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Quotes: DC Wink Martindale, OC Mike Kafka, STC Thomas McGaughey, RB Saquon Barkley

Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale

Well, not a whole lot to catch you all up on. We've been preparing for the last two weeks for this game and this season. I like where we are at defensively and I am excited where we are going and with that, I'll open it up to questions.

Q. As a defensive coordinator when you go and look across the side and you look at (Cowboys quarterback) Dak (Prescott) and the Cowboys, what do you make of the fact that he doesn't have a history of throwing interceptions but last year he threw a lot of interceptions?

A: I think that when you look at the player of the caliber of Dak, he's been a Pro Bowler, he's Walter Payton Man of the Year, he's one of best competitors at the quarterback position I think, and leaders. He's mastered this offense. I know that Shotty (Cowboys offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) and (Cowboys head coach) Mike (McCarthy), Mike's going to be calling the plays now, but it's a similar offense that he's been running, and I think that it's going to be a tough challenge just like it is every time you play him. I don't think you put any stock into last year just because it's this year. Everything is about this year now.

Q. How would you characterize the way (cornerback) Deonte (Banks) has come in, picked stuff up, handled himself? He seems to have a quiet confidence about him. What would your assessment be?

A: I think he has been and reacted in different situations just like we thought he would. I think that he is a very competitive person. I like his attitude. I've used the Ted Lasso quote to nauseam now, but that's just who he is. He loves to compete, he loves this defense, he loves the system, and you can tell the way his teammates have grown close to him already that he's an all-around good guy that's going to have a lot of success in this league.

Q. Is there a level of NFL ready that rookies come in with and is he maybe a little bit higher that way than some? Obviously he was a high draft pick.

A: Yeah, I think we have talked about that too before here in this setting. I think that each player is different and he's ahead of schedule as far as that, you know, being ready to go and being excited about going. You know there is going to be hiccups, we all know. That's being a rookie. That's both for he and (cornerback) Tre (Hawkins III). They are just two strong-willed individuals that I think they are going to be just fine.

Q. How does Isaiah Simmons fit into your defense and what has the crash course been like for him since he got here?

A: It's been great, it's been great. I think he fits perfectly. It's going to take a while for all of us to gel, not just Isaiah, but all of us to gel together because we just haven't had that many reps together yet, besides practice, but I am saying just seasonal, game reps, it'll take a little to bit to gel, which every team is going to go through that. I think he's perfect for this defense. When (Senior Vice President and General Manager) Joe (Schoen) told me to initially look at him, I loved him coming out of the draft and I spoke to (Clemson head coach) Dabo (Swinney) back then, but then I went to see, a lot of people just go back and look at game tapes and make their judgements. I went back the last three years and looked at his productivity and looked at things he did do really well, and I think it fits our system great. It's not what position are you going to play him at, we are going to play him wherever you need him because he can do so many different things. I've talked before about a positionless defense, he fits perfect to that.

Q. You said Tae (cornerback Deonte Banks) is ahead of schedule, what makes him ahead of schedule?

A: I just think his maturity and his confidence, is probably what makes him (ahead of schedule), and his skillset obviously. I think those three things.

Q. Because of the way you coach players and have over the years, do you particularly like your chances to get the most of guys like Simmons who clearly was seeking a fresh start and got one with you and the Giants?

A: We've had success with really good football players, and I think he's a really good football player. I just believe in him, and I believe in all the guys that are playing and I think he's going to be fun to watch.

Q. In the past, you've compared guys to certain guys in the past and things like that. Is it fair or unfair to compare (outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) and (Cowboys linebacker) Micah Parsons?

A: I guess unfair. I mean I think they both have a lot of things they do really well. Some different things that some do better than others and vice versa, but I like Kayvon. Just who he is and what he does for this defense. He brings so much flexibility to the defense that people don't really understand that he does everything. It's like we have talked about before, say there is 700 plays, you are going to like 650 of them and not talk about the 10 sacks or eight sacks or nine and a half sacks, whatever number gets placed on him because that's just a blip on the radar screen for everything else that he does.

Q. He (outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux) said when he looked back at his first year, he was very disgusted or whatever word he used about a lot of chances that he did not cash in on. To reach the next level, you mentioned all the things he does, but does cashing in on those …

A: Sure, I think any player that's judged with the microscope that he is and when they have success and when they really take that next step is when they become finishers at the quarterback and finishers when they get their hands on the football and things of that nature, but you know when everybody talks about sacks and everything else, they forget about him sprinting 40 yards down the field and tackling a tailback that's running. Guys don't usually make those plays; he makes those plays, so it's going to be enjoyable to watch.

Q. You obviously don't feel sacks are everything, but a year ago they had eight sacks, you guys had none in two games. Does that number bother you; can it not be zero again this week?

A: I think that we played well, just couldn't finish them and this is a new year. I don't sit back there and say they had eight and we had zero and look at that as a failure, no. I just know we got to fix some things and we've worked on that, and we will see where we are at come Sunday night.

Q. When you look at the roster, you added (inside linebacker) Bobby (Okereke) and Nacho (defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches) and (defensive lineman) A'Shawn (Robinson) and Simmons and (outside linebacker Boogie) Basham, do you sit there and say, 'I've got a lot of tools, this could be a fun year for me'?

A: Sure. I mean, I do. Yeah.

Q. Can you do a hell of a lot more?

A: I think that we can be excited about it and like I said, it's going to be fun to watch. I know one thing, the fans are excited about it because I've had more people come up this year than ever last year, plus it's my second year in the city and over here in Jersey and I know a lot more people, but fans don't realize the importance they have at home games anymore because of fantasy football and I know cell phones and everything else, but when you have a home field advantage like we do, it is big time for us. Especially defensively. When that stadium gets rocking, it gets everybody's juices flowing on defense and it's fun to watch.

Q. What is it about this group that makes you think it could be a top defense? Now that you've had the summer to see it on the field and kind of envision what it's going to be like?

A: I appreciate you saying top defense, I don't think I said that.

Q. You don't go into the season thinking that?

A: I think that every year. I do think that, but I think that the biggest thing you will see is the difference in our speed and as soon as we can catch the execution up with the speed, like I said, it's going to be fun for you guys to watch and for our city to watch and our fans to watch. Like I said, there is going to be some tough challenges and Sunday night is our first challenge. One of 17.

Q. You've coached great players before. When (defensive lineman) Dex(ter) (Lawrence II) has the kind of year that he had last year, how do you continue to get the most out of a player who was really as dominant as he was last year in this system?

A: I think that the great players, they get it from themselves. It comes from here (points to heart) and I think that's the same thing that Dex did last year. Dex decided he was going to be a dominant player in this league and then once you have that success, you want more of it and I think it's more player based than it is coaching based, I really do, because I think that he played really well obviously last year, everybody talks about it and I think he's going to play really well this year.

Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka

Q: Are you at all concerned about (running back) Saquon (Barkley) being ready without getting a snap in the preseason?

A: I think Saquon's got a good amount of work this training camp, especially being in pads as much as we were, and those guys did a tremendous job of I think getting into the flow of the game. Barkley's a veteran guy so I don't think it'll take him too long to get adjusted to that.

Q: Do you see anything different, better or anything about Saquon this summer than what you saw last year? He had a very productive year last year.

A: Yeah, he came in in great shape, jumped right into the mix and got caught up to all the stuff we were doing on offense, and he's done a great job. First and foremost, he's a captain so he's one of those guys you look for from a leadership standpoint. He's working, he's setting a standard for the offense and he's part of that group that's doing that.

Q: How much do you think the Cowboys adding a corner like (Stephon) Gilmore will change what they do defensively?

A: That's always the question going into Week One. There's things that you look at on tape that they did last year and not really 100% sure of what they're going to this year so you put in your base rules, and you put in your schemes you think you're going to attack, then at the end of the day, it's how fast can we adjust when they present it.

Q: Is that uncertainty that you're talking about more advantage offense or defense?

A: I think it just goes both ways. I think you've got to have enough stuff to adjust to if they present a couple different looks, but it's just part of getting into the flow of the game a little bit.

Q: Do you have to make any concession or adjustments starting a rookie center? Or do you say he's earned good job and we have to treat him like everybody else?

A: You look at all the players, not just one particular but all the players, and make sure you put them in a good position to play fast and confident. I think that's probably an emphasis for a lot of teams around Week One is go out there, let's play fast, let's play confident and give our guys stuff that they know.

Q: Do you look at it as you have three starting receivers that play the majority of snaps, or do you look at maybe rolling five or six guys deep?

A: I'd say each week's going to get a little bit different. This week's kind of in that same boat, kind of mix in our guys and make sure we're giving them the stuff that they're good at and then we'll try to maximize on their strengths as much as we possibly can.

Q: (Cowboys linebacker Micah) Parsons and (Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus) Lawrence had a lot of success in the two matchups last year. How much are you looking for that?

A: Those guys are really talented players. They're really good in the run game, they're really good in the pass game, they have a lot of production, so you see them all over the field. They have good position flexibility. They can play inside, they can play outside, you can stand them up at linebacker, so there's a lot of flexibility there so we've got to make sure we know where they're at every play.

Q: How confident are you this season that you can handle them better now?

A: That's what were working towards right now is this week of practice, making sure we're tightening up our fundamentals and our techniques and putting our guys in a position to be successful.

Q: How much do you look at it as "we saw what happened last year, (tackle) Evan Neal had a rough game" or do you look at it as "oh, he's basically a totally different player because of the improvements that he's made?"

A: You're always self evaling (evaluating), always going back and looking at things that we could've done better as a staff, as a coaching staff, as players, and that's what you work on all offseason. That's what you work on all training camp and even throughout this week of prep, you're building on those things that you did really well and then anything we need to adjust and improve on, we'll address that as well.

Q: When a player like Saquon says he'd like to be more involved in the passing game, do you guys listen to that? Do you make adjustments to increase his role in that area?

A: Yeah, again, we're always improving any of those little areas. Whether it's a running back wanting to be a little more out in the pass game or a receiver wanting to be more involved in the run game – all the different positions, you want to improve on each player. If they have that and we think it's a strength that we can build on and use them, then we will. If we don't, then we won't.

Q: We all talk about how much better (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) can be in year two of Dabs' and your system. How much better can Saquon be in year two?

A: I think really our main focus is on this week, not looking too far ahead. Focus on this week, let's get better today at practice, let's get better and work on the fundamentals and work the plan and work all the things that we're building for the Cowboys that we need to use, so I think that's kind of where I'm at right now.

Q: We know Evan Neal said last year's Dallas game was the worst game he'd ever played. Have you sensed anything from him this week just in terms of how much this means to him and also how confident are you when it comes to leaving him out there on an island?

A: I think you go through the game planning part of it and you're building all those plays. Again, you want to build as much confidence in guys as you can. I think approaching the game, you want to have as much confidence, so that's what we're building as a staff. Want to make sure our guys have no doubt, they can go out there and execute the stuff that we're giving them and then again, making the adjustments – the in-game adjustments and minor tweaks that we have to so that we can continue to play well.

Q: Whenever people bring up speed, it's the ideas of vertical speed. How much does the speed that you added make a difference all over the field?

A: I think it's certainly a threat. When you have guys that can run sideline to sideline or vertically, it allows you to displace the defense a little bit differently, so those are all great assets that our players have.

Q: I think when a lot of people looked at what you guys did last year and Daniel didn't throw the ball down the field that much. How much do you think people should just expect naturally that the numbers are going to come with it now that he has the pieces around him?

A: I think the comparisons from last year to this year, that was in the past. I think right now, we're focused on Dallas and trying to improve ourselves today at practice and work all the schemes that we worked throughout OTA's and training camp. If those things fit for what the game plan determines for this week, then they fit and those are the things we'll use.

Q: Where have you see (wide receiver) Jalin Hyatt improve the most from the time he got here to the time that we stand here today?

A: I think he's getting more confident in himself just being inserted into the offense and identifying the things that we're going to ask him to do on a week-to-week basis. So, you know he's a young player, he's learning, he's growing but he's taking all the necessary steps. He's spending extra time watching tape, spending time reviewing, so from my standpoint, from my chair, I'm looking at that and saying this kid, he's eager to improve, he's eager to work out those things and you're seeing it show up at practice.

Q: Do better skill players make for a better offensive line in your mind?

A: I think on offense it's an 11-man operation. Everyone's got to be so in tune to it, everyone's got to be working on the same page because if you get a breakdown really anywhere, the play kind of falls apart. So you've got to make sure all 11 guys are working together on this, so it's not one particular guy or how fast one particular group is or not, so it's really an 11-man operation is how I see it.

Q: Have you come to the decision on if you're going to rotate the guards?

A: Those are things that we're talking about and, again, Dabs will make the final decision on that one. You'd have to ask Dabs on that one.

Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey

Q: What does Isaiah Simmons bring to the kicking game?

A: Athleticism, speed. He's very talented. Very, very talented. He's come in and he's assimilated pretty fast. Smart. Like I said, athletic, can do a lot of different things, versatility, position flex with him. So, I look forward to seeing him grow in our system.

Q: Given the change in the kickoff rules as we're getting into the regular season now, do you have a different directive of saying, 'Oh, don't catch it here, let it go there?' Is there any directive for kickoffs now that's different than before?

A: I'm sure different teams are going to have different philosophies. Some teams are going to be more aggressive; some teams probably won't be as aggressive. So, I'm sure it'll be just from club to club philosophically, how they want to approach it. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Q: What did you take away from the rule this summer?

A: As far as, when you say take away?

Q: In general, what were your impressions of it?

A: The rules are the rules. Whatever. My opinion doesn't matter. I mean, it is what it is, so you just make adjustments for whatever the rules are. You just make adjustments to the rules.

Q: Has it become an analytic study?

A: Yeah, I'm sure it does (laughs). And it has.

Q: Is entrusting a rookie with punts and kickoffs exciting, nerve wracking, scary, all of the above?

A: No. I mean, (running back) Eric Gray has been in the University of Tennessee's stadium, Neyland Stadium, and it fits 110,000 people. He's played in Oklahoma, again, Red River shootout and all that stuff. It's not too big for the kid. He knows what he's doing. He's done it, and we feel comfortable with him.

Q: Why did you put (wide receiver Sterling) Shep(ard) back for that punt return in the preseason game?

A: Preseason's for everybody, you know what I mean? Guys (have) got to get reps. He catches punts. He has been catching punts ever since he's been here – ever since I've been here, he's been catching punts. So, we just wanted to throw him in there and just let him catch one in the game.

Q: Could you see alternating who is back there?

A: We'll see.

Q: Teams have sometimes, when they want a return, they put one guy in, and when they literally say, 'We want a fair catch, just catch it,' they put another guy in. Could that be an option?

A: We'll see.

Q: Do you trust Sterling?

A: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Q: Do you have different guys you trust, though? Do you have options?

A: Yeah, we've got a bunch of guys that have caught punts. We've got guys staying after practice every day. (Wide receiver) Darius Slayton, (cornerback) Darnay (Holmes). I mean, we've got guys that have caught them for years here. So, we've got a bunch of different options.

Q: This team seems to be deeper team as far as talent, speed and all that. Does that translate into better special teams, or are special teamers kind of a different animal?

A: Like I always say, speed is always—I always want speed. So, hopefully it does translate, guys can play. You can be a little bit more simplistic when it comes schematically when you've got more speed. So, they're not thinking; they're out there just playing fast and being who they are.

Q: We're focusing on Eric Gray catching the ball, but does he also have some big-play ability? It seems like for the last couple of years, it's been guys who can catch the ball and not make the catastrophic mistake, but does he also have some home-run ability?

A: Yeah, I mean, he's a strong runner. He has really good vision. Again, just look forward to seeing him make plays. He's a young kid growing up in the system, and we'll see what happens, but Eric has plenty of ability.

Q: Can (wide receiver) Cam Sims step in quickly if you need him to help at gunner?

A: Cam has played in this division for the last four or five years. So, obviously, he can do it. We've been going against him. I hit him the other day in the chest and called him the archenemy, because he was one of their core guys, and he's a great kid. He's coming in and working, and he's a pro. So, when his name is called, he'll be ready to go.

Q: What about (running back) Taiwan Jones? What does he bring?

A: Same thing. I mean, Taiwan is a pro. It's his 13th year in the league. Any time that you call his name, he's ready to go. And that's why he's here.

Q: Is it unusual for a guy like that for 13 years in the league to basically almost entirely play special teams?

A: Yeah, I mean, that's what he is. He's a professional special teams player. And he knows that. He knows his role. He knows exactly who he is. There's nothing wrong with that. Obviously, he's been doing it for 13 years.

Q: You've been here a while. Is game week still game week with different emotions or feelings?

A: Oh, absolutely. When you start to lose that, that feeling, and you don't get the butterflies and the little anxiety of a Cowboys week, you probably need to find something else to do. It's always fun, especially for years we opened up with the Cowboys, but we used to be on the road. Now it's here at home. So, it's fun. And again, I told the guys other day, 'We ain't sticking our toe in the water,' right? We're diving in headfirst. So, let's be ready to rock.

Q: The Cowboys have a rookie kicker. Do you do anything different to make his life miserable?
A: We try to treat them all the same: rough. Our field goal block team, we focus on what we do. We try and affect every kicker in a negative way, try and make them feel pressure and this kid is not going to be any different than the other kickers.

Q: You talked about the Cowboys and sticking your toe in. You've been here a while. They've won 11-of-12 against you guys. Does it feel that way to you? Do you sense that like, 'Man, it's been a while since we've had success against these guys?'

A: You know what, I never go into a game with doubts. Ever. I always feel like we have a chance. This week will be no different. Our job to focus on us, and what we do and how we do it, executing the fundamentals and techniques, and all of those different things that come along with our own individual jobs to make sure collectively we're doing the right thing at the right time and making plays under pressure. That's our job. I don't ever, as a coach, walk into a game thinking, 'We don't have a chance.'

Q: With (kicker Graham) Gano, do you ever get to the point where you take it for granted because of how consistent he is?

A: Never. Never.

Q: What is it about his makeup? It's such a transient part of rosters. That's kind of a rarity to have somebody that stays that consistent that long.

A: Graham is a pro. Graham is, obviously, talented. He does a great job of managing himself outside of the building and in the offseason. He knows what it takes for him to get ready. If he's feeling a certain way, he might take a day off. If he feels really good, he might do a little extra. So, he does a really good job of managing his body and taking care of himself. Putting the right things in his body, modality, all of that stuff that they do in there and in the weight room and in the training room, the prehab, all of that stuff. He does a really good job of taking care of himself.

Q: You've talked in the past about that you're very aware of your 'gumbo,' but also when you see guys start getting roles on defense or even on offense, not that it's a matter of time, but you may lose them. I'm thinking of a guy like (safety Jason) Pinnock. With (cornerback Nick) McCloud and Pinnock, it looks like you have some gamechangers at gunner. Are you prepared knowing that his role is increasing on defense?

A: Absolutely. Absolutely. That's just part of my job, you know what I mean? I tell the guys all the time, 'We hope you graduate.' So, I mean, that's just part of the job as a special teams coach. You try and get the guys prepared to play really, really well, and eventually, if they're doing what they're supposed to do, they're going to move on. The next guy will step up and take his role.

So, no, I'm happy for J-Pin (safety Jason Pinnock). He's done a great job since he's been here. He's a heck of an athlete and a great man.

Q: Who has stepped into that spot across from McCloud as a gunner?

A: We're still working through that. We've got a bunch of different options, but we're still working through it. It's a work in progress, but we'll cross that road when we get there. We've got a couple of days, so we'll figure it out.

Running Back Saquon Barkley

Q: What do you need to get off to a great start with a division rival on opening night?

A: A lot. It's a tough team. It's a great team. It's always a tough challenge when you go against Dallas. We know how good the NFC East is and it's important to get (off to) a fast start. That's just how the season goes. You see how helpful it was to us last year. But it's going to be a tough game, like I said, and I feel like we've got a great game plan. At the end of the day, we've got to go out there and execute.

Q: Do you think too much will be placed on it? Like, if you win, then you're going to the Super Bowl. If you lose, then the season is over.

A: No. I think (the) media and everyone on the outside, win or lose, is going to overreact no matter what. But for us, I don't see it as that. I don't think (Head) Coach (Brian Daboll) would even allow that. I don't see the players in this locker room having that mindset. We take it day-by-day, one game at a time, one play at a time. But we're excited. Sunday night, prime time, and in MetLife Stadium.

Q: How important is it for this team to beat the Cowboys and/or Eagles? That seems like the next logical step here.

A: Yeah, that's a great question. I think that's a way you can view that, but for us and for myself, it's important to take that next step because that's the game that we have this week. That's the mindset and the focus that we have, that's the opponent that we have. I understand that we weren't able to beat Dallas and Philly last year, but that was last year. It's a whole new year. We've got a great opportunity in front of us, and we've got to take advantage of it. 

Q: What's your mindset for this season?

A: I mean, similar to what it was last year. Obviously, my contract stuff and everything was public and talked about. I would turn on the TV and I'm seeing myself being talked about. But for me, all that's in the past. Like I said, once I made that mindset to come here, you've got to be mature about it. No hard feelings about it. So now, my back's against the wall again. I've got to go out there and prove it. I'm going to go out there and play my heart out, compete at a high level and do what I do best, not only for myself, but for my teammates.

Q: What was your thought on not carrying the ball in the preseason?

A: It didn't bother me. I go against (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence II) and (defensive lineman) Leo(nard Williams) every week in camp. They're some of my best friends and extremely talented, but they don't take it easy on me. So, I get a lot of contact as you guys probably saw throughout the camp.

Q: In regards to the mindset for the season, how much of it is like you said, sort of the same as last year with you out to prove to the league that you deserve what you're looking for financially, that you deserve that long-term security?

A: No, it's not more of that. The financial part of it, obviously that's part of business. You go out there, you perform at a high level (inaudible) whether that's for the Giants or other teams, but for me, it's more of like, I kind of see last year as kind of like a rookie year, I guess. Not my rookie year, obviously, it's year five, but being back on the scene and showing what I'm capable of doing and now, how can I take it to another level? Whether that's in between the tackles, outside of tackles, catching the ball, running routes, showing why I was drafted number two. I feel like I was able to do that last year, but now I want to be able to take it to another level and be special. Everyone always talks about the legacy and the names on these walls in this locker room and in the indoor facility, and that's what I want to be a part of. So, hopefully I can start off to a great start and go on a high note in Week 1.

Q: We've seen a lot of camaraderie among running backs this offseason. How closely do you follow what's going on with the Colts and (running back) Jonathan Taylor?

A: Not really that close, to be honest. When you get in camp, you're kind of so focused and locked in on yourself and I've got other things like I was talking about. My daughter is going to school finally or being there on Tuesdays and coaching the soccer team. You don't really get too caught up into that, but I am well aware of it. I'm well aware of anything that really kind of goes on in the league, not just the running back position, but all the transactions and all the stuff like that. I'm active on social media, so I see all that stuff, but for me, I kind of just stay focused on my own lane. (I) Wish nothing but the best for Jonathan. I know he's a special player and I know what he's able to bring to a team. Wish nothing, like I said, but the best for him.

Q: So much has been made how much better (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) can potentially be in his second year of Dabs' (Head Coach Brian Daboll) system and whatnot. Do you have a feel for how much better you can be in year two here?

A: I think adding (tight end) Darren (Waller) definitely helps, being able to bring a little to attention to him, and all the guys. All the wide receivers, not just DJ (quarterback Daniel Jones), stepping up to another level but (wide receiver Darius) Slay(ton), (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins), (wide receiver) P(arris Campbell), Belly (tight end Daniel Bellinger), (wide receiver Sterling) Shep(ard), all those guys, the O-line. I think we feed off each other really well, and I feel like last year we really showed that, being a team that whatever it takes to win, and that's what I am excited for. Just going out there and competing at a high level with all the extra talent that we have. With DJ showing the type of player that he is and him taking it to another level, it forces you to take it to another level, too. I just feel like me being in the second year, understanding the offense a little bit more, knowing the scheme, knowing where to block, being able to time it better is just going to help my game.

Q: Is your goal still to be a Giant for life and to have the kind of season this year that would make that possible?

A: My focus is really on just this season, take it one day at a time. I was asked that before and I said, like I said it before, everyone knows how I feel. I was public about it before, but I think I would be doing a disservice to myself to get too caught up in my future and worrying about what's going to happen and being a Giant for life. I've got to live in the moment, I've got to live in the now and like I've said multiple times for five years, kind of a saying that I stole from (Penn State head coach) James Franklin, take it one day at a time, live in the moment and let the rest take care of itself.

Q: Do you feel like the fact that even with what you guys accomplished last year, people still don't believe in this team and the league is still picking the Eagles, still picking the Cowboys? Is that something you guys thrive off of?

A: That's going to happen. My momma said they are going to talk good about you or bad about you no matter what, especially in this market. I don't think we need anyone else to believe in us and think what we're going to accomplish, even if you guys in the media and the outside factors are saying, 'We are going to do this, we are going to be in the Super Bowl.' That's not going to be the reason why we do that. Our focus is on us and the belief that matters is within this locker room and within this building.

View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.


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