Q. You look at your schedule and you have the Giants and Cowboys back to back. Even though you guys are out of the playoffs, do you look at this an opportunity where you can do some damage to two of your division rivals?
A. No, we don’t take that approach. I have never really liked that approach where a team says we are going to try to be a spoiler of somebody’s season. Our focus is just on winning the football game. You know this is the New York Giants we are playing. A team in our division, rival game. So our motivation is that in itself, not trying to play a spoiler for the Giants. It is more about winning the football game.
Q. After the struggling start to your season, the last four weeks you have won a game and have come very close to winning against some pretty good teams. What has been the difference? What are you guys doing better now that you weren’t doing earlier?
A. I think we’ve got some young guys that are stepping up making plays, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Fred Davis, Devon Thomas, they are both making a lot of plays for us in the passing game. We’ve got some guys stepping up on the offensive line protecting the quarterback a lot better. Playing with more passion and guys are just having fun playing. Earlier in the year, I don’t think we were really having fun playing the game. We were playing more not to lose as opposed to trying to win the football game.
Q. Do you think because you have turned around a little bit as of late that you may have been overlooked by some of those teams?
A. I think about the Cowboys and Philadelphia, those are two teams that are in our division, so they kind of know that regardless of the record we are going to play them pretty tough because they are division games. The Saints, we have had some pretty good success against them the last couple of years, so I can’t say that they overlooked us either. I think at the end of the day we are just playing a lot better football. So I can’t say that teams overlooked us at all.
Q. You haven’t played the Giants since Week 1. They went on to be 5-0 and everyone thought they were one of the better teams in the league. Are you surprised how they have kind of fallen here the last month or so?
A. Yeah, I am because when you look at the way they started the seaon they were undefeated, like you said, 5-0, toast of the NFL. Since then some things have happened. I know they have had some injury situations, some other things that have come up that have gone against them in terms of being able to win football games. Now they are 7-6, something like that, I don’t remember exactly what their record is, it is a bit surprising because when you look at the Giants they have been one of the upper echelon teams in the league the last few years.
Q. You are a guy who obviously stops the run. When you look at the Giants running game it really hasn’t gotten off the ground for most of the season. What do you see as the reason they haven’t been as successful this year as they have been in years past?
A. Oh man. I really can’t say for sure. They always seem to run the ball pretty good against us. Jacobs is a big back who has some speed. He is able to get to the corner, get to the edges and make plays. Bradshaw has a lot of speed, change of pace type of back, they do some different things, different types of runs with him. They have a really good offensive line, good backs, I can’t really say for what the reason is. Teams may be more cognizant or keying in more, putting more of a commitment into stopping their run game. Maybe that has been their focal point.
Q. Brian Orakpo was named Defensive Player of the Week this week in the NFC. What do you see in him as a rookie?
A. I see he has a lot of maturity. He doesn’t carry himself like a rookie, doesn’t play like a rookie. When I say carry himself like a rookie, he is focused. A lot of rookies, when they come in they don’t necessarily have the focus that you need to be successful in this league. When he is in the building he is all about football, studying his opponents, understanding what he needs to do to improve week in and week out. He is not distracted, so to speak, so with that he has a tremendous amount of maturity coupled with his talent level and his work ethic that has led him to have great success for us.
Q. From the outside it has looked like a difficult year for your head coach. How has Jim Zorn weathered this whole thing in your mind?
A. I think he has stayed the course that he’s believed in and his coaching ability. Obviously he is a good coach because to ascend to a head coaching position, obviously you have been a good coach in this league. He has trust and belief in what he’s coaching, what he is teaching. He has a strong faith in God, so that helps him in terms of dealing with these. A lot of times these don’t go the way you like them to go and he has leaned on his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has definitely professed his faith to us.
Q. You said you don’t really buy into the spoiler role. Do you think some of your younger teammates will get into that?
A. They are too young to know anything. Young guys, they are not cognizant of that, I don’t think. For us, they are just looking at it as a great opportunity to play the New York Giants. A division opponent on Monday Night Football. There are a lot of great things that have to do with this game. Records aside, we both could be in the division race or both of us could be out of the playoffs, it wouldn’t matter. It is going to be a tough, hard hitting football game.
Q. You know both teams, which is going to make the playoffs, the Giants or the Cowboys?
A. I am not getting into that. I think whichever one is able to play the best football down the next three weeks. That is the one who is going to make the playoffs.
Q. You guys will have a big say in that?
A. Yeah, we will have a big say in that.