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Mathias Kiwanuka Transcript, 07.26.12

Q: Back already. Does it feel like it was just yesterday?

A: It does, it does, but it’s a good feeling because we came off of a great season. We’re ready to put another one together and this is the beginning of it right here. So all our goals and dreams are right in front of us. You’ve just got to go get it.

Q: What do you look forward to the most, as you’re stepping into camp?

A: Breaking camp. No, it’s just having the opportunity to get back with the guys, we joke around in the locker room again, and we’ve already put last season behind us, but this is the real next step going towards this season and we’ve got another chance.

Q: There are no distractions this year. Are we sure this is Giant’s training camp?

A: I’m sure we’ll find some distractions. I’m sure you guys will find something to make a distraction, but I mean, everything is in the right place right now. So, looking forward to it.

Q: What did you see in the mini camps and the spring workouts that you really like in this team now?

A: Just that everybody’s focused. Everybody’s rededicated. We have a good core of guys, the older guys, who have been around for a number of years, and watching the young guys develop. I think, as a group, everybody’s got the right mindset.

Q: Mathias, four years ago, the team used the Super Bowl victory to really come out flying the next season. Do you see that happening again?

A: I mean, we hope we start off the same way. Now we hope we finish the season a little differently than we did that year. I think the momentum can carry. It could be a good thing. It could be a bad thing, depending on how you use it, and I feel like as a group, we have the right mindset. We’re not looking back on last year. What’s done is done, but we’ll take the successful things we did and try to recreate that again this year.

Q: But because you won it, do you feel as you start camp that you are the best team in football because you won it last year?

A: I mean, until you lose, you’ve got to be called the best right? I mean, it’s a new year, it’s a new season, but we have the crown and we’ve got that target on our back and we know it. That’s why we’re going to look at it that way. Not to put ourselves above anybody, but just to remember that when we play a team, we’re going to get their best game, we’re going to get their best shot.

Q: It seems like this team always steps up when there’s a chip on its shoulder.

A: Yeah, but we shouldn’t need any extra ….. I mean, you’re a man …… we shouldn’t need something else to ….. play hard, but wherever we find our motivation, we’ll take it.

Q: Do you have anything that’s going to add to that motivation right now?

A: Just the desire to win. We’ve been there, recently. Everybody, not everybody, but most of the people who are showing up here to camp were there, on the field, when the confetti came down and we know how rare of an opportunity that is, and how good it feels, and we want to get back there again.

Q: Last year was the first year of the CBA, but because of the way things worked out, you were home. How do you expect camp to be different, if at all?

A: Just small things here and there in terms of scheduling and accounting for meeting time and practice time, but all that stuff is taken care of without us even knowing about it. I think the only difference really is that last year we were in Jersey and this year we’re in Albany and we know how to play, we know how to practice wherever we go.

Q: Are you surprised at how much chirping there is around the league? In Philly they’re saying they’re a dynasty.

A: Am I surprised they’re chirping in Philly?

Q: And even Carolina is guaranteeing they’re making the Super Bowl this …..

A: This is the time you’re supposed to say those kinds of things. If your confidence isn’t high going into the season, then you don’t have a chance at all. So, for us, that’s just not what we’re about, we’ll let our play do the talking, with all those clichés you can throw out there, but for everybody else. I hope they feel confident. As an NFL player going into camp, you better be a little confident in yourself.

Q: You guys were on such a roll at the end of last year. Can momentum have a six-month shelf life?

A: Can momentum have a six-month shelf life? I mean it all depends on what we do. We’ve got to create new momentum right now and like I said, it’s a clean slate, it’s a fresh start, but we’ll try to recreate the positives that we did last year and use that to push us forward. As far as momentum, it remains to be seen.

Q: How much does it help that there’s not that many changes around here. I think you have around 21 or 22 starters, projected starters, who played significant minutes last year.

A: No, that’s huge. To keep the coaching staff intact and keep, for the most part, the team that was out there contributing a lot. That doesn’t happen all the time and we know it, so that’s one of the things we’ve got to take advantage of.