Hakeem Nicks Press Conference, 01.27.12

Q: How’s the shoulder?

Nicks: The shoulder is doing better, getting better day to day, still a little sore. Once I start working it out throughout the day it loosens up a little bit.

Q: Any chance it will slow you down?

Nicks: I expect to be full go by next week. Just want to give myself a couple days to try and get it back right and rehab it a little bit.

Q: How painful was it during the game?

Nicks: it was painful. I landed right on the AC joint that I injured a few times this season. I kind of landed right on top of it. I went in and got it taken care of and by halftime I was cool.

Q: Did you separate it?

Nicks: No, I landed right on top of the AC joint. It was an AC sprain.

Q: What was your first impression of number 80 (Victor Cruz)?

Nicks: I remember in his rookie year, the pre-season game against the Jets definitely jumped out at us. He made plays, he’s been a playmaker ever since.

Q: How do you study against opposition that you play?

Nicks: You have to look at the things they do. It was early in the season when we faced them. I feel like we are two different teams at this point. They do some things different, we do some things different. We are at a different place now. It’s on a big stage so you have to be ready to expect everything.

Q: What do you think about the Patriots having a wide receiver in their secondary?

Nicks: You don’t want to overlook him because obviously he is an athlete. He is playing both ways over there and making plays. It’s something you don’t want to overlook. They are here in this big game for a reason; whatever they have been doing has been working to get them to this point. We just have to take advantage of the opportunity.

Q: Do you think it’s weird that they have a receiver playing in their secondary?

Nicks: I don’t want to say it’s weird because like I said, he is an athlete. Maybe he is good at doing both, so you can’t overlook him. Whatever they have been doing up to this point has been working. They are where they are today, so you can’t overlook him.

Q: How do you think you would do in the secondary?

Nicks: I think I would do good.

Q: <>

Nicks: I think coming in as a rookie maybe, I think it really helps where you come from. I ran a pro-style offense in college so it was seamless to me. I just had to get down the concepts, patterns and stuff like that. Once you get it down, it’s all about reading defenses and reading coverages. If you could read coverages and what not, then we’ll be good.

Q: What impresses you about Kevin Gilbride’s offense?

Nicks: There’s always the ability for you to win in your routes, no matter what coverages they play. If they try to take one route away, you might have to convert to another route within the offense. You try to take one side of the formation away, then you have another coverage beater to the backside. It always works hand in hand.

Q: Where does Kevin Gilbride rank in your mind?

Nicks: I feel like he is one of the top coaches. This is not his first time here, he’s been around, he has a pretty good resume. He definitely puts us in the right position to make plays.

Q: Are you surprised he hasn’t gotten any head coaching offers?

Nicks: I don’t really look into that. He has been doing fine since I have been here. Eli is doing good so I don’t see any need to change.

Q: How big is it having Mario Manningham back?

Nicks: It’s huge for us. He has definitely been a guy that injuries have kind of hindered him a little bit this season, but he has done a good job of fighting through it. When we needed him, he has been flying high throughout the whole playoffs and has been making plays in clutch situations.

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