Rick Laughland Q&A with Giants players

Giants beat writer Rick Laughland interviews Johnathan Hankins, Andre Williams, Justin Pugh, Devon Kennard and Kerry Wynn via conference call on Tuesday.

DT Johnathan Hankins Conference Call, December 23, 2014

Q: Do you think having the younger guys in the mix has re-energized this defensive line?

A: I feel like once we had a couple guys go down, we kind of got closer together in the defensive line room as a unit and trusted one another to go out there and do our jobs. If we did that, we can come out with a win or help out the player that is next to us. I feel like once we lost a couple guys on offense and defense, as a unit and as a team we definitely grew together and challenged ourselves to get some wins and play better.

RB Andre Williams

Conference Call, December 23, 2014

Q: It seems as though the running game is coming together. Does part of you think, “Why couldn’t this have happened earlier?” What do you attribute to it all coming together?

A: Time and experience. Just growth as a group. I never really looked back at the past and said,”why did it happen this way?” I think everything happens for a reason. There is a saying that goes, “Only a fool trips over what’s behind him.” I am looking forward, and just looking forward to having more success this time around.

Q: Not looking back, but just reflecting on the early part of the season. Do you think you have seen the offensive line come together? Is it your evolution as a running back? Is it just a matter of all the factors coming together at the right time?

A: Exactly, I think there are a lot of different factors that contribute to the offense gaining momentum right now, and having the success we are able to have. I think the offensive line is definitely coming together and they are definitely helping me in terms of the run game. I know that we are fitting up a lot better on different run schemes, and it just looks cleaner out there, the communication is better. I think it is a combination of things. It is definitely not just me by myself.

Q: With the brawl that broke out on Sunday, who do you think really instigated that? A lot of the players said they came to the defense of Odell Beckham Jr. Do you think he may be at fault because of some of the celebrations that we have seen in the past couple of weeks?

A: I don’t know who is at fault, and I don’t think celebrating is any reason for a fight to break out. I think the atmosphere going into that game, there was definitely some electricity in the atmosphere. You could feel it out there that it was going to be a physical game. There was a lot of talking over the ball. I am not sure what the spark was, but I don’t think you can point to any one person and say, “Oh, this guy started the fight.” There were a lot of bloody hands at the end of it. I am not sure.

T Justin Pugh

Conference Call, December 23, 2014

Q: What did you make of the brawl in St. Louis, and who do you think really instigated that whole scenario?

A: In regards to the whole incident in St. Louis with the fight and everything, I think it was guys getting heated, in the heat of the moment of the game. You’re battling; you’re blocking your guys, there are some hits after the whistle on both sides of the team. It really is just a natural reaction to go out there and try to defend your teammate and whatever the case may be there. Obviously, we took it a little too far and it can’t happen again.

Q: The running game seems to have been successful the past few weeks. What do you attribute to it all coming together?

A: I think it is just guys going out there, working hard, keep doing what they’ve been doing, and making sure we are hitting our stride at the right time. I think, obviously, the running backs are running hard, we have been in close games so were able to stick with the run and didn’t have to go to the pass right away. All of those different things combined have helped us out.

LB Devon Kennard

December 23, 2014

Q: You mentioned how important it would be to finish on a high note… Does part of you look back and say why didn’t we do this early on in the season?

A: Of course, there is ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ when you are in a situation where you are not going to make the playoffs, but you can’t worry about that. All you can worry about is today and doing everything you can today and this week to try and get a win. Hopefully we can feed off of what we have done so far and get a big win against Philly and finish the year right.

DE Kerry Wynn

Conference Call, December 23, 2014

Q: With the brawl that broke out, do you feel the Rams were more of the instigator and you had to stand up for a teammate? How did that whole thing transpire?

A: I don’t want to speak too much on that. It is football, there are going to be high emotions, but I don’t want to speak too much on that.

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