New England Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on January 24, 2008.
Q: Ready for the madness?
RS: Absolutely. I think this is one of the reasons that you play the game, obviously to be in a situation like this. We work hard all year and we've put ourselves in a great position. Now it's about finishing it.
Q: What kind of advice do you give the guys who have never been to the Super Bowl before?
RS: Well, I mean, I don't want to give too much away because obviously our opponents will be listening, but I think in-house, I think we understand what we have to do in order to be successful in this game, and we know what we shouldn't be doing as well. I'll just keep that in-house, and talk to me after the game. I'll give you all our tips.
Q: Seeing Tom Brady walk around New York in a walking boot, are you at all concerned?
RS: I think that's something you have to talk to Brady about. I have just as much information as you, so I'm really not sure about that issue.
Q: You know it's the heat of the moment in games, but are you distressed at some of the words that have been aimed at you in terms of being a dirty player?
RS: First of all, it's not true, so I think the facts are the facts. Secondly, I can't control what others say or think. The only thing I can do is control my actions, the way that I approach the game [and] the things that I'm able to do throughout the week. For me, that won't change and I think the people that know me best know that's something that's totally bogus.
Q: From your experience, these couple of days here, are they the most important days in terms of preparation before you get to the Super Bowl site?
RS: I think it's a combination of both. I think you have to be pretty balanced. I really can't say one is a little bit more important than the other. Obviously the most important is Sunday, but we have to do a good job preparing for this team. I think they do a good job. They're obviously road warriors and they do a lot of things well, and it's the reason that they're in this game. They went into some hostile environments [and] beat some really good football teams. Even when we played those guys, they played tough, they played hard, they play the game the way it's supposed to be played. From a fan's perspective, me and a couple of my buddies had our picks for the week, and I rode the Giants all the way there. I'm off of their bandwagon now, though.
Q: What did you personally take from that last game?
RS: I think obviously they're a tough, physical football team and they've gotten better since that point, and we have, too. If you look at early in the year, Green Bay beat them pretty handily and they came back. It wasn't the same team that played early in the year, so we understand that. And even from the last game of the season, those three games that they played in the playoffs, they're a better team now than when we played them, and we are, too. We understand the magnitude of this game, but at the same time it's still a game and you have to go out and have fun in doing it.
Q: In what way are you better since that Giants game?
RS: I just think recognition of plays, I just think a better tackling team, I think our red zone defense. I think we've stepped up in a few areas and we've made plays that we needed to make when we needed to make them.
Q: The New York/Boston rivalry is well documented, obviously, from a baseball standpoint. How much do you recognize it now from a football standpoint?
RS: I think it's two cities that put a lot of pride in their sports. The fans are tremendously supportive in both regards, Boston and New York, and rightfully so. They pull for their teams. I think as a player you want to play in an atmosphere where people care. The fans that we have here, they definitely care, and I know the ones in New York do as well. We're definitely excited about this match up.
Q: Can you add to Nick Hardwick's thing yesterday that you head butted --
RS: I just addressed it.
Q: The head butt thing?
RS: I just addressed everything I've - I mean, I can't. Yeah.
Q: OK, but this one specific thing. He claimed you head butted a coach, although the tape --
RS: I don't - A coach? A coach that was out on the field? I mean, so…
Q: When you look at Eli Manning, in the game against you he threw four touchdown passes. Do you think he's used that as a platform?
RS: Anytime when your quarterback doesn't make turnovers and he has some targets to throw the ball to as well, and they have a good running game and also play well defensively - I think all around the board they do a good job. We're excited about this match up, to say the least. I think if we just do our job individually, I think collectively as a group that we'll be fine.
Q: On your picks with your buddies, you picked the Giants.
RS: Right. I rode the Giants.
Q: Based on your game with them, did you have inside information?
RS: Yeah, I mean, because I played them. I wouldn't call it [an] inside scoop. I mean, I played them. I knew they were a good football team and it was just something fun. Me and my buddies got together and did that, but they play the game the way the game is supposed to be played. Defensively, they're tough. They can stop the run, rush the passer, [they're] good on special teams, they're well-coached. They have really good players over there, so we understand what they have and I think that's what makes this match up intriguing.
Q: What kind of challenge do you face with the running backs?
RS: I think obviously in [Brandon] Jacobs, he's a big, pounding, bruising-type back. He also has the speed to take it outside and hit the home run ball. It's a change of pace when the other back comes in. He cuts the ball back and gives us a different look defensively, so we definitely have two running backs in practice this week getting us prepared.
Q: Did it surprise you the intensity that they brought to that last game of the regular season?
RS: Well, we knew they were a tough, physical team, just watching them all week and it was a playoff atmosphere when we played down there. The sidelines were filled with people - I mean, it was a circus. They came out and they performed. It wasn't a surprise. We saw all week long what they were capable of.
Q: For standings, they were locked into their playoff position, so why would they go about it that way?
RS: Well, they get paid to play. They get paid to play and the coaches get paid to coach, and that's what they did. Obviously they made those decisions and we showed up and did the same thing.
Q: With Adalius Thomas coming in over your shoulder, is it that unspoken thing you had with Rosevelt Colvin, where you instinctively know what's going on behind you?
RS: I think defensively it's probably a little different than offensively where quarterbacks can look at the receivers and they kind of know, etc. I think defensively we all have a job to do and the coaches put the guys on the field that they feel like can get it done. Adalius has been doing a great job for us - all of our linebackers have. If you need your best game, this is the game to do it. If you want to be one of the best to ever do it, this is a primetime opportunity. The world is watching and [hoping we'll] bring another championship back here.
Q: You've often been cited for being a size/speed combo that's rare, and so has Adalius. Beyond that, what strikes you about him?
RS: He's very athletic. He can go out and cover and do a lot of different things for us. He can rush the passer, he can stop the run, he can do some of the things that defensive backs do. He's a guy that can move around for us defensively and also he's a smart player. He knows how to break down defenses and understand what they're doing in certain situations. He'll be out there giving calls and making calls and, hey, watch for this, look for that, etc., etc. He's an instinctive player. He's a smart player. We're definitely going to need him next Sunday.