Q: What were your thoughts on Ann Mara giving Terry Bradshaw an ear full after the game?
A: It was funny when I actually got the opportunity to hear about it. I think I was on the field interviewing so I missed all of that. A lot of people haven’t given us a shot and we kind of like it that way. For all the odds makers out there, keep rooting against us.
Q: Would you ever cross her?
A: Would I cross her? Absolutely not. Not at all.
Q: What do you remember most about the Super Bowl?
A: A lot of the guys that were not a part of that game came up to me and we were talking about watching it and seeing how I played in that game. I really don’t remember much about it until I go back and watch the game. I remember the sack and things like that but how I beat him and what happened within those plays, I don’t remember much about them. That is the type of game that you are so into playing it, a lot of the small stuff just goes by the way side.
Q: What does this season say about both teams’ resolve?
A: It says a lot. It says that you could never count both of these teams out. With the quarterback play, you have to believe that you are always in the game. Eli and Tom are two of the more elite quarterbacks in this league and when you have people like that leading the charge, you are never out of a football game. It says a lot about these teams and their ‘no quit’ attitudes. It has been that way and if you ask the Patriots that same question, I am sure they will say the same thing. In the fourth quarter and it is close, they feel like they are going to bring it out because they have a quarterback like Tom and we feel the same way. Eli has done it all year and it is a feeling that you have as a team.
Q: How much does the past matter in a game like this?
A: I think in this game, you can throw out the past. Of late, we have had pretty good success against them. We beat them this year but it is the Super Bowl and I am sure they are going to do something that we have never seen before and it is going to come down to the team that executes this day. It is not going to have anything to do with previous matchups.
Q: Can you tell us why you are happy Tom Coughlin is back in the Super Bowl?
A: I am happy for coach Coughlin to be back in this game because he is coaching me and that means I am back in this game. I think he deserves it and he has done a great job of continuing to believe not only in himself and what he brings to the table but also because of this team. At 7-7 everybody and their mom was counting us out but he just stayed persistent and stayed true to who he is as a coach and a person. It trickles down when you see a person has faith in you when nobody else does. It is kind of easy for us to continue to have his back and do our best. We have been rewarded for that.
Q: How much of a lift is it to know you beat them without a lot of players playing?
A: I think the biggest thing for us was that it has been a confidence boost playing how we played against teams when we weren’t at full strength. I wouldn’t dare say that we are atfull strength now too because we are in week 20 something and everybody is beat up in their own right. We are probably as healthy as we have been all year and we have everybody back that we came into the season with. We feel very confident that we can play with anybody. The Patriots have won 10 and they are back in the Super Bowl. That is a very good team and they are kind of like us because they know how to win in the playoffs. Our confidence level is high and we feel good about where we are as a team.
Q: What is it like to play against Tom Brady?
A: Every time you play against Tom, you have to go to the drawing board because he is definitely going to look at what we had success against him with the first time and come out with something to beat that. You have to do something different. He is that type of quarterback that by the second quarter, he probably has a sense of what a team wants to do to him and his offense. We are going to have to have a few game plans in and it is going to be a chess match. I think every quarter we will have to throw something at him that he hasn’t seen or hope that he hasn’t seen from us. That will have the ability to slow down his reads because if he gets a sense of what you want to do to him before he snaps that ball, it is going to be pretty much impossible to stop him with the weapons that he has around him and his knowledge of defenses. He is a clutch player in his own right. It is going to be a chess match.
Q: Why have you had some much success against him?
A: It comes down to 11 guys playing as one. He thrives on mismatches and I think we match up well with them. With those tight ends and Wes and Branch, they can pretty much go with any route that they want to go with to create mismatches. The people that we have in our secondary, we have safeties that play like corners and we match up pretty well with those guys. They are going to do some things that we may not be ready for at the beginning of that football game and it is going to come down to adjustments. Hopefully we will be able to make those adjustments to whatever they have shown that we haven’t seen and making it to a close game and keeping them kind of stopped on offense.