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Patriots Press Conference Transcripts - 1/30/2012
(on how Assistant Head Coach/ Offensive Line Coach Dante Scarnecchia helped him get ready so quickly)
"It probably wasn't something immediately; it was probably something he's been working on for years. When I was needed I was able to just step in and do it and not even think about it. I think he just prepared me a long time ago to be ready."
(on how Scarnecchia prepares them)
"Individual work, working guys in, practice, and extra film study with him."
(on everybody saying Scarnecchia is in the building longer than Bill Belichick, and if that's true)
"That's true. He got in at four o'clock in the morning and got three hours of sleep last night, so he works hard."
(on if he feels any pressure facing the Giants defensive line)
"Every week we have different challenges and they pose their own set of challenges. They're very good pass rushers and we welcome that challenge. We'd like to be able to go out there and have a good D-line to play against and we have that with them."
(on being able to blossom in the Patriots system)
"I think there's just a good coaching staff, they do a good job of developing players and giving guys opportunities to play. I waited and when the opportunity was there I stepped in to do it and it paid off."
(on if the Giants do some unique things with their pass rush and defensive line)
"There are things like that, yeah. Usually, inside, we see bigger defensive tackles, but they'll put those smaller quicker guys inside so we're faced with different issues there."
(on how significant it is to protect Tom Brady and make sure he doesn't get moved off his spot, and if it's realistic)
"That's always our goal. I think we can do it. It's just going to take a lot of work and effort on our part, but that's always our goal to make sure nobody touches him."
(on if anyone sticks out on that Giants defensive line)
"No, no one sticks out. We've watched them all and there are no slouches on that D-line."
(on what's the best part of being an offensive lineman)
"The camaraderie is always great. We're five guys, we've always got to work together as one unit, so it takes some closeness there working together to get the job done."
(on what's the worst part of being an offensive lineman)
"Getting beat. Having your quarterback get hit."
(on if he wasn't an offensive lineman today, what would he be doing instead)
"Kick returner, right?" (laughing)
(on how he would characterize the relationship they have with Scarnecchia)
"Drill sergeant might be a good one. It's a good relationship, it's very professional, he expects a lot of out us when we're working, and then as soon as practice ends he's the nicest guy."
(on the tactical advantage of their two tight ends and the challenge it poses to defenses)
"I don't play defense. Obviously, I see they do well against defenses. I don't know that's for them to find out. I'm an offensive lineman and I block the plays, that's what I do."
(on the city of Boston winning a lot of championships over the years and how that brings the community together to help motivate them as players)
"It's great. We've got a great fan base and they expect a lot out of us. They want us to win championships and we do all we can to try and do that for them."
(on how challenging it is setting the protection when defenses are moving around all the time)
"There's different things, different things to look at, but watching films and making sure I know who's in the game and see what they're doing before they do it is key."
(on if the bigger challenge with the Giants is their physical ability or figuring out what they're doing)
"I'd say their pass rush is probably the toughest part. They rush the quarterback pretty well."
(on where the Giants pass rush ranks amongst the teams they've played this past season)
"They're up there. They're one of the best and they're playing in the Super Bowl. So they're obviously the best one we're playing this week."
(on if there is one particular aspect about the Giants that distinguishes them from the other teams they've played)
"They're physical, they're quick, and they can move, so that makes them good."
(on all the shuffling the offensive line has had this season due to injury and how they have been able to continue to play at a high level)
"I think it goes back to practice. We don't just play five guys in there all the time and don't rotate. We put everybody in, different combinations of people, and I think over the years and through 110 practices through the season it pays off when we get comfortable playing with any combination of who's in there."
(on if it doesn't matter who's to his right or left, he trusts the job is going to get done)
"I've played with anybody they could put in there, so I know they're going to do the job when they get in there."
(on if it's strange sitting at a podium at a Super Bowl press conference for the first time)
"Yeah, I've never done this before, but yeah, it's nice to be here."
(on what he recalls from the first time they played the Giants during the regular season)
"I don't know. We just didn't score enough points to win. We just didn't put enough points up in the red area, stuff like that."
(on how Tom Brady makes players better around him, and how he makes an offensive line better)
"He's really good at seeing defenses and communicating what he sees and gets us in the right place. Then, we can make our calls to make sure we pick it up. I feel like he's a step ahead. He knows who we're going to block before we even make the blocks, and I think that helps us."
(on how Tom Brady is leadership wise and firing guys up)
"He's a great leader in the huddle. He can get us motivated to go, and there's not another guy I'd rather have in there marching us down the field."
(on how he balances everything out while soaking in the moment being here at the Super Bowl)
"Just try to focus on the goal and focus on the game. Try to go through the exact same routine I would for any other game. Put in my film study, go through practice, and just try to keep it as routine as possible."
(on if it's impossible to think of this as just another game)
"You know, we do media every week anyways, so it's just a little bit bigger."
(on what the offensive linemen like most about BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and if he's a good offensive linemen's running back)
"Yeah, we love running the ball and when he's in there he does a really good job getting downfield and running hard, and we love that about him."
DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN McCOURTY
(on how the first practice went)
"It was good. Everybody got a chance to get out there and get after it. We ran around. We practiced hard. It was a good first day. We felt like we wanted to come out here and practice hard to start off the week. This was an important day to just kind of set the tone."
(on if he feels fortunate that he got to the Super Bowl in just his second season)
"Definitely. Just talking to the other guys on our team and other friends that I have made that are veterans, to be at this level in only my second year, you have got to be grateful for it. I think the biggest thing, is just trying to take advantage of the opportunity of being here - working hard, studying hard and getting ready to go for this game."
(on how difficult it will be to face the Giants' wide receivers)
"It's a very difficult challenge. I think it all starts with their offense, how balanced they are with a good running game, a good quarterback and they have three very good weapons outside at receiver. We are really going to have to prepare and come to play, because any of the three of those guys are capable of having big games."
(on what makes Eli Manning a good quarterback)
"I think his poise. Obviously, at this level the quarterbacks can make all of the throws, get the ball down the field and he does a good job reading coverage, but he is always calm and poised back there in the pocket. A lot of times when it's time to make a big play, he is doing it. Whether it's scrambling or throwing a perfect pass. So, I think the biggest thing is we have to be disciplined and we have to do a good job covering guys because he is going to put the ball there."
(on how the Patriots' defense hasn't received any love recently)
"That's how it goes. We have a great offense and we have had some down points. I think everyone will keep giving our offense the love and the respect, because they deserve it. As defensive guys, we just got out there and play. We have to do our part in this game. We believe in each other, we play for each other and that's all that matters to us."
(on how much of his success he attributes to Greg Schiano and if he is sad to hear he is leaving Rutgers)
"It is kind of bittersweet. He is a big part of my development as a player, and as a person. But, you have to be happy for him. I don't know any coach in that profession that doesn't dream about being a head coach at the highest level of football. To get that opportunity, I think that's great for him. But, as a proud alum, seeing him go after the job he has done there at Rutgers. People said we were probably one of the worst programs in college football and then to build it up to what it is today. But, I am sure they will find a replacement and he will do a good job too."
(on how many points they can give up and still win)
"As a defensive guy, you don't want to allow any points. You start off with the scoreboard 0-0 and that has to be our mindset. We can't say, 'Give up a certain amount of numbers and that will be the game,' because you can't play like that."
(on what the difference is between playing inside versus outside)
"It's probably just the spacing. On the outside, you have the sideline and you can use that. On the inside, the guy has two ways to go, so you just try to take one away. That's probably the biggest thing. Guys run different routes inside than outside, so you just have to study and understand how you will be attacked."
(on what makes Victor Cruz so good)
"I think it's just his physical nature. He is not one of those just quick guys who wants to avoid contact and make guys miss. He is able to be physical and still has that shifty ability. He definitely can run. I think just the physical nature of what he brings at wide receiver helps him inside and outside."
(on if the defense is peaking right now)
"I hope so. We have been playing well. We have had some good games. I think the biggest thing is like coach (Bill Belichick) tells us, 'The past won't matter.' When we take the field on Sunday, how we played two weeks ago against Baltimore won't help us play. How we played against the Giants the first time won't help us play. We have to string it together in practice, have some good days and then come out and execute on Sunday."
(on how the secondary's struggles early on have helped make them stronger now)
"I think every football team is like that a little. I know last year, coming in I was just a rookie, so it was my first time playing, but the other guys have been playing for a little while. Kyle (Arrington) was kind of new last year and we bonded throughout the season, your ups and downs. I think this season was the same. We had some bigger downs compared to last season but I think you have to, especially in the secondary. It's an important part of the field, our play determines a lot of what goes on in the game. I think we definitely bonded throughout the good and the bad of the season."
(on if they had more of a back to work mentality today)
"Definitely. Coming off the big pep rally that we had before we left was kind of cool, then you get on a plane and it's still kind of surreal. But, as soon as we got there and put our equipment on and went out to practice, it was like right back to work. Whatever practice day it is, we are getting ready for Sunday."
(on how important it is to keep the same routine and understand that this is a business trip)
"Very important. When we got here and going out last night to get something to eat, you don't want it to feel like a vacation. Waking up this morning, going to meetings, going over to the facility, going to practice, guys started to go through their natural routine of the week. We get in routines and once we get in it, we don't know anything else. So, as soon as we are able to get in our routine, it helps us get ready to go."
(on his twin brother Jason being in town and them kind of going through their NFL careers together)
"It's pretty cool. For us, we have been there for each other in every situation. When I was in college at the end of my season, I got to go check out a game of his during his rookie year (with the Titans). We talk a lot, every day. We talk about things that have to deal with football and life. I think the biggest thing is we are still brothers through everything else. Playing football is secondary to being brothers, and our relationship."
(on how they will manage being in one place for this long of a period of time)
"We just kind of try to stay on our routine, even though you are in a hotel, you are not back at your house. I think the biggest thing now since we are in a hotel, guys are coming back, 'Let's get together. Let's go eat. Since we are all in the hotel, let's go down and watch some extra film.' So, it kind of helps in a way, especially because we can kind of stick together and stay in our little bubble. Rather than being outside and being entertained by the circus of everything going on with the media and the fans, just staying in our bubble and getting ready to go."
(on what he saw from Tom Brady today at practice)
"Kind of what I see every day in practice. Guys have a certain way about going about everything, working hard, that's Tom every day in practice. From the first minicamp I was here and I saw him, he was working hard. He was very competitive and that always sticks out. What we saw from Tom last week in practice and what we saw this week is always the same. He is a consistent guy. He works hard and he gets everyone to rally behind him."
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN VINCE WILFORK
(on whether it was strange being at the Colts complex)
"I really didn't pay it much attention once we got going. It was at first pulling up and knowing that we're practicing at one of our rivals, and we were using their facility to handle our business. Once practice got going, we really didn't pay it any attention. It's a nice place, though."
(on playing different positions and a high volume of snaps at this stage of his career)
"You know what? Each year, I just want to keep getting better. I think conditioning is everything, being able to go. The more stress you can put on yourself in the off-season and training camp, I think it allows you to play at a high level once you get later in the season. That's one I did a real good job of, putting that stress on myself this off-season."
(on whether his interception off of QB Philip Rivers vs. San Diego ranked as a personal highlight for him)
"It's a lineman's dream to get the ball in his hands, that's the first dream. The second dream is to score. I didn't get it (the touchdown) on the interception, I got it on a fumble recovery. But a touchdown is a touchdown and an interception is an interception, so I'm pretty happy with those plays, and hopefully I have many more to come."
(on where his desire comes from to not come off the field)
"All of my life I've been competitive. I always want to be in the middle of everything. If it's going wrong, it's going wrong, but if it's going right, it's going right and I want to be in the middle. All of my life I've thought that I'm a leader, and I think leaders have to take control at some point and show the will to do whatever it takes to turn things around, whether it's bad or positive. At a young age, I always had that fight, but it's a good fight."
(on the chipper nature of head coach Bill Belichick since his arrival in Indianapolis)
"You know what? We work hard all year to be in the situation that we're in to play in this game. All year he's been like that. It's been kind of a relaxing year for all of us, just not knowing how much pressure he could put on us physically. Everything he's asked us to do, we've responded. It's been a fun season just seeing guys come to work each day. I think he appreciates that, and I appreciate that as a teammate. Trust me, at times Bill can be difficult to deal with. But I think he sees a difference in this team. I think he knows that he has a pretty tough football team, a smart football team and a team that's never going to let him down. We have one more game to go. Hopefully we won't let him down."
(on the biggest takeaway from the regular season meeting between the Patriots and Giants)
"It won't play any factor this time around. They're definitely a better football team, and they're playing their best football. It seems like they peak at the right time. Eli (Manning) is playing lights-out football. They've got the running game going. They have multiple guys who can catch the ball. The offensive line had a few injuries, but it really didn't slow them down. They're peaking at the right time."
(on whether the New York tabloids make him laugh trying to create bulletin board material out of Tom Brady's comments at the Patriots send-off pep rally)
"Yeah, it does. Listen, this is the last game of the season. I'm pretty sure that the Giants want to win and we want to win, point blank. You have two good football teams who don't want to walk away with an 'L'. Both sides are going to have to play really good football and not give up anything cheap. Trust me, we're not the only ones that feel that we want to win this ballgame. They're sitting over there saying the same thing. This is the last game, and the biggest game of your career. This is what you play for."
(on whether the Patriots last Super Bowl experience seems like yesterday or five years ago)
"It's always a great feeling to get back to this level at this point in your career and this point in your season. It says a lot about both teams. A lot of people had a lot of negative things to say about both of these teams earlier in the year, and now all of sudden, you have these teams playing on Super Bowl Sunday. Football is a tough game. You can't lock anyone in at the beginning of the season, and you can't knock anyone out at the end of the season. It's just like the Giants said, they went into playoff mode with two games left in the regular season and they have been playing good football ever since. You can never count football teams out."
(on fielding punts in practice as a rookie to potentially earn a night off for the team)
"Bill did that a couple times. I think it took him until year four to figure out that I wasn't going to drop any. By that time (year four), he had me catching the ball, but I had three other balls in my hands already, so there were four balls I had to handle to give my teammates a night off. So, I never dropped one. By my fifth year, he was picking someone else because he knew I wasn't dropping any. You have to have fun playing this game. The guys in this locker room think they're the best at whatever. I think I can throw the ball better than Tom (Brady) and Tom thinks he can beat me in the 40 (yard dash). We have a lot of fun. Bill did give me a chance to throw the ball in practice, and I looked pretty good if I recall."
(on all the positions he played in high school)
"In high school I probably played every position on the field. There's probably two positions that I would not play again, running back and center. Those are probably the two toughest positions on the field. Center, I went out there on the first play, a dude hit my right in the head and knocked me down. I said that was it, I can't hike the ball and try to block somebody. Running back, I got back there and ran the ball. Falling backwards some dude probably 5'4" and 120 pounds hit me so hard I dropped the ball and everything. I said I'll never run the ball again. You'll never have to worry about me asking to be a running back."
(on the levity among the Patriots when he first joined the team)
"They had a lot of pranks back then. Richard (Seymour)
, Willie McGinest and those guys were a fun bunch. When you build a football team and you talk about character and you talk about leadership, those guys always come to my mind. They played the game the way that it needed to be played. When it was time for business, it was time for business. When it was time for fun, it was time for fun. I think everybody rallied from that. I learned a lot from those guys. Some was good, some was bad. I've tried to forget the bad."
(on whether revenge is on his mind after the Giants handed New England their only loss in 2007)
"It won't be. Every time you get to this level, it's a special level. You have to enjoy it. This is something that is going to stick with you for the rest of your life. 2007 was 2007, now we're in 2012. Both teams are different. I don't think we're looking for revenge. We've got two football teams who are trying to play the best they can so they can win."
(on going against the Patriots offensive line in practice)
"They're a tough, tough, tough bunch. They are very physically and mentally tough. That's one thing I've seen and one thing I love about our offensive line. I think the head leader over there is my main man Logan (Mankins). All of those guys have gotten better this year. Those guys are very, very, very tough. I love it. They're feisty. They don't take crap from anyone. I love a team like that."
(on the Giants offensive line)
"They should feel like they're the team to beat. They're playing some good, good football. They're probably playing the best football that's out there. And their defensive line can play, too. You can't say anything negative about what they have going on. They can talk the talk and walk the walk."
(on how much the persona of the Patriots offensive line has to do with (Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line) Dante Scarnecchia)
"Dante, he's a small guy, but I tell you what, he's a tough son of a gun. I love him like he's my coach. Every offensive line coach that I've known at every level, they love their offensive linemen and their offensive linemen love them. He's the only one who can yell at them, I'll tell you that. It will always be like that."
(on whether he felt like the Patriots controlled Baltimore's offensive line in the AFC Championship Game)
"At times, yeah. It wouldn't have been possible if the coaches hadn't put me in that situation. Those plays don't mean anything now. We have a whole different challenge ahead of us this week."
(on the reasons for the sustained success of the Patriots over the past decade)
"They try to get good people here from coaches to guys who work in the front office to guys who put on this uniform. I think everybody has to have one goal in mind, and that's to be together. When you get an organization together that is seeking one goal, you can be pretty successful. That's what Mr. Kraft, Bill (Belichick) and all of these guys try to put together, bringing guys in here from different teams, seeing something that they like about them."
(on his favorite attribute of Bill Belichick as a head coach)
"Smart. Sometimes coaches see things in this team that they don't see in themselves. One thing about Bill is how smart he is and the knowledge he has of the game. It goes beyond Xs and Os with this guy. I just like to learn from a guy like that. One day, who knows, maybe I'll be coaching Pop Warner and I'll try to use some of his tricks. I can look back and say that I got it from one of the best coaches to ever coach this game, Bill Belichick."
RB BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS
(on what lessons he learned from the playoff game against the Ravens)
"The main lesson is just the game's never over until it's over and you've always got to go out there and compete. We've moved on from Baltimore and we try to learn from our mistakes in that game and just go on and get ready for the New York Giants."
(on why the offense wasn't as explosive in the game versus Baltimore)
"It's around that time. That's football. There's only four teams left at that time, but we're not speaking on that. The thing we're really focused on is the Giants."
(on the challenge of the Giants run defense)
"Speaking on their run defense, I mean just their defense period, they've been a good defense over the playoffs and the last half of the season. I mean really since they've played us they've really been playing good football over like the last four weeks of the season, five weeks of the season and on into the playoffs they just carried momentum and they picked up momentum and they are playing just about as well as anybody in the league right now."
(on how social media has changed the way players interact with fans)
"I think it's good. It's good because you can just reach out and just talk to someone quick and easy and fast. I think social media like the Facebooks and the Twitters and the MySpace, stuff like that is really good because you just really interact with your fans without actually being out in public or whatever."
(on if he avoids social media after a bad game)
No. Whenever you feel like picking that up and being on that is when you're on that. Obviously, you wouldn't want to be on that when you're obviously upset. But, when it comes down to it, it's not a problem."
(on if he was surprised by QB Tom Brady's comments at the pep rally about having a bigger celebration later)
"What did he say?...I didn't really hear what he said, so I don't want to speak on it. I don't know if he said hopefully or I don't know."
(on if he is surprised that at this point in the season media takes one thing Brady says and turns it into a big deal)
"No, I think, you've got media from all around the country, all around the world, so everybody's looking for something to make a story out of. I don't make a big deal out of it, it's just the job. That's you all's job."
(on if not turning the ball over will be important in this game)
"Yes, you know it's always important. In any game that you play in, obviously, you want to win the turnover battle. That's the number one thing that correlates to winning in this league, so that's the thing we want to try to do."
(on RB Danny Woodhead)
"Woody, you know Woody comes to practice, he works hard. He's extremely fast, quick. He does good things as a running back. He gets in and out of his cuts and breaks and whatever it is he does. He's just a hard worker."
(on how Boston's sport franchises winning lots of titles in the past decade has brought the city together)
"I think the city, not just the city of Boston, but all of the surrounding areas-the New England area-everyone is just excited. We're always excited when the hockey team's doing well. We just want to contribute."
(on if that motivates him to want to win another for the city)
"It's motivation from the fans. You always have a lot of motivation, and we always, the heart is on ourselves, so we always want to go out there and be successful."
(on if the Giants are a different team from when they last played them due to their injuries)
"Yes. Over the last five weeks they've been playing extremely well as an offense and as a defense and on special teams. From our last game, that was all in the past. They're playing well right now and the guys they have out there right now are playing extremely well. "
(on if TE Aaron Hernandez will continue to line up in the backfield)
"I'm not sure, whatever it takes for us to win. We have plans and things like that, but when we come out and we do whatever is working, and whatever it takes to win we're going to do. Whether we've got to punt, kick, throw it or whatever we've got to do to come away with a 'W', that's what we're going to try to do."
(on coming back to play in Indiana after playing in college here)
"It's important to me because this is where I actually started my career as far as college is concerned. It was the first time I was out of my element. With me being from New Orleans it what the first time I actually was out of New Orleans and out of the state of Louisiana. So coming here and actually getting a chance to come back here for the Super Bowl is great."
(on how the first practice went today)
"It's always a little different when you're on the road, but once you step on the field, the field is still 100 yards, 52 yards or 53 yards across. It felt like a practice field. I don't care if we're practicing in the back yard or wherever it's at, I'm just excited to go out there and play ball."
(on what he is going to do to get the MVP award)
"I'm not even…we just want to go out there and perform as a team and win because any type of award you get is only because of the other 10 guys on the field with you at that particular time. It's an award that whatever it is, it's a team thing."
(on why the organization does a good job with undrafted players)
"I really can't speak on any other organization because I haven't been there, but for our organization I think our guys do a good job. The personnel department and our coaches, they find who they want for whatever they want them to be doing and we get them and we just go to work."
(on if he had a lot of options as an undrafted free agent)
"There were a lot of options out there, but at the time that was something that happened like what, four years ago, five years ago? It's just kind of how I came to where I am right now. Just making a decision on where I want to go and my agent at the time, Roosevelt Barnes, made a decision and I trusted him and that's where I ended up."
(on how his job has changed over the last year with using two tight ends)
"It really hasn't changed too much. You're asked to do the same things, but some games we might be in one thing more than we are the other, but that's the way it works. We're a game plan team. Whatever the game plan is for that week or whatever's working or however we feel is best, we're going to win. That's what we're going to do."
(on how he has made it through his career without fumbling)
"Just been blessed and fortunate, that's about it. There's no science to it because it's something that happens. It's a part of the game. You don't want to have turnovers, but they happen. No one wants to go out there and fumble the ball. It's something that just happens and I just have been blessed and fortunate. That's the only thing I can kind of take it up to."
(on if he feels overlooked because of how much the media makes of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski)
"No, not at all. I think we have some of the best players in the league at their positions and I think we utilize them and whatever the best things they can do. They help us win a lot of football games and hopefully they can continue to do those things."
(on the offensive line)
"The offensive line's been great all year. We've had different tackles in there. Guards, centers, all those guys work well together and they are a tight-knit bunch. I think that's what kind of makes them who they are. They care about each other and they work well together."
SAFETY PATRICK CHUNG
(on how it feels to be at the Super Bowl)
"It feels awesome. It feels awesome. I mean we're still here on a business trip, though. We're still here to work hard but it feels good. It feels good to be here. A lot of guys don't get this opportunity but we'll take the best of it and just play a good game."
(on what has jumped out at him that's 'awesome')
"Just the atmosphere - there's all these people around, all you in here. It's just a crazy experience and feeling just knowing that we're at the big show."
(on what the Patriots can take away from the first game that they faced the Giants this season)
"I'm one of those guys where that's the past, man. They're a new team and they're firing on all cylinders right now. Eli (Manning)
is playing good and a lot of players are playing at a higher level and it's a new team."
(on being a veteran in the defensive secondary and what kinds of things he tells Matthew Slater and Julian Edelman)
"Matthew (Slater) played safety before so… Bill (Belichick) is going to put the best guys out there. You're going to learn the same things and everybody's learning in the same room, so you're going to have to know what you're doing and you're going to have to know what you're doing fast. The only advice I can give is make a decision and be a leader back there. Safety is a very reliable position so you have to make the calls and make sure everyone's on the same page."
(on what he tells Devin McCourty)
"I don't have to worry about Devin. Devin's smart. That's one thing I like playing (with)
him is he's very smart, he's comfortable and he's calm and he can always make plays."
(on if he'll ever play any offense since the Patriots use offensive guys on defense)
"No, man. I'm not an offensive guy. I like to hit people."
(on how he would account for the defense's success in the postseason in contrast to the struggles of the regular season)
"That's not really a question for me. I just feel we're playing like a family, playing intense, playing with passion, playing with intensity and just taking one play one by one. You can't really move on to the next one, can't think about the one before, just playing every down one by one."
(on if he's reflected on his injury and coming back just in time)
"I mean, it is what it is. God works in mysterious ways so I'm just glad to be back, glad to be with my team and now it's time to go."
(on if he expects anything different from the Giants)
"I expect a very good team to come in here and play a very good game. That's the reason why they're here also. They're the best team in the NFC and they're here to play a good game."
(on what he learned back at the University of Oregon and how that mixes in with what Belichick coaches)
"It's kind of similar. They always have the saying, 'Win the day.' Like I said, do it down by down, play by play - that's kind of like do it day by day. Don't worry about tomorrow, don't worry about yesterday, just win that day. Just take it day by day and just make sure you do everything in your power to make sure when you go home, you say, 'I won.' Just take it on with life."
(on what his support system is like back home)
"I just talked to my brother right now actually, right on the phone. That's where I'm from. That's where I was born. Jamaica all the way. I represent them. I'm Chinese also. That's my culture and I'm going to represent it all the way."
(on the Giants saying they intend to pick on Julian Edelman if he's back in the defensive secondary)
"I have no comment for that. It is what it is, man. The best player's going to play at any position. A player's going to play. It's the last game. It's all on the line so it really doesn't matter."
(on WR Julian Edelman playing defense)
"He's good. I feel he's good. He has the quickness, he's fast, he's smart, he has good hands and he's tough, he's physical. That's all the intangibles of a good player. I have no worries about Julian back there."
(on Deion Branch)
"He makes plays, man. He's a veteran that makes plays and can make big catches. If there's a lot of pressure on guys, he can take the pressure because he's been there, he has that experience; he has all the things that veterans need to play in big games like that."
(on how the Giants' receiving corps stacks up against other teams they've faced this year)
"They're very good. They're three different types of receivers, but they're three very good receivers. They all can get the ball, they all have good routes and they have Eli (Manning)
throwing to them right now and he's on fire so you've got to stop them. They're definitely versatile receivers."
(on if the Giants' receivers are the best they've faced this year)
"As a corps, I think so. You have three receivers who can make a big play if anyone gets the ball, definitely."
(on what the biggest lesson they learned from the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens)
"The main lesson? Play to the end. That's all I can really say. Play to the end because you never know what's going to happen."
(on Sterling Moore making two huge plays at the end of the AFC Championship)
"He's a baller. I mean, he's a baller. He's mentally tough. He's been through a lot of stuff, man. He's mentally tough, he's fast, he's quick and he's confident. He's confident and he feels he can do a lot of damage. He's good. He wouldn't be out there if he wasn't."
(on if he knew Sterling Moore, being a West coast guy, before he joined the team)
"I didn't know him at all. He came in and made an impact. People know him now."
(on what Victor Cruz does so well in the slot for the Giants and how you take that away)
"Take it away or just contain? You can contain it, man. He's quick, he's good off the line, he's good into his routes, he can catch the ball, he can uncover, he's physical, he can break tackles - he's like a complete receiver. I'll give it to him; he's a complete receiver. He can do it all and we've just got to contain him."
(on having some guys still on the team that have Super Bowl experience)
"It's good to have experience because those guys can bring that experience to the young guys and tell them what they need to expect. I just think it's good to have them. We have a team right now that's ready to play. Regardless of veterans, rookies, third-year players, second-year players - we're ready to go right now."
(on Giants' receivers Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks)
"Nicks will go up and get the ball. He'll get the ball. He's physical. He can break tackles, obviously. You've seen him make big plays. Manningham has good routes and he has good hands and he can get the ball too. They have three dangerous receivers we have to be able to stop, definitely."
(on what the mood was like in practice today)
"We were happy. It was time to get back at it. We're on a business trip. It's the Super Bowl festivities and it's fun and all that, but when we're on the field, it's go time - business."
(on if Bill Belichick is more relaxed than he has been)
"He's always relaxed. He's relaxed and he wants to win. That's how he is. We're here now. We're here to play football and get things going."
WR DEION BRANCH
"I just think the work that we've been putting in all year long with the fact that we didn't have a mini-camp, no offseason program, and that we were still able to find a way to get it done with the leadership of our head coach pushing us each and every day. I think guys really started getting the picture, seeing what he was trying to explain and tell us, 'If we do this, do that, we will be ok.' I think at first guys saw it, but now guys really start believing it and really have a lot of faith."
(on his relationship with QB Tom Brady now compared to earlier in their careers)
"I think we're just older. I think when you're playing this game you develop this friendship. We're always going to have this bond. We're always going to be connected to each other for this one special reason, but I think the friendship that we have off the football field, the way we communicate off the football field, is more important than that. I just think that overall, the time and the amount of years that we've been playing together."
(on giving advice to younger players on the team)
"I'm the older guy, exactly. It's crazy. I'm one of the older guys. I was just talking to DP (Former Patriots WR David Patten) about two or three days ago. I was talking to David Patten. He was one of the guys I looked up to and he and (Former Patriots WR) Troy (Brown)
showed so much love to me when I was a young guy, and now I have the same opportunity to do the same thing for those young guys."
(on what WR Wes Welker means to the offense)
"He means a lot. I think everybody has - like I'd been saying early on - I think everybody has a role. He has a very important role on the offense as far as with our group, with the offensive side of the ball, and also with the team. (TE) Aaron (Hernandez) , myself, (TE Rob) Gronkowski, Tom (Brady) has a role, the front line has a role, just not one particular guy. I think everybody has a certain piece that makes this puzzle the way it is."
(on if he sees a difference in Welker this year)
"No. This guy's a hard worker, but the same player. Take nothing away from him. This guy, he deserves everything he's gotten."
(on if he feels like a forgotten man in the offense among higher profile players)
"No, that's cool. I just do my job. I can't worry about who is controlling and who's saying A, B, C, D. I just do my job. I'm not here to be the one that says, 'Hey I need all the attention.' That's not me."
(on if Head Coach Bill Belichick is joking with the team at all behind the scenes)
"No. It's serious. There's no jokes going on with us. We just had a great practice. We're about to get out of here pretty soon to go watch this film, but there's no joking going on. Everything is serious. Guys are pretty laid back, relaxed, but when taking the field we're very serious."
(on if he's surprised that the team is laid back)
"No. That's how we've been all year. The thing is - like I was saying earlier - this is not the year to start coming in here changing the way we've been conducting ourselves, just continue doing what we've been doing."
(on if there is anything specifically he can pick out about the Giants defense)
"Everything. For them to go into Lambeau (Field), well start off and they beat Atlanta at home, and then for them to go into Lambeau and win the way that they did, they're playing great ball."
(on what the Giants defense did well against them the first time they met)
"I wouldn't say what they did. I know what we did wrong. We try to focus on us and aren't worried about what the Giants are doing. We made a lot of mistakes. We didn't score in the red area. We didn't convert on third down. That's what we didn't do, and unfortunately they beat us in the red area ratio, they beat us in the third down ratio, and that's why we lost the game."
(on the mentality today of getting back to work)
"Exactly. Today it was. We felt that early on. It was good. All the guys were very anxious to get in the meeting room, to get our playbook, to listen to coach break down the film, kick the meeting off, and then we just had practice. So everything is pretty much going the way we expected."
(on if the team has said anything about Super Bowl 42)
"No. This team doesn't talk about the past. Since the day we knew we were going to the Super Bowl, in the locker room nothing was spoken about Super Bowl 42. It's behind those guys. They lost the game. It is what it is. They didn't play good football and they lost. This is a different game, different team, different players, and it's going to be a different game Sunday."
(on if he's treating the Super Bowl experience differently now compared to last time)
"No. I think overall the only thing I will say that I'm really treating (differently)
is I truly enjoy sharing the knowledge with the younger guys in our group and talking to the guys about the experience in the past, but as far as talking about what we did in the Super Bowls in the past, those guys watched the game. I'm pretty sure they've seen the highlights that have been shown on the NFL Network and ESPN and all that stuff. I'm not treating it any different. Practicing hard, doing everything we've been doing all year long."
(on how the two tight end sets have evolved)
"It's just based off of game planning, game situations. We try to sit back and take advantage of whatever the defense gives us, and if that comes about, we're going to take advantage of it."
(on why the organization has been so successful)
"For one, there's a lot of stability here. You have the same owner, same head coach, same quarterback, so it starts with those guys. There's a little turnover, but it's not in the main places. When you have the same head coach, your coaching staff is pretty much the same and your quarterback, your leader. You look at most of the teams that have a lot of the issues, it's because they have a lot of turnover within the organization…up in the front office, and then your coaches are cycling in and out. If you don't have any stability within that part, then there's no way that you're going to be successful somewhere else."
(on if this is one of the best franchises in the league)
"Yes sir. It's very evident. There's a reason, not only with the stability, but the types of guys that the organization brings in to help this team be successful. Guys buy into the program each and every year, and that's what it's about."
(on his transition after being reacquired by the team)
"I think it was pretty smooth. There was a lot of different terminology. Some of the terminology was a little different, but there were bits and pieces that I remembered from the past that once I started hearing it, I knew exactly what it was. I would say the transition wasn't as hard when you're used to playing with a certain guy, playing with Tom (Brady), and then the things we did off the football field, in the classroom, it just helped out on the football field. The transition was pretty smooth."
(on his personal feelings on returning to the team)
"I was excited, very honored, and blessed to have the opportunity to come back to the same team that drafted me. Guys don't get the opportunity to go through that phase. I was just very thankful."
(on what he's seen from the Giants that's different from when they played in November)
"Those guys are flying around. The defensive line is doing a great job, guys in the secondary are playing great. Most of all, they're healthy. They've got guys like (CB)
Prince (Amukamara) who weren't there, (DE) Osi (Umenyiora) wasn't there as much, and then on the offensive side of the ball what those guys are doing, (QB) Eli (Manning), I don't think…(WR Hakeem) Nicks didn't play did he? So they're healthy. They're playing good at the right time."
(on using the Indianapolis Colts' practice facility)
"It's a little different, but I thank the Colts for allowing us to come in and use their facility. There's some nice stuff, man. You can tell it's a first class organization. From what we've seen today, it's a first class organization."