The New York Giants began their off-season training activities (OTAs) Monday at the Timex Performance Center -- the first step in putting a disappointing finish to a playoff-less 2012 season in the rearview mirror. In a phone conversation Monday afternoon safety Stevie Brown said he wants to look forward, not back at what went wrong.
"I can't quite put my finger on what happened, I just know it wasn't the results everybody set out for," Brown said. "Only being here for one year and knowing the Giants' winning tradition and being on the inside and knowing how they feel about winning it's something I have been able to put in the past because we have this season coming up."
"I don't like to dwell on the past. That's history -- you learn from it, you move on. "
Brown said the beginning of the technically voluntary workouts was "kinda like the first day of school," getting a chance to see some teammates for the first time in several months.
After starting only one game in his first seasons in the NFL -- a year with the Oakland Raiders and a year with the Indianapolis Colts -- Brown took advantage of a knee injury to Kenny Phillips to establish himself last season. He tied for the league lead with eight interceptions.
With Phillips having moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles via free agency, Brown, 25, is now firmly entrenched as a starter in the Giants' secondary.
"I guess I'll be looked at a little differently by my players and coaches. Instead of ‘what can this guy do for me?' it's ‘how is this guy going to lead, how is this guy going to be able to set an example and be just as hungry as he was last year when he came here?,' " Brown said.
"I still go out there with the same mentality. Being a seventh-round pick and being let go a few times like I have been nothing's ever for sure. I'm still going out there to prove myself every single day."
Brown did say that he -- and the Giants -- will miss Phillips.
"I'll miss Kenny because Kenny was someone I could talk to. Even how it went down he never once if I ever came to him for any advice or asked him how he saw something he never held back. He always shared," Brown said. "When it comes to on the field Kenny's a great player. He can do a lot of things. We'll miss Kenny's athleticism, his ability to go down and cover the tight end, to get sideline to sideline in the post, his ability to fill in the box when needed. It's hard to replace somebody who can do all three and do all three well."
The Giants surrendered 13 passing plays of 40 yards or more in 2012, and only the New Orleans Saints (14) gave up more. Brown and the Giants know that issue has to be addressed.
"Miscues in communications is what led to a lot of the big plays that happened," Brown said."We have to all be on the same page so we can eliminate not everybody knowing what everything means.
"I knew the defense well, but if I may have heard something that didn't quite agree with me I would freeze as well. ... Just another year to be a little more comfortable in the system, being a little more vocal out there will definitely help out."
The 2014 Super Bowl is at MetLife Stadium, and Brown said the Giants, thanks to a reminder from strength and conditioning coach Jerry Palmieri, are all aware that no team has ever played in or won the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
I don't think it adds any pressure because just to get to the Super Bowl in general is pressure, but at the same time the goal every single year that you go into it is to make it to the Super Bowl and to win the Super Bowl," Brown said. "It would definitely be an honor to be the first team to make it and then be the first team to win in their own stadium."