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Curtis Martin Pre-Game Press Conference

Jet's Runningback Curtis Martin talks about the upcoming game against the Pats. To read a transcript click on the full article button below.



            Q: Could you tell us a little bit about you personally with what has happened and your city and how your teammates have reacted?  

CM: I think it was good that we had last week off because I think it was such a shocking thing and it hit so close to home that I do believe it disrupted our whole train of thought as far as playing the game last week. I think in taking that week off it allowed us to collect our thoughts. We went down and helped out and we got to see things first hand and I think it has encouraged us. I think that we realize now that it is time to move on.

Q: What did you see and how did it affect you?
CM: Of course we see it all day, every day because we are up here. I think that one thing it has done for most people, it made you have an appreciation for life no matter how bad it is or how good it is. It makes you appreciate, just life because a lot of those people went in there planning on returning home to their family and never will. I think it gave myself as well as everyone else kind of a wakeup call and makes you reflect on life.

Q: Did you go down there yesterday with your teammates?
CM: Yes.

Q: Did you load the Salvation Army truck or did you speak with the people?
CM: I loaded the truck.

Q: Was that a conscious decision on your part or was that just the way it happened?
CM: Well that is the way it happened. I went down there, we went down there with the attitude to just serve in whatever way we could. Whatever way we can help out that's what we were willing to do. That's just the way the groups got divided up.

Q: Why did you want to do that on a personal level?
CM: I plan on continuing to do different things and make different efforts to help. I've lost a lot of people who were dear to my heart to death. One thing I've seen is the reaction that the family has afterward and usually the situation that the families are left in and to me that is where my heart goes out. There is nothing we can do about the people who are gone now, but there's a way that we can make it easier on their families. So that is where my heart is.

Q: Is your heart back in football at this point?
CM: Yeah, definitely because there comes a time when you just realize that you have to go on and I mean you do all you can do and I feel we did all we could do. Right now, this is our job. This is our livelihood. This is what we have to get back to and I think that we got a good start on it. I think everyone is focused.

Q: When you went down on Saturday, did you go by yourself?
CM: We didn't go down there Saturday.

Q: Didn't you go down yourself over the weekend?
CM: No. I went down there…I didn't have clearance to go down to the site, to ground zero. So I just ended up coming back home.

Q: You didn't see anybody or talk to anybody just went on your own?
CM: Yeah.

Q: How did that affect you?
CM: What, going down there?

Q: Yeah, particularly by yourself?
CM: It doesn't bother me. All my life I have seen death. I have witnessed a lot of people dying. This is definitely more of a mass amount of people at one time than I've been in a situation, but I've just learned how to deal with it. That's a sad thing, but I've had to learn how to deal with that and move beyond that and that's my attitude towards it.

Q: Is that part of your motivation of going down there, because you know how to deal with it to help others deal with it?
CM: Yeah, definitely. Also a lot of times in situations like that, I know with dealing with my own family in different situations that we have had, most of the time it is just being there. People will know that you care and know that they've got a shoulder to cry on, someone to listen to their pain. For me, that means more than anything, to just be able to console a person.

Q: Curtis how has your role changed in the offense with the new scheme?
CM: I think it is very much the same, there is not a big difference. I believe I still run the ball and I still catch the ball out of the backfield. It is a very similar role. We just do different plays, different personnel, different coaches.

Q: You have had three head coaches in three years how have you dealt with that and what does it mean to your daily life as a football player?
CM: I don't think a coach has baring or will determine what I do from day-to-day as a football player. I am committed to my job first and foremost whoever is the coach. It doesn't matter who it is. I am going to come in here every day and I am going to give my 100 percent in practice, in the games, in the weight room, whatever it may be. So my attitude, I am self-motivated when it comes to football.

Q: A lot of guys on the Patriots, Roman Phifer and Bryan Cox you will be playing against you use to play with, will that be an interesting scenario?
CM: Yes, well you know of course I am used to that playing against New England and when Bill [Parcells] came here, playing against some of our players we had in New England also. I am used to it. I am sure that it will be a lot of fun. Me and Cox we always joke with each other and we are real good friends, so it will be fun playing against and of course I am use to playing against all of the guys in New England.

Q: Did you ever envision the difference you made to both teams when you went to the Jets?
CM: I did for me, I want to be an impact player and make a difference wherever I am at. I do feel that I have made a difference. The extent of that difference I don't know. Like I said I know that every day the New York Jets are getting 100 percent out of me. I know when I was in New England, New England got 100 percent out of me. The effects and the difference that that makes I guess that is it, but I can't say that I am responsible for anything other than giving my 100 percent.

Q: When you played football growing up was football, is escape the right word? Where did football fit in?
CM: Well football was almost like a past time or every once in awhile hobby for me. My attitude towards football was, I had no commitment to it. For me it was just about, 'All right I will do this because it is Phys. Ed. Class and this is a part of me getting a grade on it' or 'I'll play this year because just because I don't have anything else to do.' So football wasn't that important to me then.

Q: When did it become important?
CM: It didn't become important I believe until going into my rookie year, I won't even say when I got drafted. When I got drafted it was important, ever since maybe the beginning of that season I believe it took on a new definition for me because I have seen how football has become a vehicle for me to do what I really like to do and that's what has given me my love for football.

Q: What do you really love to do?
CM: Just help other people. Football has opened up a lot of doors. I get to impact lives. I get to touch people's lives all over the world and football is a great stage for that, it is a great way to be able to do that. So that is what and then putting my all into football so that it could maybe enlarge my stage to be able to touch more people. That is what has really helped me be committed to football and then through the commitment I have learned to just enjoy playing football and enjoy my job.

Q: Has the emotion of playing the Patriots faded now?
CM: No, no. Every year it is the same year. For me the Patriots, that was my first family as far as I am concerned, as far as football. That is where I was drafted. I have gained a lot of relationships and still have a lot of great friendships with the guys on that team. So I don't think that will ever change. As long as I play against them it will always be the same thing.

Q: How is that abdominal muscle?
CM: It's great, I haven't had any problem with it.

Q: Do you realize that people up here, fans in particular, have said that the Patriots have never really been the same since you left and really your departure was the beginning of the end? Does that mean anything to you?
CM: It would be a lie to say that that doesn't give me some sort of pleasure inside because it helps to see the appreciation that some fans have for me. I really appreciate that. That is something that I do not take for granted. So to hear them say different things and not only that, but I have run into a lot of Patriots fans and they say, 'Curtis we miss you and wish you were back' and different things like that. I don't take it for granted. I appreciate it, They are great fans. It is amazing that when I came up there I still here a lot of them cheering for me. A lot of them will booh, but I still here a lot of them cheering for me.

Q: It has been a long time since your first coach said don't put him in Canton yet?
CM: Yes, the boy wonder thing, the one game wonder.

Q: Turned out you were the boy wonder.
CM: I am just striving to continue to improve and that is something that [Bill] Parcells taught me. He taught me to never be complacent, never be satisfied with my performance and I believe that is just me. That is the way that I compete with myself even more so than I compete with the other team.

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