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Media Hour Quotes: Fond Memories of Osi's Career

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Head Coach Tom Coughlin**

Q: Landon Collins didn't really seem like he did much yesterday?
A: He did enough. They wanted to take him and work him and just see him on the side and I think he passed all the tests, so he is going to get some time today.

Q: How is Rueben Randle doing today?
A: Rueben is fighting his way through. He thought he needed just to get some more work in and so today will be a better day for him, I'm sure, too.

Q: Did you like what you saw from him yesterday?
A: He was slowly getting into it. Hopefully he will be able to start faster today.

Q: Will Weston Richburg go today?
A: No.

Q: Is that concerning?
A: Well, certainly it is concerning; it is always concerning, but he is not going to be able to go today so I don't know what else to say to you.

Q: What is it? Tendinitis?
A: It is his knee, yeah.

Q: How important is the third game overall because the guys will play the most they will play all preseason?
A: Well, we have played our people a little bit more this preseason. The third game, obviously, is an important game, just like any of them are but as far as advancing our people, we'll play a half. There may be some that extend and there may be some that won't not play a full half, but by and large, we'll plan on playing a half and a half.

Q: Do you always look forward to playing the Jets in the preseason?
A: It is always a good game. It is a game that is well approached by the media, it is a preseason game, we have our issues, we have people that we are trying to evaluate and they do, too, and I think that is where it is. That is where the game is.

Q: Does it seem any quieter without Coach [Rex] Ryan on the other side?
A: You know what, we've got our own issues. I don't pay much attention to what is going on in other places.

Q: In other years you've often had the starters in the third game play through halftime.
A: I always say that, Paul. I'm glad you brought that up, but it doesn't happen much. I come in at the half and if we are in pretty good shape, I say that is enough.

Q: It is a special day for Osi. Any thoughts on today?
A: I just smile when I think of --- I have this picture in my mind and it will always be there and I smile every time I think of it. It is that picture on the wall where 72 (Umenyiora), 92 (Strahan) and 91 (Tuck) are walking away from Brady who is laying on the ground in Super Bowl 42 and I just have that picture and every time I think of that, I think of Osi and I think of Strahan and I think of Tuck and I just smile. It will always be there.

Q: In your head, is he always aligned with that group?
A: Oh, absolutely. Early on, it was Strahan and Osi, and then, of course, when a young Justin Tuck comes along, but that way in which stories of how Strahan broke in and then how Osi was put to test, too, by the…that is a rare room, the defensive line room, now; you have to understand that. I will always have that smile and that thought of Osi, number one, and on this special day of his and, of course, those that surrounded him.

Q: That second Super Bowl run, when you think of him coming back, can you overstate the contribution that he made back there?
A: No, you can't because of the way in which, like you say, he fought his way through some things. He had some injuries and he fought his way through those things and the way he played down the stretch in that situation and then through the playoffs was outstanding.

Q: What was he like to coach?
A: He was fun. He was a good guy. The one thing that probably went below the surface [was] what a job he did preparing. He studied those left tackles and he knew them---he knew the guy he was going against inside and out and that was really, I thought, the key to his success, that and the fact that he was very fast [and] very confident. When he stepped on the field, the guys around him knew that he was a very confident player, he was a master at his craft and that gave them great confidence, as well.

Q: The young group you have now has mentioned that group and how high they have set the bar. Do you see that as a good thing for these guys now to try and aim for that?
A: Most definitely, that is a good thing. It is always important to have something to look at to establish where you have to get to, to have that kind of success, and I think those guys represent that.

Q: Do you see that kind of talent in the room here?
A: Well, that is what we are shooting for. Guys are going to emerge and they are going to have to and these young guys are going to have to come and emerge. Guys like Owa, who people don't know a whole heck of a lot about because he played on the other side of the country, and so on. He is a guy that is a talented young guy that can learn from watching these guys and knowing full well the success that that group had.

Q: Can I bring you back to this week's game. What is going to mark the first half for the offense to be a success for you? What do you need to see?
A: It is continued improvement for me. The timing of the passing game is not there yet, and it's got to happen. I thought our protection did a nice job early on. We'll be tested this week, the Jets have an outstanding pressure package---they also have an outstanding front, a big front, so we are going to be tested with regards to that, too. That brings up the idea of some kind of consistency with your run game. We have got to have that. We had it at times the other night; we need it more often but we are going up against a very good front, so those would be the ways, you mentioned offense, where we would be looking to see us make progress.

Q: Victor Cruz said yesterday he sees defenses gunning for Odell Beckham. What does Odell have to work through with that?
A: I wouldn't use those words. Obviously there is a difference between --- people are always going to recognize someone who has the type of season that he had and they are going to do things to defend that. As far as gunning for him --- you know the continuous of making plays [and] earning the respect of the opponents by doing it over time, proving as a rookie you made these plays and now the continuation of that, and I think that is what the rest of the league will see out of Odell this year.

Q: You saw the last play. The one down the right side where Odell kind of bumped him and gave the guy a little forearm. What did you say to him about that?
A: Well, we talk about those things and that remains pretty much between he and I. He is not going to be that way, I don't believe so. You've got to stay away from those personal battles --- that is a general statement for anybody in football, whether you are a lineman; a lot of times you want to attach those thoughts to linemen who get involved personal battles rather than see the whole picture and play for the purpose for the rest of the team. Odell he is going to improve on that.

Q: You had Steve Weatherford placekicking yesterday. Is Josh Brown okay?
A: We were working on our second and third kickers, is it okay to do that?

Q: Anything new with Cruz since yesterday?
A: No.

Q: So he won't practice again today?
A: No, he won't.

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QB Eli Manning**

Q: With the Giants-Jets game— even a preseason game— is there still something to it in your mind?
A: Well, I think so. I think the fact that it's usually the third preseason game, which is the one where the starters are going to play the most. Kind of your final, because your last preseason game you don't get much playing time, so fine-tuning. So you want to go out there and play well, and the fact that it's both New York teams and sharing the stadium, it's always important.

Q: Osi [Umenyiora] is having a very special day today. How comforting was it for you as a quarterback to have him and know that he's on your team during those Super Bowl runs?
A: Yeah, Osi was a tremendous teammate and player for the Giants, and a guy who made so many great plays— sacks, sack-fumble, sack-fumble touchdowns, you know I remember so many big plays that he made. I think it's great that he's retiring a Giant and I'm excited for him. He had an unbelievable career.

Q: What's your top memory of Osi? Obviously there's a bunch when you guys were here, but does any one stick out to you in particular?
A: Yeah, man. I think San Francisco at home— he had the sack, fumble, recovery, scooped and ran it about 75 yards for a touchdown. At Green Bay in the playoffs where he had a strip-fumble of Aaron Rodgers, who was probably about to throw a touchdown on a little slant and go, and he [Osi] got a hand on the ball so… you know, those were a couple of the big ones.

Q: Victor [Cruz] said the other day he thinks teams are gunning for Odell [Beckham Jr.]. Odell had some small altercations on the field the other day against Jacksonville. What's your sense of that and what does a young guy like that have to do to play through this?
A: Well, if you're making plays, guys are going to be eyeing you. That's what safeties and those guys do— they're looking to make hits down the sideline or if they have to put a hit on a guy to break up a pass, that's what they'll do. I didn't see anything too bad. It didn't seem like somebody was trying to attack him or hurt him, but you know, it's part of playing football— you're going to take some shots and you just have to learn how to handle that and don't let that affect your play the rest of the game.

Q: Nobody could've had a better freshman season than he [Odell Beckham Jr.] could've, so this whole sophomore season and doing it again, guys are going to circle him obviously now.
A: Sure. And that's going to happen, and we'll be creative and move him around, but there's still going to be opportunities— opportunities to make plays and it's just what you do with those opportunities.

Q: In the game the other day, Victor [Cruz] and Rueben [Randle] were not out there. So I guess you figure in a real game with everyone out there it's going to be a little more difficult to circle Odell [Beckham Jr.], no?
A: We'll see. We'll see how guys want to play and what we should have an answer for.

Q: Coach was saying that the Jets have a really good pressure package and that they should be a good test for you guys on the offense. When you look at them… can you just shed a little bit more on that? What kind of challenges they pose?
A: Yeah, they like to bring pressure. They do a good job of mixing up their coverages— showing pressure and backing out or disguising coverage and bringing some blitzes. So we'll have to be on our game, from my standpoint, from the offensive line, running backs, receivers, everybody understanding what their responsibilities are. It's a good scheme that their coaches brought in from Arizona, and they have good players, good corners, and so it'll be a good test for us. Looking forward to it.

Q: How important is it just for this offense going into the regular season here to generate some points and get some drives together?
A: Yeah, yeah. I think we made some improvements last week but still have a ways to go, so hopefully we'll be able to get into a rhythm and get in synch and hit the open guys, move the ball, and get some points on the board.

Q: Does this [game with the Jets] feel any different without Rex [Ryan]? He's always kind of a spark plug…
A: Well, he brought a little entertainment, so… You know, it seems a little quieter this week in our preparation. Not as much chit chat on both sides probably, but I think he was probably generating a lot of that.

Q: With Weston [Richburg] out a couple of days, how big of an adjustment is it with you and Dallas [Reynolds]?
A: I thought Dallas knows what he's doing, and I don't think we missed a beat yesterday— didn't have any problems with the snaps, which is always a good sign. We had a new center but he [Dallas Reynolds] has gotten a decent amount of work over the years. And he knows what he's doing, has [good] communication, so I thought it was a smooth practice yesterday with him in there.

Q: We kind of laughed about the notion that it is a little quieter now that [Rex] Ryan isn't with the Jets anymore— does it make you reflect for a minute on the comparison with Coach Coughlin and all the things he's outlasted or withstood or longevity with this team… what does it say about that?
A: Well, obviously he does things a certain way, and we've had success. And I think we can get back to having more success, so he's been a terrific coach and I think he kind of acts the way this organization wants our head coach to act.

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WR Odell Beckham Jr.**

Q: What are you looking forward to playing against the Jets?
A: Just being able to experience what everyone talks about and what I hear about and just being able to be a part of it. Obviously I was part of a couple good rivalries in college, so I'm just looking forward to being able to get into some history a little bit, I guess history lessons.

Q: What have you heard about Giants/Jets?
A: They just say it's a rivalry, you know Jets/Giants. When I first came here I thought the New York Giants would be in New York and the Jets were in Jersey, but I was obviously wrong about that. I'm just sitting back and trying to learn exactly what's going on.

Q: How about getting a chance to go up against the two good cornerbacks [Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie] that they have?
A: I think it'll be a great opportunity for us. To be able to go into our third preseason game and kind of just take that next step in the right direction as far as moving the offense along. Every other aspect as well but specifically speaking about the offense and going against one of the best corners in the league, and Cromartie who's another really good corner, just looking forward to that opportunity.

Q: Is it important that you and Eli [Manning] connect here in the preseason before the regular season?
A: Obviously you get on the field, and if the ball is thrown your way, you want to catch it, but I think I had zero catches in the preseason last year. I think Eli and I kind of have an understanding of where each other are but you always want to work your material, work what you practice, and bring it over into the game as far as for confidence of the others around you. I feel as if we'll be alright whether we get a pass going or not. Like I said, I'm just looking forward to be able to go against some very good competition.

Q: What do you know about Revis and do you know him at all?
A: He's a good dude, very good person. I've met him a few times and hung out with him. Before the schedule came out and they said we had to play the Jets, we were good friends. Having to go against him, why would you not want to go against the best in the league? The Patrick Peterson's, the [Richard] Sherman's, Revis, the Joe Haden's, that's what you come here to do is to put yourself in the best position possible to go against the best and he's clearly one of the best. It should be a tough challenge but I'm looking forward to just being able to go out there and competing.

Q: How do you feel…..(inaudible)
A: I guess we'll see Saturday.

Q: You seemed to bang your wrist a little in the game against Jacksonville. Was that an issue?
A: It's fine to me.

Q: What do you make of Victor [Cruz's] comments about he felt guys were coming for you?
A: I agree with what he said, but at the end of the day it's football. Guys are out there and you're going to get hit. It's a contact sport for a reason, but you just want to try and avoid any unnecessary contact. I know I do, for sure. So just plays that can be made by a defender and you're choosing not to make a play on the ball, then it's a different story. Like I said, at the end of the day, it's football, you're going to get hit, you're going to have to take shots, and you're going to have to get up and compete. I'm not so much worried about being targeted. I know maybe a little self-inflicted with that, that's what it's going to be like. I'm just going to be a target in other people's eyes, something that I have to look out for, so just protecting yourself and knowing that there are 52 other people that have your back. It makes it less concerning for me to really worry about.

Q: Is there a change during the regular season with that balance between going for the ball and the contact?
A: I'm going for the ball. I'm just going to have to get hit. I don't know about them. If they have their chance to take a shot, then I think they will. It's just what you do and it's a part of the game, so I can't really get mad. I can't really get mad about anything like that. You just learn to play with it and just know that it's going to be the case.

Q: Did some of that boil over for you on the last play that you were in? It appeared you gave Sergio Brown a shove.
A: I didn't see that and there was no flag thrown, so no harm, no foul.

Q: What has Eli Manning offered you?
A: Honestly, to be able to come in and be a rookie in the league, and you come in and get in my mind a guy who could end up going to the Hall of Fame. A quarterback like that, and a guy who loves football, loves talking about football and being able to converse with him about football, and getting on the same page. What better way to start off your career, with a guy like that who enjoys, and wants the best out of you, and he's going to push you to be the best. I've learned a lot from E and just as far as watching what he does every day, how he comes to work, and how he handles everything in general. Whether he knows it or not, my eyes are always on him.

Q: With Rueben [Randle] and Cruz, are you saying whenever they're ready they're ready and we'll get by until they are?
A: Absolutely. I think they had to hold a little while before I could go play with them so I can't sit back and complain about me having to take all the reps in practice. I think I gave Rueben enough extra reps while I was out, so just waiting for him and Victor to come back healthy. You don't want to rush back into something and then you prolong it. You want to try and stay on top of whatever you have going on and making sure when the time is right you can go. Right now, the main focus is just for those two guys to get as healthy as possible and the receiving corps to do our job, which is to one guy down the next man up, that's always been the mentality. The receiving corps, starting with myself, I know I need to step it up and take it to another level as far as bringing energy, and everything that's going on. It's time for this team to take another step.

Q: You've talked about the importance of controlling your emotions. Saturday seemed like a test for that, how do you think it's going?
A: It's going to be a test all year and it's just something you're going to have to deal with. Like I said, I have 52 guys out there that are going to have my back, so I'm not so much concerned about it, and just kind of understanding it and embracing the position that you're in, and knowing that there are going to be shots like that and guys trying to get in your head. Just make sure you remain who you are and at the end of the day, play football. I just love playing ball, so if they make a good play you just get up, tell them good play, and keep it moving.

Q: When you said a lot of it could be self-inflicted, is that because of success you've had or a personality thing?
A: Maybe a bit of both. I could rub a lot of people the wrong way if they don't know me, so I'm sure a lot of it was cause for me, being who I am, and dancing and having fun. Also having success at the same time, I'm sure that if you were going against me, you wouldn't want to see that. I wouldn't want a DB breaking up the ball every single play and him dancing all in my face as well. I could understand why things may be the way they are and you are going to have to be able to handle it.

Q: Is there any chance that you would tone it down a little bit having known that?
A: I still have to play with the same passion and come to the field the same way every time. People are going to talk, you're going to talk, you get caught up in the game, it's heat of the moment, things are going to get said, and after the game, all is forgotten. At the end of the day, you're out there to compete, so there are no hard feelings or bad blood between anybody that you ever play against. It's just kind of one of those things, I want to do better than you, I don't want you to be able to leave the field and say you got the best of me, or anything like that. That's where it's at.

Q: Have you disciplined yourself to walk away from situations where guys are baiting you?
A: Turn the other cheek, turn the other cheek. Martin Luther King or Malcom X approach, whichever one you want to go for. Like I said, it's going to happen all year and how you handle it is up to you. I've got guys out there counting on me to do my role just the same as I count on everyone else does there, so just making sure we all do our job, and I think it'll benefit us all.

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