Osi Umenyiora, 11.24.09

Q. How important was it to come off a win going into this trip?

A. It was very important. Obviously you want to go into a trip like this with some type of momentum, and I think we might have that.

Q. What do you need to improve upon from last week?

A. Obviously we gave up a 14-point lead and made it a little too close, even though it didn’t have to be. So I think we need to find a way to rectify that.

Q. How does having Aaron Ross back help the defense?

A. Very good obviously. He is an outstanding football player. He is a veteran now, I think it’s his third or fourth year or something like that. He’s very good, so when you add good football players to a team, you have no choice but to improve.

Q. Do you sense that this team is ready to get on a roll?

A. Well, hopefully. I don’t think we have a choice in the matter at this point. These are the times when a lot of teams are jockeying for playoff position. Our destination is to get to the playoffs. This is a very, very important game.

Q. Are these games kind of like playoff games?

A. All of them are because you have a bunch of teams that are in a similar situation, so everybody is going to be fighting and giving everybody their best shots. They are definitely playoff games.

Q. What does it mean for you in terms of pride? I know you want this defense to excel the way that you think they can play. How do you step up a little bit more?

A. I think we have done very well in certain situations, but we haven’t played as well as I think we can. I think it is important for everybody to keep on listening to what the coaches are saying and go out there and try to execute our defense. I think if everybody does that, we will be pretty good.

Q. What does it mean in terms of confidence to get that win? The first one in 42 days, just to take a deep breath.

A. It is very important. We were getting killed around here. Coming to work wasn’t as much fun as it used to be when you were winning. Nobody likes to lose. We are accustomed to winning as of late. It was very, very important and we are happy to get that done.

Q. Is it exciting to be in this playoff race, to have your destiny in your hands?

A. Definitely. I have been talking to some of my boys who are on losing teams. Just going to work with no hope at all and knowing that you have no chance of going to the playoffs. I think that is a very frustrating feeling and I’m glad we are not in that situation.

Q. Does the short week bother you?

A. Not at all. I am actually happy about it.

Q. Why’s that?

A. You want to just play and get it over with. See exactly how the chips are going to fall. Sitting at home to see who wins and who loses, I don’t like that. We have our destiny in our hands and we have to go out there and fight.

Q. When do you eat the turkey?

A. No turkey for me. Hopefully we will be eating turkey in Denver, hopefully.

Q. When you go up against a quarterback who has a bad ankle, how does that change your mindset? Did it look like it bothered him on the film?

A. Not necessarily. I think San Diego did some very, very good things. When (Chris) Simms was in there, they attacked his blindside a lot. Orton, they seem to have a lot of confidence in him. They put him in there and they had some good drives. Turnovers cost them and I think that is why they lost the game. Him having a bad ankle doesn’t change our mindset. Pretty much we are going to go in there and attack any quarterback every which way we can. We don’t really think about that, we just go out there and play.

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