Real quick, these guys have to go back to work. I just want to say thank you to these guys, thank you to Coach Flats. Obviously awards are awards, but the guys who play next to you make you the player you are. Thank you guys. Thank you __.
Hope Johnson, I knew she was a true fan. You guys on BBI are Giants fans. I think the reason why I wake up in the morning, I practice hard, I like to play hard is because the fans actually truly appreciate New York Giants football.
New York Giant football fans know what they're talking about. I can't lie, every once in awhile you go on BBI, you take a look at what the fans are saying about you personally, about your teammates. If it was good stuff, you felt good about yourself. If it was bad stuff, it made you work harder. I just think every player wants the fans to like him. You want to work hard. You want to be able to show your support to the fans for playing hard and all of that good stuff. We want to win. You guys want to win. New York Football Giants want to win football games.
This award does mean a lot, but the guys who are out here, my teammates, Eli, Coach Flats, Coach Jack, Coach Coughlin – they're the ones that get everything going. A guy gets hurt, they have a guy ready to play the next position. Those are the guys that truly deserve the credit for making players who they are. I was just blessed to be a New York Giant for 10 years. It's my life. It's my family's life. It's been truly fun.
But thank you guys for having me out here. It means a lot. And [Eric] knew more about me than I think I know about myself. Thanks Pat [Hanlon] for setting it all up today. It was a little weird coming back. I am a Giant. I told my family this, my wife has talked about this, I'm rehabbing like I want to play football. I think for me personally, that's the best rehab you can get. I'm going to Excel. Matt Gibble over at Excel, where I've been throughout the whole lockout. There have been a few guys over there training. We're working hard. I'm lifting at Overtime Sports. Those guys are trying to get me back into shape. If my knee feels good enough in a few months to go out, we'll see what team comes calling, but until then, I'm a New York Giant and I'm happy to be one.
You never play the game for work, you play the game because you love it. I'm honored to have it with Hope Johnson's name on it. I knew she was a Giants fan and it's going to go in a special place in my house.
Q: Talk about your rehab, what you're doing right now. You're saying you're still a New York Giant, that's something that's special to you.A: Wellington Mara once said, 'Once a Giant, always a Giant.' I was a New York Giant for ten years so it's kind of hard not to say that I'm still a New York Giant. I'm rehabbing like I want to play football and when the time comes, we'll see what happens, but that time's not here yet. I have to go back to work like I did a couple of years ago, rehabbing my leg. I'm giving it everything I 've got. We're going to see what happens in about two months and I'll make the decision then.
Q: If you had a chance to say something to all of these fans that said something to you, what would you say?A: Thanks. Obviously, the fans know what they're talking about. No, I'm just kidding. I think the fans truly appreciate hard work. If you work hard and truly care about something, you can do whatever you want to do. My career, you get knocked down you just try to get back up and keep on fighting. That's what I'm going to do here in the next couple of months.
Q: Do you miss football?A: I think yeah, you miss football. But I still talk to the guys. I'll watch practice today. I still have the love to play the game of football. That's the hardest part. I'm watching the preseason game – I didn't have any feelings. I have three kids now. Hunter, Isaac and a newborn Hailey, who's four months old. I truly enjoy my family. I figured I'd have a little more free time on my hands, but I really don't – rehab, lifting, my children. It's been a good run so we'll just see what happens.
Q: We haven't had a fight in training camp, are you a little disappointed?A:I can fight Pat [Hanlon] if you guys want me to. I can stick around and maybe get him to the ground or something.
Q: Does that surprise you?A: No. You don't have to have fights in football. It's something that Keith Hamilton taught me back when I was a young kid. Obviously, I didn't pass that trait on to anybody.
Q: Do you have any idea when you might be able to get back out or run?A: I'm just going week-to-week. I saw the doctor yesterday. I'm improving so hopefully I can start running here in a couple weeks and once I start running, the pounding and stuff allows me to see what I need to do to play. I'm just taking my time, making sure I'm doing it right. I'm not going to push it. I want to play football. I love playing the game, but I also have to think about my body and my family. We'll see how I feel when the time comes.
Q: How tough was it when you heard you weren't going to be coming back here?A: It's always hard. I've been here 10 years, I haven't been cut once. This is my first time ever being cut. You see guys come and you see guys go. It's the part of the business that nobody likes. Like I said from day one, no hard feelings for the New York Giants. This is my family. My kids love coming here. My kids love the game of football because the Giants gave me a job for the last ten years. I'm grateful for the Mara family, the Tisch family. It's been a true blessing to be in one organization for so long. I thought I would've gotten cut ten years, when I was a rookie. For some reason I stuck around for this long and it's been truly fun.
Q: Did you expect it?A: I think about that every day of my life when I wake up. This is the game of football, you can get cut today, you can get cut tomorrow. Me being hurt, not being able to play, it was either PUP or this. They decided this. It's their decision. Like I said, I'm still rehabbing like I want to play football and I'll be fine.
Q: Besides the knee, you've had some other bumps and bruises along the way.A: If you just cut my right leg off I think I'd be pretty good. My shoulder feels good. My back is good. I feel healthy. This is the best my body has felt in a long time with all of the rehab and working out I've been doing, but just my knee. We'll see. I know that's a key component to you're body, but I can still kick Mike [Garafolo] with it.
Q: Do you rehab every day? Lift every day?A: Everyday. It's a full-time job. That's my job right now, rehab. That's what I'm doing.
Q: You had a choice of trying to come back or retiring…A: I think it's just me. I can't let this say I'm done. If this wants to say I'm done fine, but I'm going to give everything I have to prove that this isn't going to end it. We'll see. I'm truly happy. Either way it goes, I'm happy. I'll still being going to games, still be watching.
Q: But there comes a time for every player. Why now is it not the time for you?A: It's just the mentality I have. I don't want an injury to tell me when I'm done playing. It's just the way I am. You know that Mike [Garafolo]. I'm stubborn. You can say I'm stubborn.
Q: Have you had contact with any teams?A: A few teams have called, yes. But basically, I want to clear a physical, so what's the point of running all over the country seeing teams? I told them let's get healthy and see what happens?
Q: When is that time frame?A: Like two-three months.
Q: From now?A: No, from when camp started. It's like two months.
Q: Six weeks into the season?A: That's what I'm shooting for.
Q: You said it felt weird coming back here?A: It's just weird. You're coming back, you see all of the guys you used to practice with and now I'll be sitting here watching them. I'm not a shy guy, so I'm not going to worry about that. You want the pads on, to be out here practicing, but obviously I can't do that. Maybe I'll try and trip someone running down the sideline.
Q: Did you go to your locker?A: Snee's got it. My locker was still warm when Snee took it over. I left a present for him. I don't know if he found it yet. No, but that's fine. It's prime real estate right there. He took my locker and he took my seat in the meeting room. I had prime real estate. I've been around here long enough where I got to choose kind of where I want to be.