Q: Keys to getting running game going?
A: I think it's great to have both Brandon and Ahmad healthy and playing the way they are, but I think it's just a collective determination. We understand how important it is, especially when you're playing up against good football teams with dynamic offenses who can control the time of possession, can kill the clock, and that's going to be a crucial point to this game. It's no surprise how this game is going to be won by the offenses and defensive lines by either side and doing that is controlling the time of possession, controlling the line of scrimmage, keeping yourself in third and manageable downs instead of third and long situations and I think that's something we put on our back and said that "If we want to be successful, if we want to continue to keep this thing going, we need to get the run game going" and I think all of us said "it doesn't matter if there are eight guys in the box, nine guys in the box, we are going to find a way to get it done."
Q: Is the pressure all on the Packers with the 15-1 record they have?
A: Obviously there is a lot to lose. Either you win and you continue playing or you lose and you go home. Obviously they are a very good football team, 15-1 is an unbelievable record and they are a very good football team and I think we had an 'us against the world' mentality throughout the ups and downs of this season when people told us that we couldn't do this, we couldn't win the division. I think that our team really rallied together and I think that we became a stronger team because of it because it took all of us to look each other in the eye and have that accountability, that we believe in one another and in order for us to do it we have to go out there and play that way and I think that's the way we have been winning games. It's not just one phase of the game. It's the offense, it's the defense, the special teams, and I think the most exciting part about it is we come off of a big drive and you've got all the defensive guys high fiving, running around, excited. Same thing, they get a big 3rd down or 4th down stop like they did, you've got the offense screaming onto the field and I think that's the type of atmosphere and that's the type of way you've got to play it. Especially now in the playoffs, all three phases have to be playing their best football, especially against a good football team like we're playing this weekend. You know, you don't want to create turnovers, you can't have tons of penalties. I know offensively for us, like I said, you have to convert third downs and keep yourself 3rd and manageable downs, but also it's crucial down when you get down in the green zone. You have to put up touchdowns against good teams, you can't settle for field goals. We are focused on all of those things and we understand what it takes to be successful especially on the road.
Q: Talk about the transition this offensive line has made?
A: Obviously we lost two very good football players, guys I played with for 7 or 8 years here. Everybody in the beginning was talking about how are you going to adjust, how are you going to regroup and being on an offense line is so much about continuity and playing together and getting that experience and I think the best thing that happened is that throughout everything, throughout the injuries that happened, guys stepped up and played extremely well. You've got guys like Kevin Boothe, who played multiple positions, Mitch Petrus coming in and playing games. I bumped out to tackle when William Beatty went down and I think the one thing we knew is that if we continue to stick together and fight together that we would get the job done and I think one of the main things is that when you're challenged as a group, especially for us on our offense, we know how good Eli is, we know how good our receivers are and we know how good our running backs are and we know that if we keep Eli's feet clean that he's going to be able to do a lot of things. He's going to get us checked into the right plays and running the football. That if we go out there and lay it all on the line for 60 minutes especially for our running backs the way they are running, we can be successful and I think that we kind of taken that and put it on our backs and said "hey put it on us and we are going to go out there and get it done."
Q: memories of '07
A: Obviously we are still hearing about going there from '07 in a championship game and all that stuff and yeah, I mean, it brings back memories and stuff like that, but this is a whole new year, this is a different team, this is a different type of excitement and I think with the way this season has gone I think we realized how precious it is to be in the position that we are in right now because you never know if you're going to get it again, but also we understand how hard we had to work to get here. Nothing was given to us. We have earned everything and I think that's through the way we prepared and the way that we practiced. So having that game there and still having those memories and everything are great and I think any fan can remember those feelings too, but this is a whole different season and that game has no bearing on the outcome of this Sunday.
Q: How do you guys feed off of Brandon and the running game?
A: It's exciting, I mean, to be able to have him come in there and set the physical tempo in the running game is amazing. He's not scared to try running over a linebacker and you get defensive backs that aren't going to take him on full steam ahead and when you get that going and you hear big hits, I think that gets everyone energized and I think having him and Ahmad together, that tandem they do a great job and I think the main thing that we've worked on in the running game is keeping ourselves out of negative runs, not losing yards, making sure "hey we are going to fight for 2 or 3 because each yard in the run game makes a difference" and like I said especially when it comes to 3rd down this is a very good defense we are playing against. They blitz a lot and not only from there linebackers, they blitz their secondary and one of the crucial factors in that is keeping them in those 3rd and manageable downs. So number 1 you can be aggressive, but number 2 you don't allow them to pin there ears back and just attack the quarterback.
Q: Do you get that sense of joy in where you are right now?
A: I would definitely say so. This is my 9th year playing here and being a veteran guy here who has been here my entire career, it means a lot for me to be wearing a Giants Helmet and a Giants Jersey and there's no other team that I would rather play for and most importantly the guys that I am playing with, football is all about camaraderie and we are all brothers. We all go out there and fight together, through ups and downs we stick together and I think we understand how precious this is and being a guy who is a veteran you realize how difficult it is to win football games in the NFL, let alone make the playoffs and have the opportunities we have because you hate to use a cliché but 'opportunities are never lost, somebody takes one you miss' and we're not going to have any regrets. I think the way we have prepared and the way we handled ourselves with that business-like attitude and the way we've approached the field on Sundays. I know guys are selling out and leaving everything they have out on the football field and for me, I mean there's no other way to do it. We are grown men playing a kid's game and to be doing what we are doing and be living a dream like I am living, what's not to be excited about and there's times where teammates pick you up when something bad happens and you do the same for those guys. This is an emotional game.
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