|Kevin Boss runs away from New England safety Rodney Harrison for a 45-yard gain in Super Bowl 42.|
A special treat for you today, Big Blue View Nation. I was able to speak with New York Giants' tight end Kevin Boss recently, and much of what we talked about is recorded below.
Boss, in New Jersey for the first week of 'voluntary' off-season workouts, was kind enough to spend about a half-hour answering my questions. He would have given me more time, I think, but I ran out of things to ask him.
I found him to be friendly, thoughtful and engaging. He seems to be truly appreciative of the opportunity he has with the Giants.
Hopefully, you enjoy what the Bossman had to say.
On the voluntary workouts the Giants are currently going through as part of the off-season program.
"It's nice to get back and see everyone. It's a good time. You just focus on working out, taking care of your body and getting stronger, getting faster. It's not a real stressful atmosphere."
Boss said the team alternates between conditioning, agility and strength training on different days. He said there is no practice, but there is some on-field conditioning and agility work. He also added that players can choose between starting their workouts at 7:30, 9:30 or 11:30 a.m.
On winning a Super Bowl as a rookie.
"I feel very blessed I was able to be part of that situation. I was fortunate to be drafted by the Giants, I could have been drafted by 31 other teams.
I was able to contribute and that made it even more special."
On his 45-yard catch in that Super Bowl game (the Kevin Gilbride haters in the audience will love this one).
I asked Boss if he remembered the play, and he said he would never forget it. He quickly answered "it was the first play of the fourth quarter."
Boss also said the play he and Eli Manning connected on was not even part of the Giants' playbook, and he credited Gilbride and tight end coach Mike Pope for coming up with the idea.
"Rodney Harrison was kind of cheating down and playing the run. We drew something up on the sideline."
On his development as a player after two years in the NFL.
"I think I've made great strides toward becoming more of a force. I feel like I can get better every year. I hope to establish a pretty good career here in New York."
Boss, who caught 33 passes last season, said he doesn't set numeric goals for himself, although he did mention a desire to be a 50-catch per season tight end.
He also added that he thinks his blocking is another area where he is continuing to try and improve.
"A lot of people doubted my ability. I've got a lot of room to grow in that area, but I've gotten a lot better."
On Plaxico Burress. (Yes, I had to ask. And, yes, Boss chuckled when I did because he knew I would get to the question eventually).
"Personally I would love for him to come back. I'm pretty confident most of the team would love for him to come back.
We all know we need him, and he knows we need him. He's a freak of nature.
We need him back, we want him back and we hope he comes back. He's not only a great football player, but he's a good guy ... enjoyable to have around. He's part of our family."
Not much doubt there about how Boss feels, is there?
On what he likes about the big city. (Boss, you will recall is a small-town guy who played collegiately at Division II Western Oregon).
Boss, 25, said he still gets "mesmerized by the buildings, the lights, the people."
"It never gets too old. There is always somewhere new to go."
On what he doesn't like about the big city.
Boss' short answer was "same thing."
"The number of people is overwhelming sometimes. I'm not used to that many people and cars and taxis. It's nice to visit, but I don't like to stay too long."
On the way the 2008 season ended.
"I think going into the playoffs we were all pretty excited. To lose there on our home field against a division opponent we know we can beat was disappointing."
Boss also added that it hurt even more because the team knew that it had beaten all four teams remaining in the playoffs -- Philadelphia, Arizona, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
"We could easily have been there (the Super Bowl). It's just a matter of getting hot at the right time."
On his love for basketball.
Boss played basketball for two years at Western Oregon, and admits that the sport is still his "first love."
"I think if you'd ask most guys in the NFL they would like to be in the NBA. It's easier on your body, and the contracts are guaranteed."
I asked Boss to name his favorite NBA team, and he really couldn't. He said he grew up a Detroit Pistons fan, watched the Trail Blazers a lot in college and now tries to follow the Nets and Knicks.
On whether or not he reads sports blogs.
"During the season I try to avoid reading anything to do with the Giants. It's safer that way."
Honestly, I probably agree with that.
Anyway, a huge thank-you to Kevin for spending a few minutes with me. Be sure to stop by Kevin's Web site, kevinbossman.com. Also, check out the clip below for one of my favorite plays from the 2008 season.