November 13, 2003
Q: One thing that tends to come out of what happened last Sunday is the sense of rededication, refocus on the group. Are you sensing that from this team?
A: Yes I am. I think we are all embarrassed by the way we played. I think we all want to redeem ourselves. I feel confident that we will go down there and that we will play well. I think guys are taking it upon themselves to get better and try and get a win this week.
Q: Do you find yourselves focusing a little bit more on the little things to simplify?
A: Yea. Jim’s whole message this week as been getting back to fundamentals. Whenever you have a game like we had last week, I think the most important thing and he thinks the most important thing and what he has tried to hammer away at us is to get back to the fundamentals and play fundamental football and that is what we have been trying to do.
Q: There have been times in your career whether it was the run in 2000 where you guys put together Do you draw back on experience where things just went stinker for a week or two and you guys were able to put it together. Does that help you get through a stretch like this past week’s?
A: Oh yea, no question. I have been through a lot with this team as far as down games and bad games and rough stretches. That is one good thing about being a veteran and being around for a while. You know that eventually it gets turned around. And even though last week was bad on everybody’s part we have a chance to redeem ourselves this weekend. We have done it before and hopefully we can do it again.
Q: Too much for us to say make or break week….
A: Well, we certainly aren’t going to give it up, but obviously we can’t give away too many more ball games. I think we all realize that.
Q: Since that last Philadelphia game they have kind of righted their ship a little bit; they put some wins together. Do they look much different from when you played them the first time?
A: They looked great the first time we played them. From a defensive standpoint they are playing well like they always have. They might be getting Dawkins back. They’ve got guys that are just play makers over there. So it’s going to be a big challenge for us. We have the crowd to deal with and we have never played there before so don’t know what kind of challenge that is going to bring. It’s going to be a tough ball game. We always know it is.
Q: It looks like McNabb may be turning the corner. What do you see in his progression in this season as a fellow quarterback?
A: I don’t know I haven’t really watched him that much. But I know he was catching a lot of heat early in the season and you have to give it to him for sticking it in people’s faces, basically what he is doing right now. He never lost his confidence; he never got into the bickering, never got to the level of people telling him he should be benched. He took high road and has proven people wrong and you have to respect that.
Q: …If you can’t get up for the Eagles, especially this particular Giants-Eagles game, you have issues bigger than we imagined.
A: Yea listen, we know where we are at in the season. We know what we need to do. Certainly every time we play these guys it’s always a tight game. It always seems to come down to one or two plays at the end of the game. We know what kind of volume it is going to be, but we certainly need to play better than we did last week.
Q: Is there more to prove because of the game from last week?
A: You always have something to prove every time you go out there. Regardless of whether you won or lost the week before, you still have to go out and prove yourself again. We are having a good week of practice; I don’t show any hangover effects.
Q: You were talking about simplifying fundamentals. How much more important is that because of the injury factor that comes into play?
A: That is something that we always battle. Certainly a guy like Jeremy who is a big part of our offense, takes a real weapon out of our game plan. It’s something you always have to deal with. We are not down. Obviously we are disappointed that we don’t have him but we have to be able to move on and I think the guys will step in and do a good job.
Q: What is the mood of the team?
A: Pretty good. You know, if I had to say, I don’t see anybody down. I don’t see anybody walking around with their head hanging out. I think guys have come back this week and practiced well and have a good attitude. I really believe we will go down and play well this week.
Q: Is there a reason over the past month their sack numbers are appreciable better? Are they dogging more or are they just getting after it better with the front four?
A: They just get after it with the front four. They create pressure with the front four and add on top of that a great blitz package. … It can really give us headaches. I know the guys up front are really doing a good job and just getting pressure with the four guys.
Q: This first time around did you feel at all like the running game was working with Dorsey. Do you look back at that as a game where your running game…..?
A: Yea. I definitely felt that we ran the ball in that game probably as well, or better, than we had all year. Certainly ….. Dorsey’s ….back or a breakout game for us. We are going to need that again this week. We need to have that balance and be able to run the ball a little bit and mix up the pass…. They are solid all the way around and they are a dogging defense and it’s going to be a big challenge for us.
Q: On the rookie Frank Walker
A: He has to work on his confidence a little bit. He is not a very confident guy. He has a lot of skills. He seems to be a very instinctual player. He is a very smart player. I think he reads receivers well. He breaks on the ball really well. He is a very, kind of, heady player. Some guys just have a knack and it seems like he has it. He is an aggressive player, too. He doesn’t just sit back. He challenges receivers. He is really a pain in the ass during practice. I remember seeing him in training camp, saying to Jim, ‘number 41 looks like he could be a pretty good player.’ I had never heard of him before. He seemed like a pretty good player and I think he is turning out to be one.
Q: Do you think they will try to pick on him
A: Yes it is. You are talking about maybe one or two plays in a game where you have the right play called and the right defense is played and that sort of thing.
Q: (Offense with Shockey out)
A: Obviously, it’s a little bit slower. Obviously he brings a lot of speed to our offense. But as far as what we are going to do, we are not going to do that much. We are still going to call the same plays. Guys are just going to have to step in and do a good job.
Q: Is there anything you can say to Tiki to help him with what he is going through?
A: Hell, I have to worry about throwing interceptions. It’s just part of the game sometimes. It happens and Tiki Barber has proved to be a (GREAT OR GOOD?) player in this League. He will come back and play well.
Q: Did it bother you guys what the coach said after the game on Sunday,
A: I kind of took it as, a little bit tongue-in-cheek. I kind of felt, obviously, very emotional, everybody heard what was being said and understands and that sort of thing. We have all said things after a game that, maybe you think back, and say, ‘oh maybe I shouldn’t have said that.’ I don’t think anybody really thought twice about it.
Q: Do you think this might be an easier place to play than the old Vet?
A: I don’t know. We will have to wait and see. The Vet was a special place. It really was. We will have to wait and see. I can’t image it being much harder, though. That was a pretty hard place to play.
Q: The atmosphere has changed a bit; particularly the end zone is not enclosed any more?
A: Yea, I would think it would. I am sure it will be loud and they will be obxious and all of that kind of stuff, just like it was at the Vet. I think it is a great place to play. Philly has some very passionate fans. I miss the Vet. When I was in little league we actually took infield on the Vet for a Philly’s game.
Q: Did they tear it down yet?
A: No, it’s still up.
Q: You have to be careful. The subway lines go underneath. I went there yesterday and they were giving seats away.
Q: Did you get one?
Q: Do you personally think about the whole idea of the window of opportunity closing, for you personally, knowing you are in your 30’s winning a championship… time running out?
A: I really haven’t. I have seen quarterbacks have success well into their 30’s and I feel like I have still got a few more years to at least play well enough to be a winning quarterback. I don’t really think about that kind of stuff.
Q: ………..how long, Strahan and Hammer………..
A: Yea, I think about that from time to time. Just the climate of the way things are in the NFL right now - people changing teams and the salary cap and all of that sort of thing. You hate to see guys like that go, but it is something I think we all have to get used to.
Q: You guys want to win this year. You have a lot of work…….
A:……we just want to win. I don’t think you can worry about that kind of stuff.