That the guys are ready. We understand what's at stake. It's a combination of being focused, being prepared, but also being relaxed and going out there and trying to totally understand the game plan, what your assignments are – where you can go out there relaxed and play your best football.

Q: Is it just the way these two teams matchup that this will probably be a competitive, high scoring game like the Week 14 game or will it be different?A: You never know. That's the great thing about football. You don't know what type of game it's going to turn out to be, but sometimes you have to make adjustments or you have to play to circumstances. We have our game plan. We have things that we think will work, that can be successful. We're going to try to do that to the best of our ability and stay balanced. If it turns one way or the other – where it's low scoring or whether it's a high scoring game – we can deal with either one and play accordingly.

Q: What did you learn about the Giants in the Week 14 game?A: One thing, I think we've been it all season, just having a great desire, a great confidence in our self no matter what the circumstances are or what's going on. We were able to overcome some adversity and some tough situations, but I think our guys never get too down or never get too worried. We always feel we're in the game and that's a good attitude to have.

Q: Winning that kind of game against that opponent, does it give you confidence going into this game?A: Any time you play Dallas you're getting a really good team. They have tremendous players all over the field. Their defense does a lot of different looks and schemes. We know their offense is capable of scoring a lot of points. Tony [Romo] is playing great football. It's a game where you know you have to play smart, you have to protect the ball, but offensively we know we're going to have to try to score some points. Hopefully we can hit some big plays and be consistent. We know they play teams close. They always seem to be in the game at the end so we have to expect it to be a close game. It's going to come down to that fourth quarter and hopefully we can win the fourth quarter.

Q: Since that Dallas game your offense has been inconsistent. Do you know why and do you think you'll come out of it?A: Well, I hope so. Last week, [we were] not real consistent, but effective. We hit some big plays, we hit some big runs. We had some scoring drives that we needed to [have]. We have to continue to do that in the fact of hitting some big plays and doing that, but being more consistent, better on third downs. We need to continue to take of the ball. There are some things that we need to fix up that can make us more solid on game day.

Q: How tough is preparing for the game when you're not sure who's going to be on the field?A: The good thing is we have a number of veteran guys who have been here, been here all season, been here for a number of years. They're going to know the game plan. Hopefully we can get some more guys out tomorrow and practicing. It's one of those deals. This late in the season you're going to have guys banged up, you're going to have guys who are trying to get healed up. It's just a matter of making sure everybody's focused, everybody understands their assignments even though you might not be getting them live in practice. Get mental reps so when we get to game day guys are ready to play.

Q: Did you learn anything this season about your own ability to work with whatever parts are put in front of you?A: I think that comes down to the guys who have to prepare, have to study, have to put in extra work. And the coaches understanding what our situation is with who's practicing and not and what you do with the game plan – not trying to confuse people. We know if we have guys knowing their assignments, knowing what they're doing, we'll be able to execute.

Q: Because of your run to the Super Bowl nobody has ever questioned your big game credentials. Is that an advantage? Does it take some of the pressure off that nobody ever thinks about that?A: I don't think we're thinking about that either. I think we understand what's in front of us. We understand the importance of the game and now it's just a matter of getting prepared, having a great game plan, going out there executing it and then it's going to come down to being there on Sunday night. When there are opportunities to make plays, make them. If things are not looking good, don't give the opponent big plays.

SAFETY ANTREL ROLLEQ: How excited are you about this game?A: Very excited. We have a lot riding on this. We have everything riding on this. Giants versus Cowboys – great matchup. I'm expecting a great game. May the best man win.

Q: Do you expect a different game from the high scoring game of Week 14?A: I really don't know what to expect. I just expect us to go out there and put our best foot forward and go out there and play Giants football the way we know how.

Q: You talked a lot last week about setting the tone in practice. Did you set the tone for Dallas in practice today?A: I'm not here to give a daily report of how practice goes. That's up to coach. I'll let coach tell you all about that. But we're working. That's the best thing I can give you. We're working. We're working hard. We have our eyes on the prize.

Q: What did it mean to see Osi out there?A: All on deck. We're all fighting. We're all trying to get better. It means everything to have Osi out there. I know he's probably not 100 percent, but he's fighting. He's fighting. He's fighting for himself. He's fighting for this team. He's fighting for what we have at stake.

Q: The Cowboys hit a lot of big plays in the game a month ago. How confident are you that you've cleaned all that up?A: Key word is a month ago. That doesn't mean anything about what's going to take place on Sunday. We're a better team. We're a more confident team. And we're a more focused team.

Q: Are both teams much different now than a month ago?A: It's all about being consistent. I think we understand that everything is on the line. We work extremely hard. We've been working extremely hard in practice. Guys have been communicating a whole lot better. There haven't been any coverage busts. Guys have been flying around, which is the most exciting part about practice. We're flying around. We're making practice electrifying. We'll see if we can put our stamp on it come Sunday.

Q: How important can the crowd be in this type of game?A: It can be very important to have the crowd on our side, but at the same time we have to give them something to cheer about. We have to give them something that's going to uplift their spirits as well as uplift our own.

DE MATHIAS KIWANUKAQ: As a defensive player, can you tell when a guy is hurt? How does that affect him?A: I think during the course of the game you get a sense of whether a guy is at full go or not. The only thing that changes is you want to get after him and you want to get there a little faster. But in terms of Romo and the rest of the Cowboys playing, we expect them all to play. This is a playoff game for both of us. Everything is on the line. We're expecting their best game.

Q: What are the differences in their running game with Felix Jones back?A: You'll see some subtle differences. [Felix Jones and Sammy Morris] are both two exceptional backs. We have to prepare for them the same ways in terms of how they can stop and start. For us, we have to be technique-sound and go back to the same old thing – if everybody does their job, the defense will be alright.

Q: It appeared that gap control was a bit of a problem in Week 14.A: It's been an issue for us. This is the playoffs and we have all hands on deck. We're ready to go.

Q: The plan all along has been to have too many pass rushers.A: Is there such a thing as that.

Q: Too many to block. With Osi coming back, what does that mean?A: It means everybody is going to be fresher when they're out there on the field. He's an all-pro player. He's a Pro Bowl guy. When you look at what he presents to an offensive tackle, it's a completely different scenario than the other guys that we have in. We have power guys, we have speed guys, we have our guys who can move around throughout the line. I think just the matchup, the adjustment during the course of the week, they're going to have to prepare for another all-pro player.

Q: How did he look?A: He's faster than ever.

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