Q: You had a different perspective coming in from most coaches in that you worked here about a decade ago. Tell me what influence that Bob Ford and working here at UAlbany has had on your coaching career.
A: Huge, absolutely huge. What coach ford does for football I think is very underestimated out there. I don't know that everybody is aware of what he does, and the amount of coaches he turns out, not just me, I mean there's guys all over the country at every level, that got their start here or developed here, and the word that comes to mind right away is professionalism. I mean when you get here, you start to learn how to be professional in your job and what it takes to be successful in coaching, and doing it in a class way, and I think those are the biggest things that stick out to me and that I remember about this place.
Q: When you stepped on the field this morning for the first time, even thought it was a conditioning tests, was there any thought that went through your mind like, "Hey, I did this ten years ago, and now here I am doing it again in a different capacity?"
A: You know, to be honest with you, there hasn't been a lot of time for that. You know what I mean? I'm more concerned with making sure I do a great job here, I think before I came up here, and after I leave, I'll kind of be able to reflect on it a bit. Hey, that was a great thing ten years ago, you dream about this and now you've got your shot. But right now is more focused on taking advantage of the opportunities that I have and doing a good job that way.
Q: Just talk about your new position with the Giants and what it means to you to kind of move up the ladder like you have with this organization.
A: To me, it's the opportunity of a lifetime. It really is. I grew up in this area as a Giants fan. To be able to do this, it certainly is a dream come true. In your career, what you appreciate about an organization is them rewarding you for your hard work. And when that happens, you feel really good about the place you work. So I mean I'm grateful for the organization and coach Coughlin for the opportunity and now it's just about me doing my job to the best of my ability.
Q: How connected are you still to your hometown?
A: Oh, very. I spend a good amount of my time off in July up there. We just did an alumni golf tournament for our high school football team that I had a chance to play in. I stay as connected as I can, you never forget where you come from, and that's where my football experience started, and my love for the game started, because of that place, Coach Heinzelman and all the coaches at Hudson Falls so never would I forget about that.
Q: When you're playing football in high school for Hudson Falls did you ever imagine you would be a part of the Giants organization?
A: Probably like every kid imagines, I might've seen it more as playing quarterback for them. Even though I knew that probably wasn't going to happen. I think like every kid, you dream of a chance to do something like that, so I'd say yeah, I did. But did I actually see it out there and know it was going to happen? I don't think so. But you dream of those things as a kid and as a football player.
Q: What are the biggest questions that you want to see answered in training camp with the wide receivers?
A: With all of them, Sully (Mike Sullivan) did such a great job, our wide receiver coach in the past, who's now coaching the quarterbacks, he did such a good job of teaching these guys. They're a younger group but they're a group that's played. And you just want to see them take the next step and just continue to improve, and for me, I just want to leave here and know that we have big play capability, you know that we can run down the field and consistently carry out our assignments. Those are the two things that really stick out to me, making big plays and being really consistent and taking the next step where Sully started them off from.
Q: You brought up the youth in that position. Looking at the roster, it is a lot of young guys, who do you look at in this position as far as stepping up to lead them?
A: Leaders are in the room with work ethic. There's different ways you can lead. And with these guys we have it a bunch of different ways. Steve Smith leads by work ethic. He's a guy who went to the Pro Bowl last year, but he's also the first guy, one of the first guys, on the field getting extra jugs work, and staying out there and catching off the jugs after. So I mean his work ethic, that's a leader. Sinorice Moss is a guy who has been around 4 or 5 years now in the league and he's a guy who leads by just being a professional and does what's asked of him and does it with great effort, so I look at him and he's a leader. Derek Hagan is another guy, he leads by going out and doing what we ask of him on special teams, as well as what he does for us at wide receiver. There's a lot of leadership in that room, even though they don't have a ton of years, there's no 12 or 13 year vet in there, but there are different ways to lead and I think we have a good variety of those guys.
Q: How often do you get home?
A: I spend a good amount of time in July up there. I was probably up there two or three out of six weeks off. I spend a lot of time there, most of my family is still there and my mom likes me to come home so we do that.
Q: So you were rooting for a return to Albany for training camp then?
A: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's great for the area, I think the fans really appreciate it and I can remember working here and having that excitement when they came up.
Q: Is there a nervous excitement for you this summer? Or are you just ready to rock?
A: You're always nervous, no matter what job you do. Even last year I was nervous even though it was year three of the same job title, but I think you always want to push yourself and you always want to be the best you can be. So if you don't have a little bit of that nervous excitement, I think something is missing. I hope everybody has it.
Q: You think you will be a little bit more nervous when you look up into the stands at training camp and see a lot of familiar faces?
A: No, I don't think so. If anything, that should help me out, they should be rooting for me a little bit. Let's hope. But no, I don't think I will feel that way.
Q: When you got the promotion what were some of the things that Coach Coughlin said to you? Or that Jerry Reese said to you as you were promoted?
A: I just think that they expect your best effort. There wasn't a lot. It is what it is. They want your best work and I think they wouldn't have done it if they didn't feel confident that I could handle it and that's really all it is, let's get to work, let's get better as a team, let's get better as a unit and that was really it.