Jeremy Says He'll be 'Twice as Good'

One-on- one with Jeremy Shockey:

Q: Was your rookie year what you expected?

A: "I expected to do a little better. I did OK (74 catches, 894 yards, 2 TDs), but not enough touchdowns, not enough yards, not enough catches. Everything I tried to do last year, double it all by two. The touchdowns by six. I'd like to have 12 touchdowns. Double everything. I'd like to do twice as good as I did last year. I don't know if it's gonna happen. If we win games and they don't depend on me as much, it's fine."

Q: Do you expect to be a marked man this season?

A: "I was marked last year. You can say what you want to say, how many targets I'm gonna have on my body. Yeah, people want to get me. People wanted to get me last year. And people are gonna want me next year. But I'm gonna get them first."

Q: Any worries about people calling you a one-year wonder?

A: "Naw, this isn't a one-hit wonder. I got a great tight end coach [Mike Pope], I got a great head coach that's now our offensive coordinator and it makes it easy for me. It's not just me. It's the people around me. One-hit wonder, no. You've been out there watching practice. Does it look like a one-hit wonder?"

Q: What can you do for an encore?

A: "I dropped a lot of passes last year I coulda caught. A lot of touchdowns I coulda had. There's a lot of yards out there I left last year from not concentrating or whatever it was. You can always be better."

Q: Why do you hate losing so much?

A: "Who wants to be a damn loser, man? No one wants to be a [bleeping] loser?"

Q: Do you have a favorite play from your rookie season?

A: "I got a lot of bad plays that I wish I could redo but I don't think I have one favorite play."

Q: What would you want Giants fans saying about you?

A: "That I'm a competitive person and I love the game. I don't care about all the fame, all the glory, all the money or whatever. It's fun to me to play. And it's not a show."

Former Eagle Brian Mitchell ran into Shockey last season at a function.

"I told him, 'You're gonna always be hated by the teams you play against. But the moment you get on their team, they're gonna love you,' " Mitchell said.

Remember when Shockey dissed the Eagles secondary on radio? Then took it to them at the Vet?

"Deion Sanders told you what he was gonna do, and then he did it," Mitchell said. "Babe Ruth said what inning he was gonna hit the home run in, and he did it for the little kid. Muhammad Ali said, 'I'm gonna knock you out in the fourth round,' he knocks you out in the fourth round."

Kerry Collins predicted Shockey will become less demonstrative over time.

"The true mark of a great player is to do it week-in and week-out," Collins said. "I think he can do that without all that stuff if he wants to."

One of the defining Shockey moments came in Indianapolis against a safety who dissed him in that morning's local newspaper.

"I pointed it out to him that morning: 'Hey Shockey, look what this guy's saying about you,' " Collins said. "He ran the guy over, he stepped on his chest and the whole deal."

Jim Fassel will let Shockey be Shockey.

"He lives life with his foot on the gas pedal," Fassel said.

Collins chuckles at the mention of Broadway Jeremy.

"He's got that wild streak that a town like New York, people are gonna put him on Page 6 and do the Shockey features, and everything he says and does is gonna make news," Collins said. "He's just being himself."

What can he do for an encore?

"I guess you're gonna have to watch," Fassel said. " 'Cause I'll tell you on thing: He's good. And I'm not gonna stop going to him."

Shockey is redefining his position the way Lawrence Taylor redefined his.

"I think underneath it all," Collins said, "Jeremy Shockey wants to be the best player that's ever played the game."
Jul. 27,03