NYG Postgame (at Cincinnati Bengals) Transcripts: K Graham Gano
November 29, 2020
Q: Hey Graham, can you just take us through what these last two weeks have been like for you?
A: Man, it was rough. We go from the high of beating the Eagles and then finding out the next day I had Covid. Our medical staff, our trainers and everybody are fantastic. Even our team helping me out throughout the week when I was sick, bringing food and things I needed, it was awesome. A bit of a roller coaster, but I’m happy that I was able to come back and play today and it’s all because of the guys and everybody with the team around us.
Q: We all saw that video of you with the kicking net. Was that in your apartment, hotel room or where were you actually at when you did that?
A: That was in the hotel room, that’s where I call home now. I was in there and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to kick before today with the team, so just wanted to make sure I was getting some reps in somehow. Yeah, I was able to get that and not make any neighbors mad, so that went well.
Q: I think I’ve been in rooms next door to somebody doing that a couple times in hotels. Graham, what happened on the kickoff return for a touchdown?
A: That was all my fault. I’ve got to kick off better directionally – you know, I hit it down the middle of the field and that just puts the team in a bad position. I knew going off the field, I told coach that as well. I’ve got to put us in better position and at the end of the day, I’ve got to make that tackle, too. I thought I had him and just did a poor job tackling. I’ve made enough tackles in my career that I know what to do and I just didn’t do a good job there, so all around I feel like you could just put that on me. At the end of the day, I’ve got to have a better kick and I’ve got to make the play if it comes to me to tackle a guy. Yeah, that’s what happened on it.
Q: Any rust there? Was that a case of had you had been on the field all week, that might not have happened?
A: I mean, everybody deals with something, especially this time of the season, so I can’t put that on being sick for a week or whatever. I‘ve just got to go out there and hit a good ball. I felt like I hit it well, it’s just I didn’t hit it where it’s supposed to go. At the end of the day, if I’m on the field, they expect me to execute. I’m a professional and with that, I’ve got to take the blame whenever I don’t do well. That was all on me and our guys have been doing a fantastic job all season long with kickoff coverage. I’ve just got to put them in a good position to be successful.
Q: About just the field goal operation of not having been able to practice and then you’re out there in a game situation? Was it smooth the entire time, were you a little nervous early on and did you get a rhythm going as the game went on?
A: Those guys are so good at what they do. I mean, our line and [LS] Casey [Kreiter] and [P] Riley [Dixon] are fantastic, they make my job easy. It was a little different because I wasn’t able to kick with the team this week, so my first reps with the team since the Eagles game were today. That was a bit different, but fortunately I’ve been doing it for awhile and I’ve got a bunch of kicks to kind of go back on. I was confident in it, shook a little rust off at the beginning, but once we got that first PAT out of the way, it felt good from then on.
Q: How would you describe what life was like having to be quarantined away from your teammates and your family and friends? What was that experience like being isolated like that and having to try to pass the time with whatever you could?
A: That was terrible. I got so tired of being on my phone and on the computer or watching movies. I would sit and look out the window, just couldn’t wait to get back outside. You know, there are so many people around the world right now struggling with the same thing, so I just feel blessed and fortunate I was able to come out of it and be fine. But there are a lot of people out there that aren’t so fortunate right now, so I feel like you’ve just got to keep praying for those people and I’m just happy that I was able to have good care around me and I was able to come through. I feel pretty good right now.
Q: On the positive side, another thing that happened since you tested positive was you signed a contract extension to stay with the Giants. What does that mean to you, especially with what you went through last year and getting cut, then winding up here and that you signed with them long-term now?
A: I mean, it’s such a blessing for my family and me. Since day one being here, it just feels like a home with the Giants, it’s just awesome. The people from top to bottom, everybody is just fantastic, so it made our decision easy when I was talking with my wife and my agent. I’m just so excited to be here and happy to be playing football again. Like you said, about a little over a year ago, I wasn’t sure if I was going to play football again after having the surgery on my femur, so it’s just a true blessing to be able to play the game I love and I love being up here and playing with this team.
Q: What kind of symptoms did you have and was there any point where you worried that you wouldn’t be able to come back anytime soon? And today, were there any physical concerns or things that you had to battle through as you were kicking or playing?
A: Yeah, I had the fever, body aches, headache. The fever got to be pretty aggressive, but I don’t think there was a time I was really worried. Today, I was a bit fatigued. I mean there were things here and there that I had to kind of work through, but at the end of the day, they trust me to go out on the field and kick the ball, so I was able to do that. They’ve taken good care of me the whole time, so I just feel like I’m going to keep getting physically better from here on out.
Q: You could taste those meals then?
A: Yeah, I lost my taste. That was tough, but thankfully I got that back before Thanksgiving. The team did a great job making meals for us, so I was fortunate to get my taste back before that.
Sounds like a good teammate too, putting the blame on himself for the return even though that's not fully true.