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P Matt Dodge Transcript


Q: What was your reaction when Weatherford was signed?

A: I was excited. It would be foolish to think that he was not going to get signed and when you look at the people who were available and the year he had in the exact same stadium. To be shocked would be dumb on my part. I was excited for the chance to go up against easily one of the best punters in the league. I'm excited to get it done.

Q: Are you better prepared for your second year then you were your first?

A: Yeah. Physically, I didn't come in twenty pounds heavier, but I've been in Jersey for a year and my comfort level has got to be ten times more than it was my first day here. I know I couldn't even hardly say my name the first day I was here. Now, it's really just punting the ball and when you think about it like that, it takes a lot of pressure off and you're really able to do what you can do.

Q: When someone challenges you or puts you on the spot, do you look at it as a positive and move forward?

A: That's truly the only way, if you want to be successful, to look at it. Any great competitor, anybody out here, if you're doing the job right away, it's not as good as when you win it. When you know you have somebody you're going up against, it's just that incentive to do better. You have to perform because somebody is right there trying to get the same job you are. I think it's exciting. I couldn't sleep at night. I had everybody calling me, telling me about it. I was just tossing and turning in anticipation to get out here yesterday. It's awesome.

Q: You had a couple of really good performances, did that give you a lot of confidence going into this year?

A: As a Christian, my confidence comes in God and the ability he's given me. If I had a bad game, I don't think I'm less of a man and if I had a good game, I don't think I'm any more of a man. I have confidence still being on the team after something like that and my coaches and the way the team rallied around me, I got more confidence in that than anything I could've done.

Q: Is it your impression that it's going to come down to preseason games, how you perform in game situations?

A: I can really only control what I do. I can't control what the front office does. They're one of the best organizations in the league for personnel and stuff like that. If this is the guy they want, they didn't make a bad choice, he's an amazing punter and all I can do is control how I punt. If it comes to a preseason game, I'm not thinking like I need to average forty-eight this game to give me a chance. Just enjoy the process. If given the opportunity to put on the Giants uniform one more time, it would be awesome. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.

Q: As you look back on your rookie year, what are your thoughts?

A: I'd like to say that I had some good games and obviously, I got a lot of flack for some punts. And believe me, I wasn't going home, 'Well, I thought that was a good punt.' I'm just as tough and critical of myself, but overall, I think I carried myself well and learned a lot. I couldn't ask for a better rookie year as far as learning experience and character building, stuff like that. If it was a great year, I think I'd be in the same spot as I am now. But everything that was thrown at me and everything that I went through, that makes you a better man.

Q: Have you ever had to compete for a job before?

A: Yeah. In college there are like three or four punters you're going against. It's neat to have another punter, 'Alright I'm punting now, because next punt he's got the next punt.' You're not going to get a better opportunity right away. The inner competitor comes out in every athlete and yeah, I'm excited.

Q: By the way things ended last year, did you expect them to bring in somebody?

A: My coaches said, if you look around the league, even some of the best punters in the league, there is two guys in training camp. It would be ignorant for me to think that I would be the only one in here, especially after some of the up and down performances and a lot of the media attention to the punter. To think they weren't going to bring somebody in would have been foolish. When I saw who it was, I was like, man that's awesome. He's a great punter too. It's going to be fun to compete.

Q: Did you work on holding this offseason?

A: Yeah, that's something I worked on even when I wasn't doing it last year. We did it every day. It's something you gain confidence in just like punting in the league. It's all about confidence. I'm not physically unable to hold, it's just once you get game reps and stuff like that, you're confident and just go out there and do it.

Q: A week ago you told me you consider him a friend of yours. How has he been to you?

A: Great. I have guys back home, I'm from a little redneck town in North Carolina, who are like man, what are you going to do. I'm like what do you mean? He's fighting for the same job I am. I've got no animosity. He's looking for a job, just trying to get paid like everybody. He's a great guy and an even better punter. I'm excited to be around him.

Q: How often did you kick during the lockout?

A: To be honest, I took a little while off. Just got away from it, give my legs a rest. Got back into it about two or three times a week, kind of similar to training camp where you punt one day and not the next. I wasn't out there beating hundreds of hundreds of balls. I know I have the ability. I've been gifted with the ability, it's just going out there, being confident and just doing it.

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