Kicker Graham Gano
Q. How disappointing is it that you weren't able to push through this and your body just didn't cooperate?
A: It's definitely disappointing. I think the first thing I said a few weeks ago when I popped up on the report was that if I could manage the pain and if I could play well and help the team win, then I'd keep doing it. That was what the reports were saying then on my knee, and things just progressed for the worst. The pain, the swelling, instability just kind of increased and I wasn't able to obviously do a good job on the field. We all made a decision to go ahead and get the surgery. I know it's frustrating, but those guys in there do a fantastic job and it just got to the point, you could see it on the field and just physically, it wasn't going to go well.
Q. How did you initially hurt it?
A: I'm not going to get into the specifics or anything.
Q: What type of injury is it?
A: I don't think I'm supposed to really get into specifics medically as well. I think the big thing is I was given a few options as far as surgeries go, and I chose the one that gives me the best chance to get back on the field and help us win games. I'm looking forward to that. It doesn't make it any less frustrating, but I want to return to the form that I had the first three years here.
Like I was saying, we have one of the best medical staffs in the whole league. I saw some stuff online about them and questioning them, and I don't swear often, but I think it's (expletive), honestly, because they're one of the best in the league. I would trust my own children with them. I love those guys. They've done a great job with me. I think my knee probably would have been a lot worse had I not been in there getting it taken care of by those guys. I'm excited to get it fixed. Disappointed in how the season went, but I'm excited to get back to making field goals.
Q. Is yor season definuitely over though?
A: I have no idea.
Q. You mentioned that you picked the surgery that would get you back quickest. What's the quickest timeline to get back?
A: I don't know. I'm going to have to talk to the doctors and the staff about it. I can't give you the timeline or anything like that. I've never been one to slack on things, I work my butt off. So, I'm going to give it my all to get back as quick as I can. As far as the timeline, I have no idea.
Q: So they haven't told you your season's over? That hasn't been the message?
A: No. Nobody's told me that, but my mindset is always if I'm dealing with some adversity, just attack it, and do what I can with it.
Q: Can you explain the timeline of how things went? You said last week you needed the surgery after the season. How did we get to the point where you need it now?
A: I don't know when I said it, but it just progressed. It's nothing that anybody did. It's just sometimes you can't control the body. I was trying to fight through the pain and manage it and the swelling, week in and week out, and even though I may have been managing the pain throughout the week and game days, the instability of my knee, the swelling increased to the point where it was limiting my ability to do my job at a high level. Once again, it's not an excuse for going out and missing field goals, I'm not going to lean on any of that, but I'm just excited to get it fixed and get back to the kicker I was the first three years here.
Q. Does any part of you regret playing on Sunday seeing how it turned out?
A: I don't really live life with regrets. Disappointed, for sure. I want to do well every time I step onto the field and I feel like I owe that to the fans, the organization, my teammates. Like I said Sunday, I've worked my butt off week in and week out to make my kicks, and when I don't see them going through, it's frustrating. I'm excited to get my knee better and get back on track. I think T-Mac (Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey) said it as well, if they put me on the field, they expect me to make the kicks, whether my leg's hanging off or not. It's no excuse and I should have put it through.
Q. Do you know (kicker) Randy Bullock? I assume you don't know (kicker) Cade (York) because he's new to the league.
A: I met Cade this offseason. Both great guys, super talented. Played against Randy a bunch of times, he's a great guy. I think the team's in good hands with either one of them.
Q. What was like the breaking point to you? Was it the pain? Was it the swelling? At what point did you say I have no choice but to go do this thing?
A: A few weeks ago, when we looked into my knee, it was one of those things that – my biggest thing was that I don't want it to get worse. So we looked at it, as long as I could manage the pain, the swelling and be successful, I was going to try and give it a go. I've fought through pain my whole career and it just got to a point where the swelling was too great, the instability in my knee was not great at all and I mean that's the biggest thing for kicking a field goal. You've got to have a good solid plant and stability in your leg, so once that was compromised, I was just trying to fight through it, and it got to a point I was like I'm just hurting the team. I signed a three-year extension, and my goal is to get back as soon as I can but also be great for the next three years. That's my biggest focus, try to help the team win games and be a great leader in the locker room.
Q. How much was that stability an issue on Sunday?
A: I'm not going to get into that. Like whether it was bad or not, I just missed the kicks, you know? Good news is I am going to get it fixed and get back to making field goals.
Q. How did you hurt it initially?
A: I'm not going to answer any of that stuff. It's just hurt.
Q. Does Miami sound right?
A: Does Miami sound right?
Q. He's saying when…
A: Oh, I've been hurt for three or four weeks, whenever the report came out, that's when I was hurt. I mean I was striking the ball well in Miami, I just missed from 55, you know? I can detail every single miss in my career, in extreme detail, but nobody wants to hear that, just got to put it through.
Q. I know it's a different part of the leg, but do they think it has to do, that was the leg you had hurt in the past?
A: Yeah, it's a different –
Q. Do they think it was sort of a result of like maybe overcompensating or just like the long term?
A: No, the area that I had surgery on when I was in Carolina, it looks great. The surgeon did a great job with it, it looks like it did when he operated on it, so that's good news, but just another area we've got to fix and like I was saying earlier I picked the surgery that will get me on the field the quickest. I've got three more years left here. You guys will hopefully be asking me great questions here about making kicks and records and all that here soon.
Q. Is it the same guy in Carolina doing your surgery?
A: My surgery was actually up here in New York last time. It's the same group of doctors that work with our team. Like I was saying before, they are the best. When I was in Carolina, I flew up here to have it done and I am going to have it done here as well and rehab with our guys. I'm not just trying to sugarcoat things; I mean they are the best. They are the best that we have and if I was somewhere else, I mean I'd want a staff like this as well. There is a reason why the NFLPA grades that come from players come out and our staff has a great, I think it was an A+ grade. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure it was A+ and it's one of those anonymous things, like it's not like our name is on it. It's all players from this locker room vote and I mean, the guys love them. Say what you want about it but the guys in this building love our training staff and our doctors.
Q. You keep saying you picked the surgery to get back on the field the quickest, is it fair to say they gave you a window for a timeline, but you just don't want to share it here?
A: Yeah, 100 percent.
Q. So, you know in your head. You kind of framed it earlier like I don't know, I don't know the timeline but what you really mean is you are not going to tell us?
A: I don't know the timeline for sure, but I have an idea.
Q. You just don't want to share it…
A: I think some things are better left not said.
Q. I just wanted to clarify that you know.
A: I don't, I don't know. I have a big range of an idea but yeah, I don't know. I mean, obviously nobody wants to be hurt for a long time, so I am going bust my butt to get back as fast as I can.
Q. You're fixating on the front end of that…
A: Yeah, I think that's one of the things that have helped me last long in this league, it's not the first time I've had a game like that, that Sunday or a season like this. I've bounced back and had Pro Bowl years afterwards, made a lot of field goals, hit 30 in a row two times or something like that, like it happens. And it's how you respond, and I've always chosen to have a good attitude about everything and to look at things positively and even in a negative situation you can choose your attitude and response to things, and I just choose to be positive.