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Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka Interview


Q: Do you think Antrel Rolle's comments were borne out of frustration or do you think that there is something there?

A: I always believe in what Antrel Rolle says. He's usually pretty spot on. He's not necessarily calling out individuals, but as a team, if you can be out there on the practice field, then you need to be out there. Whenever you have a certain number of people [not practicing], regardless of what point in the season you're at, it's not good for the team. I agree. You can't really judge somebody else's injury. Everybody who's been in the league understands that. If you can't go, you can't go. But we just need everybody to push as hard as they can so that we can have everybody out pulling the line in.

Q: Do you think the guys understand that?

A: I think everybody understands that. Maybe there is one or two younger guys who don't understand how important it is, but I think from the guys we have on this team, we all know how important it is to be out there. There's no concern about that. We know that we're going to get it turned around and we know that that's something that will be fixed.

Q: What do you remember about the first time you played the Jets – the feeling of playing a team that's not a rival but is a rival?

A: It's one of those environments that is electric. You have two teams that share a building, we hang out, we live and everything within close quarters. We share some fans. We just understand that it's a big game regardless of how often we're going to see them just because of how passionate the fans are on both sides.

Q: What do you expect it to be like on Saturday?

A: It's going to be do or die. We have two teams that are fighting. For us, the only thing we're concerned about is, like I said yesterday, achieving our ultimate goal, which is winning a Super Bowl and stuff. Our playoffs have already started. Fortunately we still have another opportunity to accomplish that goal. This week is going to be huge for us.

Q: Does it help you that there's going to be all of this hype about who you're playing this week?

A: I think it's irrelevant because of the situation that we're in. If it was a hype game or not a very publicized game, we would still approach it the same way. The environment, those things are exciting when you're looking back on your season or your career, but when you're in the middle of it, it's all about getting that win. Because of what we have at stake, it's a big game for us, regardless.

Q: What are things that you can do better in these last two games?

A: We need to focus. We need to wake up in the morning tomorrow and prepare and practice the way that we need to, the way that we should and the way that we normally do. When we get out there on game day, go hard. Everybody goes hard. Everybody sells out. And everybody knows exactly what they're supposed to be doing on every play, every formation, every series. We have more than a great chance of winning. We can get it done. There's no magic that needs to be done. There are 11 guys on the field that have to decide this is a game we're going to win. When we do that we'll come out with a win.

Q: Did you sense last week wasn't as intense as was needed?

A: I think hindsight is 20/20. Obviously I think coaches have the best perspective of that because they're watching. They're watching every practice from the sidelines, making a judgment. When I'm out there I'm going as hard as I can every week. In the past maybe there have been times where we practiced in the same fashion and we came out with a win. You're basically just getting lucky. This time if that was the case and that's how the coaches  feel, then there has to be some merit to it, but it came back to haunt us. That's something that we can learn from and going forward we can decide today that that's not going to be the case next week.

Q: Your team doesn't talk trash, as a rule. What's it like to play a team that does and says they're better than you?

A: Talking trash isn't going to help you out there on the field. Some people need to do it to get themselves amped up. We're not that kind of team. When we're clicking, we're clicking because as a group we decided that we're going to do this. When you're out there on the field it's football. People are going to talk to each other, but in my opinion there's no sense in talking before the game or in the media or in the locker room. You have to go out there and prove it. That's what we're all about. We're about going out there and beating people up and making sure that they understand why we came to play.

Q: Do you think you're the better team in New York City?

A: I know we're the better team. We just have to go out there and prove it.

Q: Rex said that it's hard to prove that you're the better team when they've been to the AFC Championship the past two years and you haven't made the playoffs.

A: That's fine. The beautiful thing about it is that we're going to find out real soon. I'm not worried about anything anybody says, especially somebody that's not going to have pads on.

Q: Was the urgency not there yesterday? Do you expect the urgency to be there next week?

A: I expect the urgency to be there this week because of, if nothing else, what happened yesterday. For whatever reason, we didn't have it. We have to be honest about it. We didn't have the intensity. We didn't have the execution. We didn't have the attention to detail. Given what's at stake, there's no way that we can come out the same way this week. But yeah, because of the way we let down yesterday I feel like that that will be a little extra push for us, if nothing else, for everybody to want to put good football on film.

Q: How do you feel about Canty and Tuck using the word 'embarrassed'? Have you been embarrassed on a football field?

A: Yeah. That was very accurate. I don't think they were talking about themselves individually. We're all part of the team. So what the team does, regardless of it's offense, defense or special teams, we're directly responsible for it. If we see something going on on special teams, we have the ability to change it here by saying something or putting ourselves out there or asking the coach to put us out there. This is our team. We're a group. We win as a team. We lose as a team. I think that using the word embarrassed is very accurate. There's no other way to explain it.

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