clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Osi Umenyiora, 12.30.09

Q. Do you want to replay or rethink what you said in front of your locker after last Sunday’s game?

A. It was frustration man, definitely a whole lot of frustration. Given the fact that it was the last game at Giants Stadium, with all the things our predecessors have done there and all the things we have done there as a team and all the things that I think I have done as a player, to see the team play like that, especially on defense, and not being able to help them or play as much as I would have liked definitely made me angry and frustrated. I came in and just reacted without much thought, but it is what it is and we’ll move past that and go on from here.

Q. Coach Coughlin said that, ‘Osi is an important part of our team and we plan on having him here.’ Has he communicatedthat to you and does it make you feel like a significant part of this team?

A. I haven’t really paid much attention to any of that. I am pretty much focused on Minnesota and how we are going to handle winning this game because it is very, very important. All that other stuff I think will take care of itself and we will just move on from there.

Q. Have you talked to Jerry or Tom about the comments after the game?

A. I haven’t talked to them specifically but really, what is there to talk about? It is what it is, it’s an unfortunate situation but it is what it is.

Q. Miserable record aside, you do want to be here?

A. Oh, of course. I love this team. I spent the last seven years of my life here. I have a bunch of great friends here, I would love to be here, but the situation cannot continue the way it is. I think definitely some things are going to be changed, but I love this place, I love this organization, the front office, and the coaches. I am all in, but I think I am too good of a player for this kind of situation.

Q. Do you think you are still as much in their plans as you want to be?

A. I am not a general manager; I don’t know what is going on. I just play football, I have tried for the most part to do everything that has been asked of me for the last couple of weeks. Obviously I am a great competitor and a man of great pride, so it’s been difficult, it’s been rough. I have tried to keep my mouth quiet and keep my head down and do everything that has been asked of me, but unfortunately I let my emotions get the best out of me on Sunday and said some things that I shouldn’t have said. That being said, it is what it is and we will move on from there.

Q. Is this all about playing time or are there other things that are…

A. Like what Ralph, can you give me an example?

Q. You walked out of practice back in August and a lot of people thought that you and Bill Sheridan didn’t see eye to eye. Did that have something to do with it or was it that your playing time has gone down?

A. In a game of that magnitude, a game of that seriousness, just the way it went down and happened, obviously that’s exactly why I reacted like I did on that particular day. I was angry and frustrated and said some things that I wish I would have kept to myself but they came out and it is what it is.

Q. This is the first time in five years that you have a game that really doesn’t mean anything other than playing for pride. How do you get motivated?

A. Well, you have to get motivated, you don’t have a choice. We were 5-0 at one point, we lost I don’t know even how many games. Everybody is on us and saying how we are one of the worst teams in football and how can we let this happen. So if you don’t have the ability to get up for this game and put your foot down and say enough is enough and play with as much pride and respect as you can, then you are in the wrong sport.

Q. Have you reflected that this could be your last game in this uniform?

A. I mean, to be honest with you, I can’t get into that anymore. I think everything is going to take care of itself after the season is over with. I don’t know how things are going to turn out, but I want to be here, I love the fans, I even love you guys (beat writers), man. Imagine that. Everything is going to take care of itself, just put everything in the hands of the Lord, I am not trying to get all religious on anybody here, but that is pretty much all I can do and everything will take care of itself from there.

Q. Have your skills and explosiveness diminished because of the knee injury?

A.  Absolutely not, I am not sure what tape everybody else has been watching. It seems like everybody is watching a different film than the film we watch in the D-line room. I am just as explosive. I am still the same player that I was and I have Dr. Russ Warren, Ronnie Barnes and Byron (Hansen) and all those guys I thank for that because they did a tremendous job putting me back together and I will be in their debt forever. I don’t look at myself and see any difference in the player that I was before and I think anybody that knows about football and watches football will say the same thing.

Q. Has anybody from the coaching staff agreed with you that you should have been on the field more on Sunday?

A. We don’t talk about that. We just got pounded, 41-9, 250 yards rushed on us. I am not something that we are talking about right now, we have to find a way to fix that concentration and fixed what happened and that’s what everybody is talking about.

Q. How much do you personally and as a team need a big game here to send you guys off into the offseason?

A. Its important for us, for our coaching staff, for our organization, for our fans who are so used to seeing us perform at a certain level and we just haven’t done that consistently enough this year. I think we have one more opportunity to go out there and show that we are still a good football team and promise the next year and I think we are going to do that.

Q. Would you expect more time on the field on Sunday?

A. I don’t know what their plans are; I don’t know what they are going to do. Whenever my number is called I will go out there and I will perform like I have always done. There is no question in my mind about that but I have no idea what they are going to do.

Q. Do you believe that this will be fixed and you will come back next year and it will be good again?

A. I don’t know, man, I hope so. I think it’s a situation that can be rectified, but for me personally, I feel that not playing on first and second down and making the amount of money that I am making and then just coming in on third down and being chip blocked 90 percent of the time, I just don’t think they can continue to pay me just to do that. These are very, very smart people we are dealing with. They understand and are very, very intelligent, good businessmen and I just don’t see a way in which they will continue to do that. Everybody has their own situation and way of thinking and whatever happens we will just go on from there. I hope I am here, I love to be here, I am definitely under contract here, so I can’t tell you I am going anywhere. It’s all in their hands.

Q.  You talked about the situation being rectified. Would it be easier to be rectified if there was a new man calling the shots on defense for you?

A. I can’t take any shots at Bill. This is his first year at D-coordinator, he has done an admirable job in my book, and I hope he doesn’t get fired. Whatever happens, happens. I have no control over that. He is a good man.

Q. Clearly there is something different to rectify?

A.  All I can do is continue to do my job. Am I going to work harder this offseason than I did last offseason? Absolutely, not because I can’t. I busted my ass to try and get back in. So I don’t know what I am going to do differently but I am going to keep on working as hard as I possibly can and we will go from there.

Q. Clearly, there seems to be a disconnect with you and the coordinator, or he doesn’t value your ability the way other coordinators do. Do you agree with that?

A. Boy, you are trying to get me, man, but I won’t let you. I don’t know what you are talking about, man.

Q. This coordinator has made you a third down player?

A. I am not a third down player; I am not a third down rusher. I can play the run and I have played the run this year. I think I had a bad game against Denver, a bad quarter against Denver, and things kind of snowballed from there, but in actuality who on this team has played excellent every single game. Things happen, so I cannot take that away from myself because I am only in on third down and people say I can’t play the run. That’s absolute B.S because I can and the film is there to prove it.

Q. Do you think you were singled out on defense because they had to make a move to change the lineup?

A. I wouldn’t say I was singled out, but like I said, I think things needed to be changed at that point in time. They needed to shake some things up, I guess, because we obviously couldn’t continue going the way we were going. Myself, Fred and Chase were the people who obviously took the fall for that, but it is what it is. I’m going to keep my head up and I am just going to keep going.

Q. Are you cognizant of being labeled a mal-content and does that concern you?

A. Yeah, that is not in my character to behave that way. A couple of things that I said and did are not the way I represent myself at all. Given the frustration of the moment, I think I reacted, it’s not something that I plan on doing again or I don’t think or I hope not. I am just not that type of person and everybody who knows me knows that. At the end of the day, I am still a man of great pride and I am very much respected by a lot of people in the NFL and they know what type of player and person I am. So I can’t settle for anything less and I can’t settle for not being or playing because it’s just not right.

Q. You don’t know what the GM might do but might you go to them and say, ‘look this stuff has to clear up, and if you don’t consider me a three-down player, then give me my release or trade me?’

A. We have to focus on Minnesota right now and as soon as we are done with the Minnesota game all that stuff. I promise you, will take care of itself and we will go from there.