DE Jason Pierre-Paul
April 20, 2017
Q: What was this offseason like for you? The whole franchising and signing?
A: Typical offseason for me. Just no plan, working out. Trying to get better.
Q: Was there any doubt that you were going to get the contract done?
A: I wasnít worried about that. My play took care of itself and we finally got something done. Now, I just worry about football.
Q: When it did get done, what was your reaction?
A: OK. It was OK.
Q: Does it change in your mind now that there is a huge commitment in you?
A: Iíve been here eight years, man. Iím a vet. I know the game and know how to play the game. Teach the young cats. It was the same way when I came in and I was looking at (Justin) Tuck. I have to teach the young cats, the rookies that are coming in and the other rookies from last year. Make sure they play, help the team get better and help the team win another Super Bowl.
Q: How do you feel coming off your surgery?
A: I feel good. Iím walking and Iím running. Iím here at OTAís participating in every activity that they have. Iím OK.
Q: How special is it to you to continue your career with the Giants?
A: Iíve been here for the long run. It looks like Iím going to retire a Giant. Not yet though.
Q: Do you think there is enough here to be legitimately considered to make a run?
A: I think if we put in the work, be consistent, do what the coaches tell us, we have a very good chance of getting there again and actually getting to the Super Bowl. Thatís the goal. Everyone starts OTAís thinking that weíre here to put the trophy in the case. Thatís what we start to do right now. I think if we do what coach asks and weíre consistent, weíll get there.
Q: When you were watching the game in Green Bay, the pass rush wasnít as good as it is when youíre out there. Were you thinking that at all?
A: No. I was just upset with myself. You canít predict injuries. Thatís one thing you canít do. I felt that I wouldíve helped tremendously out there, but I couldnít be out there to help my team.
Q: You had so much success last year and now most of the guys are back. Because of that continuity do you feel that you guys could get even better this year?
A: Weíre here to just get chemistry. Thatís what we have OTAís for and training camp. Guys have to know how guys play with each other. Every year you come in thereís something different that you have to work on. Thereís something different that I have to work on. Thatís why weíre here. To get good chemistry with each other. We know how each other rush. You bond with your teammates. Weíll get there.
Q: Is this locker room comfortable with being potential Super Bowl contenders?
A: Like I said before, if we put in the work, we should get back to the playoffs. Hard work beats talent. I live by that. You put in the work, we should get to the playoffs.
Q: There are people that think this team can be special.
A: You put in the work, youíll get to the playoffs.
Q: How do you replace Hankins?
A: Itís next man up. Hank was a good player. I understand his situation. He did whatís best for his family. I had a brief talk with him. Hankís a good guy. I watched to see him grow here as a player and as a man. I had some great times with him. He moved on. Next man has to step up. Jay (Bromley) and Robert (Thomas), even the other guys they bring in. They have to step up and fill that void. Weíll do the best we can to help them out, teach them to get after the quarterback and stop the run. Weíll be alright.
Q: Was that disappointing to lose him?
A: Itís not disappointing. Itís a business. Just like you report and tell stories. If you donít have a good report nobody is going to listen to you, right? Itís a business. You have to understand that.
Q: Do you pay much attention to the draft?
A: I donít pay much attention to it. Iím just hoping that the guys that we draft can come in and help us right away. Thatís the big thing here. Even as a rookie, rookies can help too.
Q: Do you feel that way about the offensive moves you have made?
A: I donít worry about the offense. They do their thing and weíre going to do our thing.
Q: Do you feel like this year, in your game personally, youíll be able to do as much as youíve ever been able to do?
Q: Did you feel that going into last year?
A: I felt that I was just getting warmed up. Like I said, you canít predict injuries. I was just starting to get on a roll. Iím over the hump, still rehabbing and trying to get better. Once I get over that hump, Iíll be good to go. Iím set.
Q: Was anything related to overuse?
A: No, I donít think it was overuse. I know my body. It wasnít overuse. Me personally, I can play every snap that I can. It is what it is. This is football. I love playing football. My son understands it now. He says, ĎDada, football?í Iím on the football field running. It wasnít an overuse thing. Itís just something that happened.
Q: What does the loyalty the organization has shown to you mean to you?
A: It means a lot. Iíve been here eight years and Iím still going. It means so much. For everything Iíve been through, they stood behind me. Iím here.
Q: There were some reports that Dallas was interested in you. Was that ever serious?
A: Yes. A lot of teams were interested in me Iím pretty sure. Iím here. Thatís the most important part.
Q: Are you going to be OK for minicamp and training camp?
A: Weíll see.
Q: Are you still restricted?
A: I donít know. Iím just out here doing whatever I can. As of right now, Iím doing whatever I can to help the team. Thatís all.
Q: What surgeries did you have?
A: I had two abdominal and two groin surgeries.
Q: That was a little more extensive than you thought?
Q: Was it two different times?
A: Four things at one time in one surgery.
Q: Whatís your message to Giants fans about how good this team can be?
A: To the Giants fans, weíre going to put the work in this year and try and put the fifth trophy in the case. I know we fell short last year, but it was great to be back in the playoffs. Weíre trying to get back to the playoffs this year. Letís roll. We need the fans and all the support we can get. Iím ready to roll and so are my teammates with me.
Q: You said last year that you donít view yourself as a leader. Is that the same now?
A: I lead on the field. Thatís just me, period. Iím still the same Jason. I lead on the field.
Q: That hasnít changed?
A: That hasnít changed. Iím starting to be a little bit more vocal. A little bit.
Q: Do you feel that your best days are ahead of you?
A: Yes, definitely. I think the best is yet to come. Like I said, I love this game. I wouldnít trade anything for it. Still blessed to be playing this game. Iím just ready to bring it. I feel much better. My weight is 265. I think Iím going to play at that weight. I came in at 290 my rookie year. 290 to now.
Q: What did you play at last year?
A: Last year I played at 275.
Q: Whatís the advantage for you?
A: Iím quick. Faster and stronger.
Q: Whyíd you want to do that?
A: Iím older. When you get older, you canít stay the same. You canít eat the same. You have to change. Football consists of changing. You have to change things to get better. Thatís what Iím doing.
Q: Did the team suggest it?
A: No, I did.
Q: (Michael) Strahan lost weight at the end of his career. Did you ever talk to him about that?
A: No, not really. I never heard that. I guess Iím doing the right things.
Q: Since youíve been here, itís been an opener with Dallas every year. Do you like that and would you like to see that again?
A: Me personally, I donít care who we play the home opener. Weíre just trying to win as many games as possible to get where we want to go. No matter the opponent we have to play, we have to knock them out one by one. We canít just jump ahead of ourselves. Weíre going to take it one by one. Whoever we play first. Iím pretty sure itís going to be the Cowboys. Itís always them.
Q: Have you set a goal for this defense?
A: Thereís no goal. Like I said, itís just the consistency we have to have. We have to come out and work hard. Guys are doing that now. At the end of the day, we have to come out here and work hard. We have to be relentless. Thatís what weíre doing.