Q: What are your best memories about playing in New York?
A: For me, I would probably say how passionate the fans are about the sports teams over there. How much they love the game. How much they really know the game. And how much they appreciate it. That's what stands out more than anything else playing in New York.
Q: How much have you guys discussed the game last year against the Giants?
A: That was last year. We haven't talked about it at all, to be honest with you. What happened the year before doesn't dictate what's going to happen this year. We haven't talked about it at all. We know that they're a really good team. A well-coached team. A Tom Coughlin team, so they're tough. They're physical. They are going to be ready to play so we understand that part of it and we know it won't be easy. Last year doesn't matter at all. This is a new year.
Q: How much different is your team from last season?
A: [We're] different in a lot of ways. Obviously the team is a lot different. Matt Hasselbeck is not here. It's Tarvaris Jackson now. We have some young guys on the offensive line. But these guys here, they're young, they're eager, they're hungry, they're ready to go. We're looking to improve. The past few weeks we've been improving every game. I know our record doesn't show it, but we have been improving. We're looking to improve and like I said, last year doesn't dictate anything that's going on this year. This is a whole different season from last year.
Q: Is the attitude different?
A: We're pretty consistent. Coach Carroll does a pretty good job of coming in each week and kind of doing the same thing and sticking to the script. One thing I can tell you about this year's team is that in the locker room, it's a lot closer. Guys are gelling a lot more on and off the field. That's definitely going to be big for us, especially down the stretch. It's early on in the season. The first quarter of the season just got done. Teams are still trying to figure things out, but for right now we're looking pretty good. The attitude is great.
Q: What's your reaction to the new kickoff rule?A: Obviously it's going to take away some opportunities, but if you watch the film across the league, a lot of the guys are bringing the ball out anyway. It sucks in one sense, but in the other, there will be opportunities, especially later in the season when the weather is a little bit more inclement. Our take is that we're going to take advantage of every opportunity that we get when we do get a chance to get the ball on kicks.
Q: is this your first time back in New York since you left?
A: It won't be my first time back there physically, but to play a football game, yeah.
Q: Do you still have a house out here?
A: No< I don't have a place there, but I have a bunch of friends there. I usually get up there in the offseason a few times a year to holler at my old friends. Hopefully I get a chance to see Chris Baker when I come up there.
Q: Is this a crucial game for you guys?
A: I think every game is crucial, especially in this league. We saw it last year when we went 7-9 and made it to the playoffs. Who thought seven wins were going to get us there? Every game is crucial. We're not going to approach it as a do or die situation because every week is like that for us. We're going to approach this game like we've been [approaching] each game. We're trying to improve. We're trying to get better. We're trying to get a win so that's what we look forward to.
Q: Do you see the Giants as an opportunity for you guys to get your running game going?
A: I'm not going to give our game plan out. I'm not going to do that, but we're going to take advantage of opportunities that we do have, whether it's in the running game or the passing game. We're going to watch film. We're going to see some things that we can take advantage of and we're going to try to support those opportunities. There's no direct thing that we're going to do during the game. We're going to take advantage of the situation.
Q: Is there anything about Tarvaris Jackson that surprised you?
A: Obviously, not knowing a guy that well when he got over here, what an arm he has. The guy can really fling the football and he's a really smart player. He puts us in the right position. That was kind of surprising, but the way he's been playing, we saw it from the first day he got here in training camp. The more opportunities he gets to be on the field and actually play, he's going to get better and better. I think the sky's the limit for him.
Q: When a team plays nickel is it easier to run on them?
A: If you're looking at it structurally, they have one less linebacker on the field. So physically it could be easier, but if the team is not in the right formation or the right situation it probably won't work. Structurally when you think about only two linebackers on the field and five DBs, teams try to take advantage of that situation, but it doesn't make it easier just because the DBs are on the field.