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Wednesday Super Bowl Giants Quotes

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WIDE RECEIVER HAKEEM NICKS

(on staying focused this week) "Just taking it day-by-day, minute-by-minute. Obviously, you want to take advantage of the things because this is going to be a good memory, but at the same time, you know what you're here to do. You know what you have to put first and keep a level head about it. Stay humble and stay on top of the things that you have to do."

(on the focus of the receiving core) "Just play the game the way we've been playing it all season. We know what we're capable of doing in a given time. We just will step out there and play the game that we've been playing all season."

(on splitting the workload with RB Ahmad Bradshaw) "I think we'll just try to bring something to the offense as far as making plays and leadership roles, him from the running back position and me from the wide receiver position. It's just a matter of being there in clutch situations."

(on QB Eli Manning) "He's definitely been a help. (He) knows certain things, certain situations, how to handle it, how to handle family situations when they're here and how to stay focused with that. Also how to just know what to put first."

(on getting back to practicing) "I think everybody is excited about getting out there on the practice field and doing some running around to put us back in the mind of running the football a little bit."

(on what needs to happen in practice) "Just get back into the routine and pick up where we left off last week, reviewing the plays and make sure we're all on the same page and just have a good day of work."

(on Super Bowl week) "I think everything is a good experience. You have to take advantage of these things. You don't know when these things come again, but at the same time we have to know what to put first, know what we're here to do."

(on his friendship with the receiving core) "We've built a brotherhood. We spend time with each other on and off the field. We've built a relationship where we like to help each other out whether it's running routes or breaking down points on the film."

(on playing on turf) "I'm excited about it. It should be pretty fast out there, and I look forward to playing out there and so do our teammates."

(on WR Victor Cruz) "As a dude, he's a good dude. He's a humble dude. He likes to make plays, and he loves football. He's a great team player, and he's always a team player. You can always count on him making a play in a clutch situation."

(on Cruz playing in the Super Bowl) "It's just a desire that he has in him. He was put here for a reason. He was put in this situation when he was blessed, and he took advantage of it."

(on Cruz's football abilities) "I felt like the play making ability he had, all the abilities he had at times in clutch situations, stepping up consistently time after time."

(on WR Steve Smith leaving the team prior to the season) "From the wide receiver core I think we have never doubted anyone in our room. Everyone steps up. That's how we are in our room. Guys love the challenge. They always step up."

(on the Patriots secondary) "They're a solid secondary. Obviously they've been doing something right to get to this point where they are at today. I feel like they are capable of making plays, but there are also some things that you can take advantage of within our offense. That's what we look forward to."

(on how they plan on taking advantage of the Patriots secondary) "Just by making plays, making plays when you get the ball in your hands. That's what it's going to come down to."

(on the Patriots defense) "They play some zone, but they also play some man as well. They may play out like zone, but their corners play out like man."

(on the defense's confidence) "I feel like we're confident enough to play the game like we've been playing it all year. We're going to go out there and do the things we've been (doing) and try to let nothing stop us. It's a big game on a big stage, and it's something that we've been fighting to get to all year. I think you can expect us to come out and play our best. Everybody is going to give their 110 percent."

(on the Super Bowl) "This is the game we dream of on a big stage coming up. As a kid through high school, through college, this is what you play for, to get here."

(on beating the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional round of the playoffs) "It was a game that we were prepared for. We played them tough early in the year and we had a good shot of getting them again. Once we got them again, we wanted to take advantage of it and finish this time."

(on the team's mindset after the loss during the regular season to Green Bay) "I think it was just how we fought and how we came back as a team and as a unit. We all believed in ourselves and knew what we were capable of doing. It was just a matter of doing it when our backs were up against the wall."

(on the playoffs providing confidence to the team) "I think so. I think once we got into the playoffs, we felt like we had a good shot at this. It was a whole new season. We approached it as such and we felt like we could do it. Everybody believed, and that's why we are who we are today."

(on if he dreams about making a big catch in the Super Bowl) "Yes. I think that's something every receiver dreams about doing."

(WR David Tyree's famous catch in Super Bowl XLII) "It was a great catch on his behalf during the game. It was amazing. The effort that Eli (Manning) had to break the tackle and to stay on his feet in the pocket and then (to) deliver the ball to Tyree. That's something that's always going to be remembered."

GUARD CHRIS SNEE

(on Eli Manning's evolution as a quarterback) "I think, just like any player, you learn from mistakes each year. You break down yourself: What did I do wrong? What can I get better at? I'm sure that's what he does in depth. He watches a lot of film and he is extremely competitive, so I'm sure he's harder on himself than anyone else. I'm sure at the end of this year he'll go back and take notes on what he needs to fix."

(on expecting Eli to be "elite" from the beginning of his career) "Well I think when you're a quarterback that's the role that most assume you should be. He has been that leader from the moment he started. I never questioned his leadership. I think he has been an outstanding leader since day one."

(on the first time he met Eli) "We got drafted the same year so it was our rookie minicamp. It was a brief introduction and meeting. I was very quiet back then and we were both rookies trying to learn our way around. It was brief."

(on Bill Belichick saying Snee played well in Super Bowl XLII ) "I approach it as another game. I don't really feel like I played an exceptional game. Then again, I'm very hard on myself, but it is a compliment to take from him."

(on the Patriots blitzing a lot in Super Bowl XLII and what they will do this game) "That's the thing, we don't know. You never know what's going on up there. I'm sure they will take notice as to what's working against us these past two weeks, and what has gotten pressure on Eli. I'm sure it will surface again in this game."

(on how the Patriots compare to teams the Giants played in the playoffs) "I think right now they are playing as well as any team. They have won 10 games in a row coming into this game so they are playing well. Their defense has taken a lot of hits but they are playing some really good football right now. It will be a tough challenge for us to put points on the board but we are going to have to because we know how explosive they are on offense. "

(on the comparison of the Giants regular season and playoff defense and which)will show up) "The playoff one. They have done a good job with not giving up points throughout the year. They were kind of middle of the pack in that. They know how to stop you when you get down there. You have to go off the playoff intensity and atmosphere. So you go off the most recent (performance)."

(on what winning the Super Bowl would mean) "We all have our role as a team so it would be special to get this win. Period. To share it with guys that have put a lot of hard work in would be amazing."

(on if he liked the Patriots while at Boston College) "The Patriots? No. I was a Bears fan growing up. I liked (Mike) Singletary for a while. Neil Anderson, who was a running back,  and then towards the end of my high school career I liked (Brian) Urlacher. I saw him in the preseason. I have seen him quite a few times throughout my career."

(on how he approaches being a guard in the NFL) "You rely on your instincts when you get to the game. That's why you watch all the film. That's why you practice. When it comes to game time you just let your instincts take over.

(on what position he wanted to play in college) "I wanted to play offense. A lot of the colleges wanted me for defense. Even when I got to BC, there were discussions going on about where I would play.

(on where he got his drive to play) "My father didn't play football but my parents work extremely hard and my dad puts in a lot for (work) hours. My mom has a full time job and she would come home and take care of four kids and that was not easy. I get my work ethic from them. I've always been a competitive person. I'm from an area where everyone would kind of laugh and think it was not possible to get here (to the Super Bowl)."

(on his hometown rooting for the giants) "I have felt (support) throughout my career. In college I got more and more people supporting me and when I got drafted the whole town became Giants fans. It has been fun. I love going home. I love telling them all the stories."

TIGHT END JAKE BALLARD

(on how he's feeling) "I'm great. I'm excited to be here. We haven't had practice yet. We leave here around two-or three-o'clock and head over to the University of Indianapolis and have practice there."

(on how media day was yesterday) "It was fun. It was a nice experience. It was pretty much everything I expected. It was fun to be in the stadium and see everything that was going on."

(on what he brings to the field) "Everything those guys (the Patriots' tight ends) are getting is well deserved. They're having tremendous years and they're great tight ends. Watching film, you can learn something from those guys. I can catch the ball, stretch the field, help in the running game and pass protection game – just help Eli (Manning) get the ball off and help protect him."

(on how important it is to have success with the running game) "That's huge. The run sets up the pass and with our two running backs, we have to be able to get the running game started or it's going to be a long night for us."

(on the ability for him to have a big game with the Patriots focusing on the Giants' receivers) "I think my role in the game will be huge. Yeah, they're going to key on those three guys, but it's going to be hard. You can't really double three guys. They can only double one or two. No matter how you look at it, people are going to get open and guys are going to have their chances. So, when each of our numbers is called, we have to make plays."

(on the attention he receives versus the attention the Patriots' tight ends receive) "Those guys are putting up tremendous numbers and they're such a big part of their offense. It's tough to downplay anything they've done because they've done so well. They deserve all the attention their getting. I'm not really asked to do what those guys are, and I'm not the same type of tight end they are. I totally understand and I'm fine not getting all the attention."

(on if it will be a challenge to have sharp practices this week) "We did most of our installments last week, so they're [the coaches] not throwing anything at us. We have about 85 percent of our gameplan installed, so it's not going to be new stuff. It's just going to be tuning it up, trying to chase after perfection of the plays and make sure we get down everything we can and ready for the game."

(on if the veterans have said they are keeping a close watch on the younger guys to make sure they are staying on task) "They've said stuff like that all week, and the past couple weeks. When we got here it's all business, we can't be worrying about what we're doing off the field when we're not in meetings, or at the parties or events we get invited to. We're here to play the game and prepare for the biggest game of our lives."

(on his feeling when he was injured) "I got hurt and missed the last two games of the regular season. It was pretty awful for me, especially against the Jets and the Cowboys, knowing I couldn't help the team secure our playoff spot. We've really had about five playoff games because every game we've been in the last five weeks, we lose, we're done. I was just happy I was able to get back for the playoffs and I feel better now than I ever have the whole time in the playoffs."

(on watching the games due to injury instead of playing) "It was frustrating, but at the same time, the games weren't really too close – the Jets game was kind of close for a little bit, but they took care of business. We played extremely well against the Cowboys so that made it a little easier watching the game. But any player who wants to play and is not, it's a rough situation."

(on being the son of a full time coach and playing the Super Bowl) "It's a huge honor for any family, who's been a football family, to have somebody in their family play in the game is a once in a lifetime experience. It's something everybody can enjoy and live through the player playing in it."

(on if this game is big for his dad) "Absolutely. My dad is very excited about it. He might be more excited than anybody on the team. He loves football; he grew up playing football, coaching football. He's very ecstatic that I'm going to get a chance to play in this game."

(on when they're coming to Indianapolis) "They get in Thursday."

(on how many people are coming from his family) "I think I have about 10 or 12 people coming."

(on center Jim Cordle who lives with Ballard) "Jimmy worked extremely hard this offseason, getting stronger and working on everything he needs to work on. He's really progressed. He was great this season, started out on the practice squad, he has been able to overcome many things. He got to play in a couple games this year and I'm really happy to see where he's at."

(on what he was doing when the Patriots and Giants played in Super Bowl XLII) "I was sitting at home with my parents watching the game."

(on how it feels four years later to play in the Super Bowl) "It's surreal. It's kind of like it's not true. When I was back there four years ago, I never thought I would be playing in this game for the Giants playing the exact same team, the Patriots."

(on if there are a lot of people from Springboro, Ohio coming over for the game) "I know I got some pretty close buddies from high school that I played football with, good friends throughout college, are driving over because our high school quarterback lives in Indianapolis somewhere and they're going to stay at his house. I might run over to see them a little on Friday or Saturday. They don't have tickets (to the game) but they're going to be here."

(on what it would take to keep him from playing in the Super Bowl) "You definitely got to play in the game. It's doesn't matter if your leg's barley hanging on, you've got to give it your all. Obviously, it comes down to not being able to run or help out your team. You have to think about it that way. It's not my situation. I feel good and my knee feels great."

(on tight ends coach Mike Pope) "Coach Pope knows a lot about football, and he's trying to turn you into the best tight end you can be. He helps you out on the field, in the classroom, wherever he can. I don't really know if his coaching style is old school. I know he's changed it over the years. But, I know he's an all-around good coach and very knowledgeable person."

(on what Coach Pope goes over) "Everything. The tight ends are one of the few positions we have to be able to pass protect, we have to be able to run block, we have to be able to move, play fullback, play H-back and run routes. He's very knowledgeable about the run game, the pass game and the pass protection."

(on showing Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski around in college) "Yeah, I showed him around at Ohio State."

(on what he remembers about that) "He was a big kid coming out of Pennsylvania. He was kind of quiet, taking it all in. He seemed like a good guy, but when it came down to it, there was me and a junior playing at Ohio State. I think he wanted to get a little further away from home than Ohio State being a Pennsylvania kid. He obviously made the right choice with Arizona. He seemed to like it, but sometimes players go to different schools."

(on if his quiet demeanor struck him the most) "I didn't really spend a lot of time with him. I was probably with him only an hour. I showed a lot of kids around so I didn't really think anything last year when I got into the league and he was doing what he was doing. He was just another recruit I was showing around."

RUNNING BACK AHMAD BRADSHAW

(on how hard it is not to practice all week and still play in the game on Sunday) "As bad as my feet hurt, it's not that hard. The hardest thing is just getting back into the groove on Sunday, just getting your feet under yourself which is why I practiced Friday. Offensively, technique wise, I just work on that as much as I can. Outside of practice I go into the meeting rooms and different things. It's not that hard but just getting back into the groove of just running, keeping your feet under you, and trying to break tackles is what you think about more."

(on when the last time he had good feet) "The last time I had perfect feet was senior year of high school and the first two games in college, and then it just started from then. Right now I feel great. This whole week is for recovery for me and for this team actually. I can't complain about my feet right now. I'm able to walk around and not be in pain, get out of bed and not be in pain, so I'm excited about that."

(on Tom Coughlin's old school style of coaching) "That's exactly what it is. With Coach Coughlin, he has his ways, the old school style. Us young guys, the vets, everybody tries to bring something different out of him. It doesn't do anything but help our team. We're just trying to make it to where everybody's happy and he's happy with the team. Just his type of preparing us and getting us ready is something you want in every coach."

(on if he has any concerns about not playing on Sunday) "No. I've got the heart of the lion. I'm not messing with that. I don't miss game days too often and I missed four this year. I felt bad for my team. For me just to miss any games it's heart breaking. I have no setbacks. It's early in the week. I might get a couple plays today depending how I feel when we get to the practice. They may not like that idea, but we'll see how I feel."

(on if he will face any more surgeries) "They haven't really spoken on it. I know a couple of weeks ago they were saying that I didn't need it. The medicine is working that I'm taking. The bone's growing back in on my foot. There are just certain things you have to look at and I'll get a couple of opinions and see when I can work. If I'm still hurting next month, then I'll have to look into it a little future. Right now I'm not expecting surgery.

(on what he learned about the Patriots from watching the film from their Week 9 matchup, when he did not play) "They didn't have quit in them. Their front seven on defense is remarkable. I've got a good buddy on the team, Brandon Spikes. He's a great athlete. I trained with him this summer in Miami. Jerod Mayo, we came out of high school together. We had visited University of Virginia and I've seen it in him since then of how good he was. (Vince) Wilfork is just a monster in the middle. That's what you ask for. We've got a great group of guys on offense that can handle business and we'll take care of it."

(on the Giants running game) "Our running game just started. It's unheard of what our offense can do. It makes Eli (Manning) comfortable. Our receivers and the O-line just get more and more confident. We can be remarkable on offense if we can get that settled."

(on his relationship with Brandon Jacobs) "Me and Brandon love each other like brothers. We call each other brothers every day. We hang out every day. He's at my house or I'm at his house. In the locker room we want each other to be the best, so we're helping each other in the team room, in the meeting rooms to do better and do different things, just give each other a piece of each other's game. On the field if you're getting the hang of it, things are flowing for you stay in. He knows how to do his thing. We see that happen and we can take advantage of it. It just comes from the love for each other and the game."

(on the difference he can make against the Patriots defense) "They have a great defense, especially their front seven. Their fast and they move well up front. They cause holes. If we can just get them moving up front and get the running game going I think we can get comfortable and confident and be ready to go."

(on how important his big run before the Hail Mary was and how it set the tone for them) "It was just a confidence booster. I was just able to get a pitch. The defense pulled hard. Everybody got their backside blocks. I was able to get back across the field and get out of bounds. And the Hail Mary set the whole tone."

(on him and Brandon Jacobs getting the big runs when the team needs one) "That's what we expect. We expect the big runs to come in there. It keeps Eli comfortable. It keeps the receivers comfortable. It also keeps the O-line confident. As long as we can keep making plays when they come to us, everybody stays confident and comfortable. I think our offense flows a whole lot better."

(on how he has matured as a player since coming out of college) "Just this whole organization, they've helped me tremendously become the guy I am today, not only in football but the guy I am off the field. Brandon Jacobs, like I've said, he's like a brother to me. He's been with me my whole career with the Giants. I'm just happy this organization gave me this chance."

(on if he thinks about the Patriots being ranked 31st in defense) "They're a great defense and they wouldn't be here if they weren't good. I can't take anything from them regardless of their 31st-ranked defense. They're here in the Super Bowl. We had the worst rushing offense at the time and we're here too. That's all that matters."

(on if he ever thought he would have such a successful career like he's having) "I didn't expect it. I'm blessed. I'm just happy for this opportunity."

(on the Giants offense) "We're bound for big plays. Actually the receivers and the running backs have a competition every year on who has the most big plays. They're (receivers) doing a remarkable job this year. I don't think the running backs are close right now. It's just competition. I think we've won a couple and they've won a couple. We just work hard for what we do. That competition for the most big plays just makes us work even harder. If the receivers see the running backs make a big play they feel they have to too. It just makes our team better."

(on how his foot feels right now) "It is the Super Bowl. You're not going to miss this game for anything. I feel great. This whole week of recovery just makes it even 10 times better. I just hope to go out Sunday and be 100 percent."

(on Victor Cruz and all the big plays he's made this season) "I knew he'd be something when he first came in. Like I was telling someone yesterday, I remember taking him to training camp. He rode with me to his first training camp. I was just trying to explain to him how to catch people's eye, how to catch the coach's eye just to give him a feel. Being a rookie is tough. He's worked hard at what he does. He came along and the next year he came along and surprised everybody. With me he didn't surprise me because I knew how good he was."

RUNNING BACK BRANDON JACOBS

(on how the Giants running game can contribute) "We can keep them off balance. I think we're good enough for any team… to prove that we can go out there and make a difference in this football game. You're right, everyone's been talking about tight-ends, wide receivers, quarterbacks and so on and so forth and it's kind of good for the first time being a part of the New York Giants football team that the running backs are being talked about. We as running backs are going to embrace that, because it never has happened. We're going to try to take it and stay under the lights for a little bit and be on top of the lights on Sunday."

(on what his main focus is) "I've just got to run a little harder. I felt like last time I ran OK I guess. I've just got to run a little harder and try to get more yards out of the contact, because I think if there's a good defense then you're going to get hit, so you may as well get ready for it.I've just got to get going a little harder and try to get a couple extra yards."
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(on the running game coming together) "We're still not quite where we have been, but we have come together a lot more than we were at the beginning of the season. I guess you could say we're getting our stride at the right time and it's only going to get better."

(on if there is a key to getting balance in the running game) "Not really. There's no part of the interior line that we can stay away from. All those guys are good out there. If you run in the middle you've got two good ends and great outside linebackers that are going to be out there. So, there's really no area that you can concentrate on running away from. You've just got to stick to your game plan, break on tackles, and run hard."

(on if the running game will determine the Super Bowl) "I think the running game is going to contribute. It's a team game, we play as a team. Our wide receivers and Eli (Manning) have done a great job in getting us in the situation where we can win games. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing, but do it better."

(on if they have a chip on their shoulder coming into the game) "The major goal is winning the game, but of course you want to do well while winning the game. That's our goal that we focus on, is just going out and doing the best that we can winning. Yes, we are going to go out there and try to contribute more than we have been in the past, but our main goal is to win."

(on how he has performed this season) "I think I could have definitely done better this year. I just needed to get into a groove, which I hadn't had a chance to do. I was in and out, in and out, so I didn't have a chance to get into the groove. I think I probably did well, but team games and team sports you have a lot of backs and only one football. So I try to make the best out of what I can get."

(on how he got involved in boxing) "I had an uncle that was really involved in boxing. I had a bad temper and at eight years old I started. I had a bad temper and they figured that could help me out. But that only made me worse, because he taught a person with a bad temper how to fight."

(on his uncle's name) "Joe Jacobs."

(on getting in more fights when he learned boxing) Yeah, I know how to fight and I know how to manage it, so that ended up being worse than they pictured it."

(on if he thought boxing could be a career) "It was something to do. I am a very good friend of a fighter who is in need of management and we became close friends before I ever was his manager and we're still really close friends. It's obvious the stuff we've learned about each other, and probably being as close as we are in business. But he was in need of a manager when his manager got in trouble. When he asked me to do it, I kind of didn't want to do it because it was a big role to take on when he was in the midst of being on top. I did it, and ended up liking it. It gave me some great connections and it was a little bit easier because of who I was as well. I took it in stride."

(on boxing as a career) "I could definitely do it as a career. I know the ropes, I know who to deal with, I know who not to deal with. I could definitely do it as a career, no question about that."

(on how many boxers he represents) "I've got two guys. I've got Stephen Martinez and Kendall Hook."

(on if he is going to stick with managing) "I may be looking more to the promoting side when I'm done. That's the big one, but I don't charge Kendall anything to work with him."

(on how he spent his night before his last Super Bowl game) "I went to sleep at nine o'clock. I didn't think about anything. I went to sleep at nine and woke up the next morning at maybe eight-thirty, nine o'clock."

(on what he plans to do Saturday) "Just going to sleep. You don't want to sit up and think too hard about one thing. It's not worth it. Just go to sleep. I hate this time. These two weeks killed me. You've got a week before this. You've got this week. Just play the game. There's a lot of money making going on during Super Bowl for the league. You've got to get all of the hotels situated and all that other nonsense. That's why there's a week in between. Some people think they give you an extra week to prepare, but that's not the reason you get the week. You get the week so they can determine how much money they're going to make. I just wanted to come already."

(on establishing the run on Sunday) "I definitely agree. If we can get the run going early, and just get a routine, and get a nice little rhythm going between us then I think it's going to be hard to beat. We've got what it takes. We know they've got a really good defense. They've got big guys and they're going to be hard to move. You've just got to get in there and run hard, because you know you're going to get hit on the other side of the line of scrimmage so just be ready and move the pile and do the best you can do."

(on what he has learned from playing the Patriots) "Sometimes they come out in that three-four and they try to two-gap everything, so they run with you, they run with the line. When they try the zone and a lot of them stick their arms out when they try to make tackles and that's always the first contact. You break that arm tackle and that's a few more yards after contact. You've got linebackers that come down and try to hit and if you can try to fend them off with one shoulder and keep your shoulders squared up field. That's what you want to do against a defense. You want to get there and just hit them"

(on if Ahmad Bradshaw and him have talked about the playoffs being their time) "Yeah, we have. His room is right next to mine so we have had that conversation that this is the game for us. We don't know going after this one so this has got to be the game for us to come out and do what we've got to do together and we can't let anybody stop us."

(on if he thinks this could be his last game as a Giant) "I have no idea. I can't worry about that. I hope not. I want to be here. I want to be around. I just want to come out here and be able to win this football game and whatever happens, happens."

WIDE RECEIVER VICTOR CRUZ

(on what it is about wide receivers that allows them to come from nowhere and be productive) "I don't know. I think there are a lot of us. There are a lot of receivers around the country that have talent and don't get the opportunity and don't get the chance to show their skill level on a national stage. A lot of guys go to the UMass's, and the Delaware's, and the James Madison's, and schools like that and really make a difference. They kind of fly under the radar and then they put up some big numbers, and get a chance in the NFL, and get a free agent deal and things of that nature to make the best of their opportunity. I just think sometimes they get overlooked, naturally."

(on how fine of a line it is between making it and never making it) "It's a very, very fine line. It takes a little bit of luck. It takes a lot of skill and a lot of determination. It takes a lot of hard work because to get to this position and to get to where I was, it took being at the right place at the right time and choosing the right team. It took being there at the right moments and making the necessary plays when you had to. When your number was called upon, you made all the right moves and you made all the right decisions. It takes a whole lot."

(on if Vegas put odds on players, what would his odds of making it be) "Most definitely 10 million-to-one because nobody expected this kind of performance from me, including myself. I just wanted to come in and do whatever possible to make the team and do some positive things out there, but never anything like this."

(on how much it helps having the complementary receivers that he has) "It's huge. We all take the pressure off each other. When one is doing well, the other can do what they do and fly under the radar and vice versa. Anytime those guys are doing well and playing hard, we're all playing on the same level, we're hard to beat."

(on if he sat around waiting for a call on draft day) "Subconsciously, I knew nothing was going to happen. I understood my position in the Draft. I understood the type of player I was and where I came from. I understood all of that. Obviously, towards the end of the Draft, you always kind of think there is a longshot that you might jump in there. For the most part, I understood it and I understood that I would have to make a team and be a free agent and work my way up the ranks."

(on if he grew frustrated watching the draft thinking he was better than players drafted) "No, not really. I really wasn't a guy to say, 'I'm better than him' or this or that. I was just waiting for my opportunity and really anxious to see where it would come from and what team. I was anxious to see if I would end up somewhere like Denver or far or close. It all worked out well and it worked out in my favor."

(on his observations of the rivalries between New York and Boston) "It's very intense. New England (Patriots) and New York (Giants), Boston (Red Sox) and (New York) Yankees, (Boston) Celtics and New York (Knicks), it's just an intense rivalry all the way around at every level. It's amazing to see the passion on both sides that they have. Both sides are equally as passionate and they love their teams. It's just an amazing experience to be on both sides of that, living in New England and going to school up there for four years. Being from Jersey and seeing both sides of it, it's just been interesting thing to see."

(on if any other teams contacted him after he went undrafted) "Leading up to the Draft, a couple guys were calling me. Carolina called me a few times. The scout from Denver called me a few times. It was a few teams that were interested leading up the Draft. Once it happened and after the Draft, the Giants were the only ones to actually offer me a free agent deal and really invite me to camp. Everybody else was just on a tryout basis. Because of that, I kind of just jumped on it and I felt that they really believed in my talent and really wanted me, so I jumped at the opportunity."

(on if he feels a kinship with Wes Welker because of the way they both came into the League) "A little bit. We kind of have a similar path, as far as not being drafted and having to make a team believe in our talent, and believe in us. So there are some similarities there and things I look at."

(on if he's happy with the path he's had to take to right now) "Most definitely. I'm glad with the way I came up. It really taught me to savor the moment and really not take anything for granted. Every moment, every day, every hour that I get the opportunity to play this game and be in front of you guys, I soak it all in and just make sure I enjoy the opportunity."

(on when he realized he had become a big deal) "I haven't realized it yet. I kind of realized it when I went back to Patterson (N.J.) and I went to (Patterson Public) School #21 and they had a little pep rally for me leaving and going to the Super Bowl. They were just flooding the streets and they blocked the streets off and all kinds of fans and people were in the streets. They were wishing me good luck and were really happy for my success. That's when it first really settled in. Still, I kind of react and still go places and try to act like my normal self."

(on what has impressed him about Kyle Arrington) "He's a good player. He's physical. He likes to get his hands on (you) and is  really a cerebral player that likes to read you through the quarterback. It's going to be a challenge. He's definitely a Pro Bowl guy and Pro Bowl talent. It should be exciting to see the type of matchups that they present."

(on if they have been able to get as much work done in Indianapolis compared to what they usually do back home) "I think so. We start our meetings today, so we'll see. It's kind of a chance to lock in, and really get into the meeting room, and really look at film, and be away from everything. It's the best opportunity we have to look in and really zone in on our game plan and what we have to do. I think we'll be able to get some solid work though."

(on if he has surprised himself with his level of success) "Most definitely. Coming up, I just wanted to come in and just get the opportunity to play in this game and play in the NFL, period. To come in and do the things I've done, it's definitely been a surprise to myself."

(on the tribute he does to his father before games) "It's right when we come out of the tunnel and everybody runs out to the sideline. I go to the far end zone to take a knee and pray to him, and talk to him, or have a conversation with him, and just ask him to guide me while I'm out there and watch over me. I understand that he's out there with me. He taught me how to play the game. Hopefully, I can play it the way he taught me, with respect and honor. That's what I talk to him about in the end zone."

(on what this Super Bowl would be like for his father if he were able to be here) "Yeah, all the time I think about it. He'd be here and he'd be going crazy. He probably would've gotten here when we got here on Monday and stayed the whole week, going crazy. He was a very great guy. He was just very passionate about his sons and daughters and anyone in his family, so to reach this point, for him to have been here, that would've been crazy."

(on who his hero was growing up) "My dad. He taught me everything I know. He taught me how to be a man and how to play the game and treat everyone with respect."

(on what makes their wide receivers so successful) "I think just the way we are all very unselfish guys. We understand that it takes all of us to win the game and all of us to win all these games so far. For us, we're very similar, but we do a lot of things differently as well. I think the collaboration of all those talents makes us really great."

(on if there is a friendly completion between the receivers) "No, at least not outright. I think subliminally we do, but we don't tell each other. I think that keeps us all on our toes."

DEFENSIVE END JASON PIERRE-PAUL

(on the experience that he has received from this season) "I think this year has been a great year for me. Like I said, I am still learning a lot of things, and I feel like I can come back next year and do better than I did this year. I am still learning the game, and it is fun to me that I can just go out there and do things and execute the plays. Just going out there and executing plays and seeing the way my coach looks at me when I walk off the field, knowing that I am doing a great job is a great thing. I've got to learn and we've got a Super Bowl up. Hopefully we get a win and next year come back and do it again."

(on whether the team having its backs against the wall has helped in the playoffs) "We started our playoff run early. We had to win two games in order to be in the playoffs, which we did. It was hard, but we did it, we fought through it and we all came together as one. When we were playing individually you could see that we had nicks and bruises in our defense, our defense and in special teams. But when we all came in as one in harmony, (it was) like nothing could stop us. We knew what we had to do to get the job done, and we trusted each other and look where we ended up at. We are in Super Bowl XLVI."

(on the benefit of playing alongside Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora) "If you look at other teams, you don't really have pass rushers like us. We are talented guys, and when you look at us you could put any one of us anywhere on our D-line. You could put Linval (Joseph) at end, you could put Rocky (Bernard) at end, you could put Chris (Canty) at end, you can put me at inside tackle and you can put Osi (Umenyiora) at tackle. We can just switch up the whole defensive line, and if you put us anywhere we're going to get the job done, no matter where we're at."

(on the pressure that the talent of the Giants' defensive line can apply to opponents offensive lines) "It puts a lot of pressure, because when we line-up differently they don't truly understand, 'what are they doing?' and what we are going to do at the time. So it is a great deal for us, and it gives us the advantage."

(on whether it will be more difficult to have crisp, strong practices, because the team is not on a normal routine) "That is something that I've been thinking about. How I feel going into it is (that) we had a couple of practices last week, and if the Super Bowl was on Sunday we would have been playing in it. But we had a great Sunday, and now we've had Media Day, and we got here on Monday, we had media yesterday and media today. Today we actually get our first practice, so we'll see how things go from there. We know that everybody is anxious to practice, and we've got to pick-up the pace right away. We've got to go in running full-speed. I know that I am going to go in and run full-speed, because I need it. I feel like I've been off for like two weeks now without practice, and that's just not me. I feel like I'm home just relaxing. I know that I'm going to pick it up full-speed, and when it is time to play then I'm going to play."

(on whether he is worried about what the team may face against the New England Patriots that the team will not be ready for on Sunday) "I'm not worried about (anything). I know what is at stake, my defensive line knows what is at stake and we've just got to play. No matter what the outcome is we know that it is going to be a tough game, and it is going to be a physical game. They are going to throw stuff at us that we might have never seen before, but we are going to get the job done."

(on a consensus along the defensive line that they must get pressure on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady) "Yeah, we know we have to get to Tom Brady, there are no ifs or buts about it. We've got to get there and we've got to get there fast, because Tom Brady is a good quarterback."

(on whether he has additional nerves or emotions preparing for his first Super Bowl) "I feel the same way. It really hasn't hit me that I am in the Super Bowl. I guess we might go out there in the first practice today, it is intense, we've got to hit the ground running and it might hit me. But right now we are going into another game and we need to win."

(on whether he felt that the lack of competition on the collegiate level would hurt his draft stock) "To be honest with you, going into the draft I really didn't care what team I got picked to. I was a hard-working man at the time too, so I was going in to help my parents out, just to make a little bit of money and I would work my way up (to) the top. But I had no clue where I was going to get picked at. My agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was like, 'you will probably go first round,' and I didn't really know too much about all of that stuff. I wasn't really a football guy that was focused in on the draft and all that type of stuff. But when I got picked where I got picked, I wasn't too excited because I didn't understand it. Now, going back and thinking about it, that was a big deal."

(on not being overwhelmed as a football player) "I'm a humble guy, the big stuff doesn't excite me. Me just playing football and going out there to help my team win is a lot to me. Just to see the smile on their faces like, 'oh my gosh, we just won the game.' That is what excites me. But all of the other attention, and all of the getting named this and named that, doesn't really excite me. Just going out there and playing great football, and showing the fans how much we can do, the fans make me go crazy too. When I hear the fans screaming and stuff it makes me want to do even better."

(on whether he gets caught up in the moment or in the hype) "Not at all. I do this day-by-day, and I am the same way every day. After the football season, I go home and relax with my family, and when it is time to roll back, then it is time to come back."

(on how to rattle New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady) "Anybody can be rattled. Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but at the end of the day he is just a quarterback. It is not like he is God, he can't be untouched. We've just got to get to him, and going into this game we know what's at stake and we've got to get there fast enough. I know our secondary is going to do a great job covering the wide receivers and the tight ends, and we've just got to get to him. We know it all starts up front no matter what."

(on how much the of the New York Giants' success depends upon the team's ability to apply pressure) "I would say that it is all on us really. It is all on the front line, the front four of the D-line, and also on the offensive line too. It is going to be all on the line in this game, and we know it. We've just got to get the job done. If guys are hurt, and they get hurt during the game, this is the last game. You've just got to tighten-up, you can't feel sorry for yourself, and get the job done."

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