Carpenter: A Giant Challenge

IRVING, Tex. - The Ranch Report sits down with Bobby Carpenter for an exclusive 1-on-1 interview.

The announcers during the Giants' game Sunday against the Redskins were saying how different their offense looks, because of the absence of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. Do you see major differences in their schemes and the plays they're running?
Bobby Carpenter: They spread it out (against Washington) a little more than people were accustomed to, but at the end of the day, they're still running the football, and running it very effectively, and when you run it effectively, you can kind of choose what you want to do, and they were doing that in that game and had tremendous success.

Were you surprised that they didn't beat the Redskins by a more decisive margin?
Carptenter: It was 17-0 at one point, wasn't it? If you're up 17-0 in the NFL, you're doing a pretty good job — you're obviously doing something right. All you can do is watch the film, and we saw them moving the football more or less whenever they wanted to, and doing a terrific job of it. You just don't want to make mistakes at the end of the game, but early on, they were pounding it, and they were throwing it and having success, and any time you can do that, you're going to be tough to stop.

Last year the Giants had two big receivers in Burress and Toomer who are now gone. From what you've seen on film, how much has their passing game changed in terms of the kinds of plays they like to run?
Carptenter: The New York Giants are the New York Giants — they're going to try to do the same thing until you stop it. They're a run-first team, but they've got some talented receivers and they utilize those guys the best they can. They're a run-first team. Their receivers are talented, but at the end of the day, they want to run the football.

What about from the perspective of your defense — with those guys (Burress and Toomer) gone, does it change how you approach this game with your defensive scheme?
Carptenter: When you have a guy like Plaxico Burress, it changes the game a little bit, in terms of your (defensive) game plan. But in theory, we're pretty much going to try to do the same thing. This is a game of execution, and we just have to out-execute the other team.

With a guy as big as (Giants running back) Brandon Jacobs, people sometimes talk about how he can wear people down, especially toward the end of a season. Is it in any way easier to face him now, rather than toward the end of a season?
Carptenter: I don't know that there's ever a "better" time to face a guy like him. He's just as effective early in the year as he is late in the year, so later in the game, he can start to wear on you, but every game is different, and he's going to be pounding the football Sunday — no doubt about it.

You've played preseason games in the new stadium, but how much excitement is there among the players about playing a real game in there? Does the media make a bigger deal out of it than the players do?
Carpenter: I think everyone's really excited. It's a great venue, and everyone has seen how unbelievable it is in the preseason, and to open it up in the (regular) season is going to be really special.

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