New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin addresses the media during his press conference at the Super Bowl media center on January 28, 2008.
CHANDLER, AZ. – One day after the Patriots arrived in Arizona, the Giants team plane touched down in the desert. While they arrived one day later, Tom Coughlin and the underdog Giants plan on getting right to work, opting to use their normal practice week instead of flying to the southwest a day earlier.
"We're anxious about getting started this week, Coughlin said. "We look forward very much to Wednesday when we start our formal practice week.
"We set up our practice schedule and I feel the way to go after giving the players a couple days off is with an in-season practice week starting on Wednesday. We thought we would be best served doing as much as we could at home."
The big news with the Giants is some players have come down with flu-like symptoms. Cornerback Aaron Ross is the latest victim to fall under the weather. Linebacker Antonio Pierce was asked which players were sick, to which he responded with a fake cough and said jokingly, "I don't know what you mean."
Coughlin said the team is taking precautionary measure to prevent further players from getting ill and he hoped it wouldn't be a factor come Sunday.
The Giants have won an impressive 10 straight road games after losing their opener at Dallas, 45-35. Coughlin credits New York playing as a team for its success away from home this season.
"We have a lot of secrets we can't share with you," Coughlin replied when asked what was the secret behind the Giants road-winning streak. "The team concept is the reason why we've been so successful on the road. We've bonded together and supported each other. There's been very good focus and a mentality of not wanting to let the other guy down. I think that's served us well."
The Giants are hoping for one final road win this Sunday but in order to get it, they'll have to do something no other team has been able to do all year: beat the Patriots.
--Pierce was asked what he thought about Tom Brady's presence in the pocket and if it's frustrating to get pressure on him without being able to register a lot of sacks. Pierce's response was that Brady would not only go down on Sunday but that he must go down hard.
"I think he's one of the best in the league but you can never say anybody is the best at one thing," Pierce said about Brady's ability to avoid the rush. "But he's definitely one of the top guys. He's very coy about it. He doesn't mind taking that hit and throwing a perfect ball. That's the tough thing about playing a quarterback like that, he's not going to shy away from contact.
"I think we'll get him down. You just have to make sure that when you get him down it's hard and he feels it a little bit. If he's going to stand in the pocket and take that hit, you have to make sure and deliver a powerful hit to him and keep doing it all game long."
--Pierce also said that the Giants brought the sun with them today, after it rained unusually hard yesterday during the Patriots arrival.
--The Giants hotel is out in the middle of nowhere. They are literally in the desert. There is absolutely nothing around it at all. If any of the Giants players get in trouble this week, they'll have to look awfully hard to find it. The team is staying at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz., and practicing at the Arizona Cardinals facility in Tempe, Ariz.
--The Giants are the road team, which, means they'll be wearing their road white uniforms on Sunday. That's probably music to New York's ears since they've won 10 straight games away from Giants Stadium.
--Michael Strahan – one of the few Giants with Super Bowl experience – said he's never watched the tape of New York's 34-7 loss to Baltimore back in 2001.
"I woke up and I just felt numb," Strahan said. "When you lose, it doesn't even feel like you played in the Super Bowl. It's like, 'Wow, we just played the Ravens?' It's definitely an awful feeling to lose in the Super Bowl."
--Coughlin, Pierce Strahan, WR Plaxico Burress, WR Amani Toomer, QB Eli Manning and P Jeff Feagles were the Giants that spoke to the media on Monday. Some of them joked that media day on Tuesday would be nothing new to them because of all the media scrutiny they receive in the Big Apple.
"This is like a normal day in New York," Coughlin said.
"You should have seen what it was like when we started 0-2," Pierce added.
Overall, the Giant players seemed to be in good spirits and are looking forward to playing on the NFL's biggest stage against the league's most dominant team.