Q. What do you expect out of the Giants this week? It is the first time they are playing in a game where they are out of playoff contention in four years. Do you expect them to still give the effort they usually do?A. I know that a lot of decisions get made at the end of the year. I just see that group as an extremely prideful group. I know that there is disappointment there, no question. I think there is probably a greater sense of pride. Let's leave with this taste in our mouth and let's win this football game. Certainly, they are capable of doing that. I just expect their best shot.
Q. You started out 10-1 and on a bit of a hot streak. You have lost three of your last four. Are you concerned that maybe your team peaked too early this season?A. Yeah, you know I don't end up coupling those things together. I am aware that we have lost three of the last four. I think each of those games has a little bit different dynamic to it. We are most focused on the one this week. We still have the opportunity to reach all the goals that we aspire to here, starting with winning this division and going on and having a chance to play at home during the playoffs. Not concerned, like I said, those are all individual events, if you will.
Q. Are you surprised at all about how well Brett (Favre) is holding up? Last year in New York he struggled down the stretch. His age is certainly getting up there, but he seems to be still playing pretty well. A. I'm not. Most of the time you see with guys that get a little bit older that their minds are good and their skills betray them. Their arm leaves them, or their legs leave them, or something of that nature. In reference to last year in New York, as has been well chronicled, he was hurt. He had a torn biceps tendon. He rectified that in the offseason, got that thing taken care of, rehabbed it. I know everybody questioned durability, but we are talking about a guy who's got the all- time starts record. So we are talking about a tough man, physically. I am not sure if you are 40 or not, but you know what it feels like to put your foot on the floor. He is a tough guy in his own right, getting up and doing what he does everyday. But he has all his faculties, he can make all the throws, none of those have addled, and his brain certainly hasn't. He is as sharp in this system as he has ever been.
Q. There has been a lot of talk about your relationship with Brett over the past couple of weeks. What is there to believe and what is there not to believe?A. What is to believe is that it is a player-coach relationship. I have a good relationship with him. I would bridge back to something you guys get on the East coast. I have a relationship with Donovan McNabb, as well. Did I ever have words back and forth with him? Certainly we did. To portray it as a broken marriage or what have you, it is a player-coach relationship and there is communication that goes back and forth. He and I know what we said on the sidelines and that is the way it should remain.
Q. You have a strong running game with Adrian Peterson and the Giants are coming off a pretty dismal performance by their run defense. They have been very up and down with that run defense this year. When you look at it do you see obvious holes to exploit or do you just think they were underperforming in this last game?A. It is really hard to put a finger on without being there. I can look at the tape of the game to get a flavor for how that thing was going. I do know that we played Carolina the week before and they had the ability to exert their will on you with that runner, with their couple of runners. I know exactly what they were up against and we kind of felt some of that the week right before that.
Q. It seems that you are a different team on the road than at home. So how important is getting this victory and that home-field advantage?A. Yeah, our numbers would say that this year certainly. We are 7-0 at home right now and the Metrodome is a great environment. We want to make sure that we take care of that home. It is a great advantage. That is why people are fighting to get that home field advantage. You sleep in your own bed, you got the same fans that are noisy, make it tough on your opponent, same locker rooms, that type of thing.
Q. Visanthe Shiancoe has had a good year for your club, leads the team with 10 touchdown receptions. Are you concerned at all with his emotions being too high against his former team? How much of his progression is due to his relationship with Brett Favre?A. If I am not mistaken, we have played them two of the last three years, so I think he has gotten that out of his system. Do you like to play well against somebody that you used to play for? No question about that. Shank's done a nice job of developing into a steady professional here and I just expect his performance to remain steady. I think it is a couple things. As a receiver, you are only as good as who is getting you the football. You can see by Brett's numbers how he has spread the ball around to various different guys who receive. I think Shank has also grown in learning what the mantle of being a full-time, lead dog, football player is. He was behind Jeremy Shockey there. It is a whole different deal to be the starter at tight end, what you have to bring to practice. I think he has really grown within this system so he is not just a line runner anymore. He has a feel for what he can do and flexibility within this system. Like you said, Brett has helped him grow by being able to talk him through where he expects him to be, where the ball will be, he has taken another step this year.