Q: Ready to go?
A: Yeah, I am beyond ready. I am excited --- back in action, had a great offseason, productive offseason, had a chance to have some down time, like you should, with family and friends. I got a chance to flex my entrepreneurship and have a good time, foundation, but also I kept training first and foremost. I was training four hours a day, hitting two-a-days every other day, so physically I am ready, mentally I am ready. I have been close to my scripture, so spiritually I am ready and emotionally, so it is time to get back to football.
Q: From the Xís and Oís standpoint, you finished the season really strong last year. How can you carry on and build on that success?
A: Yeah, just picking up where I left off. I have kept the same type of attitude since I have been here, since I have been in the league actually, and that is to contribute to the team and take advantage when you have an opportunity, and towards the end of the year I was blessed with that opportunity to get synchronized and get that chemistry with the offensive line, coming back to the huddle saying what I see, coming back to the sideline saying what I see, feeling what they feel and just kind of getting that consistency, so I am just going to continue to build on my craft, be ready when my name is called and try to fight and show that I can carry the ball a little more.
Q: Why do you think it took so long to get the run game going last season?
A: Again, it is going back to allowing that opportunity to get that consistency. I was granted that the last four games and if I am granted that this season, that is how I am going to run. If I am granted a couple carries, that is how I am going to run. I am here to help this team. This isnít about me. I am just a piece of the puzzle. We have a lot of good backs, younger and older, vets, rookies, so it is going to be fun watching everyone compete, but whenever my name is called, you know what you are going to get out of me. You saw it the last four games.
Q: What is it like having your offensive coordinator become the head coach?
A: Well, for me obviously, I have had him as an offensive coordinator for the last two years and now about to be a head coach. The way he commands attention in a room, how meticulous he is and the respect level he has for every single person, he is definitely the guy for the job. It is funny, though, because this is just a personal story, but when you are out on the field and something goes wrong with the offense, a tipped ball, an interception or a dropped ball, it is funny because he is the head coach, so he is upset that it happened, but he is also cheering the defense now, too, so that is just a funny dynamic to watch a coordinator go to a head coach, I am sure, whether itís offense or defense, but as far as his job as a head coach, he is the man for the job, no question about it. He is in house, he understands the architect of the team and he knows how to talk to every single person and get the best out of them.
Q: What was his message to the team this morning?
A: We havenít had that yet. Actually it is at noon, well, 11:55. We are still on that time.
Q: Last year there were a lot of guys in the running back equation. How much do you embrace getting the ball 20 times a game? How important is it for you to be the focal point of the offense?
A: I wouldnít say that. That is not important for me to be the focal point. What is important for us is to win, last time I checked. However, I can contribute to getting a W on the board, that is what I am here for, but we have a good group of running backs and everybody can carry the load, so it shouldnít be focused on that. It is about team chemistry, everybody playing their role, receivers catching and blocking, tight ends catching and blocking, offensive line catching and blocking, Eli throwing and commanding and running backs doing their job, so it is about the team, not about me.
Q: Do you have a sense of how good this team can be?
A: Absolutely, this team can be really good. By paper and by talent that we actually have on this team, so speaking especially from the offensive standpoint, going into year three, we have high expectations and this will be a disappointment if we donít complete what we are looking for.
Q: How is that different from last year? Is there a different feel?
A: I mean, we are going into year three. The first time you put in an offensive system, that is what you do, it is a system. The second year it becomes more of ours, and now it is just everybody understands what we are doing. I feel like we can line up right now and play a game because we understand the offense that well. With that being said, there is a lot for us to work on and that is what we are going to do here in training camp.
Q: It could be 9 or 10 starters back on offense. The defense has a lot of changes. Is there any reason for you to think that this offense should set their standards with being anything but the best offense in the league?
A: Absolutely. That is what you come out for. It would be silly for you to think --- there are 32 teams in the NFL. If all 32 teams are not out here fighting for a Super Bowl or thinking that they could be the best offense, then they are probably in the wrong business. With us, I think we have a little bit more validity behind it this year.
Q: Have you shifted your weight at all this offseason? Are you thinner?
A: Those glasses arenít working for you, man. Cut those things off. The offseason is over. I shift weight. I am still carrying my weight, but I train a little bit differently as far as more and studying film, watching, cuts, watching offensive linemen, understanding the system even more and I am built for this offense this year.
Q: Are you fine with staying on Coughlin time?
A: Yeah, I think it is a respect to somebody who is a Hall of Fame coach and has done so much for this organization and really exemplifies what Giant Pride looks like and to carry that over, I think it is an honor to him and I think it keeps us on track, too.
Q: You have been on some teams that have taken some lumps. How motivated are you to get on a winning team?
A: It is huge. I have never made it to the playoffs, ever in my career. I am going on year eight and I am definitely not saying that I am going into year nine without that.
Q: Are you guys used to the fact of coming to work without Tom Coughlin around?
A: I think we had that moment collectively as a team. I am sure everybody on the staff and organization that has been here for a really long time with him may feel that way. We understand. He is a coach that is there in spirit, anyway. He understands what is going on and every single guy out here is ready to compete, fight for a championship, come earn a spot and do it the Giants way, so that is kind of our focus, but there will always be small laughter and talks about Coach Coughlin in the locker room and around this building.
Q: When was that moment? Back in spring?
A: Yeah. That happened back in spring. It is a new era and I think the way you honor people is to take something further in which they left and I think this organization is going to continue to strive to get better.
Q: When you say that McAdoo commands a room, what do you mean?
A: So, not every single person is able to have that type of authority in front of men. I am sure that everybody has a job, everybody has a boss, they change before and sometimes when the boss speaks, it is like, ďUhĒ, and sometimes it is a boss that you listen to and he can command a room full of men and that is huge when you are talking about a coach in the NFL.