K Graham Gano -- August 20, 2020
Q: I can remember sitting in the press box in Carolina and you made a 63-yard walk off field goal against the Giants. What do you remember about that and has anybody busted your chops about that now that you are here?
A: I had a feeling that would be the first question. I’ve heard it a few times. I think it’s probably best if I don’t talk about that much here. That was as good memory. I’m definitely excited to be here now and hopefully too many people don’t bring that up.
Q: When you get cut by Carolina and you haven’t played for a year, is there something in your head saying ‘is this it?’ Were you confident somebody would call you?
A: Yeah, extremely confident. I’m healthy now and I’m feeling really good. I have been kicking for a while. I was just excited for the next opportunity, it’s a nice fresh start. I feel like this is a great place to be. I’m surrounded by great people and it’s really been fun. I’ve only been here a few days but getting to meet the guys, the teammates and the staff. It’s been a really good experience for me.
Q: When you kicked today, what were your numbers? I assume you have worked with these guys before.
A: We started working together yesterday. It’s been very smooth. Riley (Dixon) and Casey (Kreiter) have been very good with the operation. It’s been really surprising how quickly we have picked it up. Today we made all of them. It was nice to be behind a line of scrimmage again. It’s fun, this is what I enjoy doing. It’s nice to be back playing football again.
Q: What was it like for you to be out for such a long time. What was that rehab process like? When did you feel like you were back? What makes you feel going forward that it will not be a problem and that you will be able to stay healthy and the leg is 100 percent?
A: I had surgery up here in New York at HSS with the best doctor that does what I had done, Riley Williams. I feel like my leg is better than it’s ever been. I feel strong and I’m just going to keep getting better and better. I feel really good. As far as missing time and all that, that’s just part of the game. Sometimes things happen that are out of your control and really you can control what you can. My mindset was I’m just going to keep getting better at what I can do and just move forward. I feel you always have to have a positive mindset. Sometimes life is going to throw things at you that are going to be tough. It’s how you respond to it is what matters.
Q: That leg was 100 percent around what point? Are we talking like months ago, six months ago, a year ago?
A: It doesn’t matter. It’s 100 percent now and I’m ready to roll.
Q: Have you had any discussions with Riley (Dixon) about that No. 9 jersey yet?
A: We’ve had a few discussions. I think he’s going to stick with 9, which is fine. I’m not worried about it. I’m just happy to have a number. I’m happy to be here and have a spot on an NFL team. It’s a blessing in itself. I think the number doesn’t make the player. The player makes the number. Whatever number they put me in, it really doesn’t matter to me.
Q: Can you just talk a little bit, do you have a relationship with Lawrence Tynes, and has he told you anything about this organization?
A: Yeah, I’ve known Lawrence for a long time. We actually had very similar experiences growing up. Both of our fathers were in the military. He grew up in Milton, I grew up in Pensacola. They’re right next to each other. Both Scottish born. I lost my accent a long time ago, but my mom’s accent is still very strong. Sometimes, I’m on the phone and guys in the locker room will pick up on it. But yeah, I’ve known him for a while. Obviously, he did some amazing things here. I’m excited to be able to follow in his footsteps and be able to make memories here myself.
Q: Just to follow up on that question, what has Lawrence Tynes told you about kicking in the northeast winds, particularly in MetLife Stadium, which is typically a very tricky stadium for kickers to operate in?
A: I disagree with you. I don’t think it’s too difficult. I played a bunch of games. I played for the Washington Football Team for a few years, I played the Jets here quite a few times and the Giants as well. I’ve had a lot of experience kicking in this stadium and just wind in general. Over the course of a career, you kind of learn how to manipulate the wind in different ways. It’s just one of those things you deal with, the conditions, as they come. I don’t really worry about it too much. Lawrence, I mean we’ve chatted off and on over the years. I don’t think he played in this stadium a whole lot. But yeah, I’m looking out at the stadium right now. I’m excited. I ate breakfast this morning looking at the stadium, just imagining kicking in it for the Giants. I can’t wait. It’s going to be exciting.