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Carolina coach John Fox, 12.23.09

Q. You have taken this team on playoff drives and this year, no playoff drive. What kind of motivation do you think your team will have on Sunday?

A. Our guys will come to play. We have a good locker room. Guys work hard. We have had some unfortunate things happen injury-wise this year. Guys have to step up and keep fighting. The guys who have stayed healthy are continuing to work. So we will give it our best shot.

Q. How has Matt Moore developed as a quarterback?

A. Well, he has only had six starts and three of those were three years ago. Most recently he just completed his third start. I think he has showed progress. I saw pretty good improvement from his first one in Tampa Bay to up in New England. I thought he had his best outing this past game against Minnesota.

Q. Did you intend to let him throw the ball as much as he did in that game or was it just the way the game turned out?

A. No, we haven’t dummied it up at all. We have got confidence that he can throw. He actually has quite a bit of talent in that department. We kind of tweaked the offense some to suit his skills a little bit. No, we just had our game plan and that is the way it worked out.

Q. It looks like Julius Peppers had a monster game this past week. How has he been playing all season?

A. I think he has had a really good year. He had a little setback; he broke his hand about six weeks ago. He played every game but he was a little bit limited as you could imagine. I think the last few weeks it kind of healed some for him. He has played well. I thought he played especially well Sunday night.

Q. You have been a part of the history of the Giants. This is going to be their last game at Giants Stadium. Any thoughts on that?

A. Yeah. I really hadn’t thought about it that much until yesterday I was made aware of that. In fact our writers asked me about it today as far as the memories and what not. I think a lot of fond memories I know for myself and I am sure a lot of people in that organization as well as the current team now. It will be interesting, that is for sure.

Q. Which memory is at the top of that list for you?

A. Probably our championship victory against Minnesota.

Q. As a defensive coordinator giving up no points, I guess that is a pretty good memory, huh?

A. No, actually at that moment you realize you are going to the Super Bowl. That was the first Super Bowl I had ever been to.

Q. I bet the game before that against the Eagles was up there, too?

A. That whole run was tremendous. That stadium, it is almost indescribable the energy and the excitement in that stadium. In those two games, I don’t know if I have ever been in an outdoor stadium that loud.

Q. You usually see a team lose both offensive tackles and that is usually the death-knell for an offensive line. You guys have seemed to kind of hold it together. Why is that?

A. The type of guys we have in our locker room. We have been through a few different spots that have gotten waylaid. I think our staff and our players have done a great job of hanging tough. The next batter’s up and he needs to get a hit. The one positive about when you have injuries is that guys get opportunities. Watching some of these young kids seize those opportunities is fun to watch.

Q. You plugged them in, but you had to shuffle them around, too. The continuity seemed to be okay. What do you attribute that part to?

A. The fact that they are here. Again, Mackenzy Bernadeau is a young player. He hasn’t really played a whole lot. He had been kind of floating along as our sixth lineman. When we had our first injury, unfortunately, it was at left tackle. Jordan Gross, who in my opinion is a premier tackle, we had to move a guy from left guard to left tackle in Travelle Wharton. Heck, he hadn’t played there in years. Mackenzy went in there at left guard and he has gotten better each week. There is nothing like game reps and until a guy gets in there, you don’t really know what to expect. But those guys have battled.

Q. Coming into this season, there was a lot expected of the Giants defensive line. For the most part, it didn’t pan out. Last Monday night it seemed that the lights came on. Did you see anything different?

A. I think sometimes it is hard to be on top of your game all the time. I think you are going to have ups and downs in the season. The other teams are practicing and getting paid, too. You are going to have moments. I think towards the end and how you finish the race guys have picked it up. They’ve got talent. They’ve got guys who have played before and been in big spots. Sometimes it’s how you match up and the opponent you are playing against. I think they have played good defense. They have been solid. They are in the top five or six on both sides of the ball. Sometimes things go against you. Last week they had a lot go their way.

Q. Have you felt any pressure as far as job security?

A. It is something that I don’t think about much. My focus is on the Giants right now. I don’t really think about it much. I am completing my 20th season, so I don’t worry about job security much.

Q. Last year you came into Giants Stadium looking for the number one seed for the playoffs. This year you come in with nothing really at stake. How has this year been for you?

A. I think anytime you are sitting at 6-8 with two games to go, it is not ideal. A year ago, like you mentioned, we were a little more competitive up to that point. Each season brings on new tests. This has been a hard season. Like all seasons, you enjoy them and make the most of them. I really haven’t thought much about last year. Other than that was a heartbreaking game for us from that standpoint. It was a good game, but unfortunately we were on the wrong end of it. I am not really trying to compare the seasons.