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Mathias Kiwanuka, 08.22.12

Q: Last year when Boley was injured during the season, there was sort of a scramble to replace him. This year, Boley has been out for a while and Rivers has just stepped right in and taken the job.
A: Yea. I think as a group, Keith has definitely taken on some of the responsibility. We still have Jacquian Williams who hasn’t had a chance to be out there as much as he’d like. He could step up into that role and having Chase from the beginning of the season definitely would make that kind of transition a little easier. I can’t say enough about what Boley brings to the table just because his awareness of situations. Whether he’s playing the mike or playing the will or anything else, he’s one of those guys who helps everybody be a better player when he’s out there on the field, so as a group, we’re going to have to try to take that on.

Q: Do you look at numbers and say how are we going to have everybody out there?
A: No because we’ve been in that situation here a few times. It’s a good problem to have. I think the Giants coaching staff, coordinators in particular and Perry in particular; have done a good job of getting talent on the field. If he has to come up with a new package or new personnel to get everybody out there, then he’s going to do it depending on how we match up against other teams.

Q: It seemed like a noticeable difference last year when Boley was out. Did you guys definitely feel it on the field?

A: Yea. It’s a leadership void. Not just in the linebacker room but out there on the field. He brings a lot to the table just because he’s one of those players who can play above the X’s and O’s because he’s been through the fire, he’s been tested and he understands it. He gets it. As a group, we’re going to have to step up and account for that.

Q: What impresses you most about Rivers?
A: This is not an easy system to pick up but he came in… He dedicated himself. Now what we do out there in preseason, it’s usually very vanilla. Him going through practices and picking up stuff and being moved from one side to the other and being able to just go out there and just his general attitude… add that to his athletic ability; he’s a pretty good linebacker.

Q: It seemed in the game that he had great speed coming from the off side to get into the backfield. Is that something you noticed?
A: The number one thing that you notice about him is his athletic ability. He can cover, he can rush, he can fill the gap. It’s all the other intangibles, things that you might not know, that’s what I want to talk about because you know he’s got the speed when you watch him on the field.

Q: Usually you can’t just add a guy like that.

A: It’s tough. It’s tough to just go out and get somebody. We definitely got lucky with that one.