A lot of people make a big deal about me not playing last year. It really wasn't a big deal to me. That was the next thing that was coming anyway; my carries were going down each year. The worst thing that can happen is you get dressed, don't play and sit and watch the whole game. Why bother to dress when you can give someone else a spot that's going to play?
I'm telling you it really wasn't as tough as you would think it was. My first year coming in here was a lot tougher. I was so used to getting the ball in college that coming into the league my first year and having to split time with Tiki was tough. That was honestly harder on me than not playing last year. I was so used to getting the ball, carrying the load and helping the team. When I was getting in I was in and out, in and out. That kind of messed with me more than not playing.
Of course, I was upset last year because we were losing and I knew I could help. I wanted to help and knew that I could, but I didn't get the opportunity to.
This offseason Coach Coughlin told me that it was up to me to show him that I wanted to play. If I showed him that I wanted to play, he said he'd give me the opportunity. That's all I really ever asked for was a chance to show that I can play. I can only do what you ask me to do if you give me a chance to do it. I just came in and did what I had to do every day. I couldn't take off at all; I had to keep working.
I'm in great shape, probably the best ever. But each year I come into camp in great shape. This year was no different. I feel really good just because I'm getting the chance. This is really the first time I've been in shape like this when I know that I'm going to get to play.
It's fun now to be sharing time with Tiki. We both tell each other what's going on and help each other. We're always looking to spell the other if one of us gets tired. It's been fun.
It did feel real good to get out there and be able to contribute to help the guys get down there and score in the first game. The offense worked real well together and we got down the field (first quarter in Philadelphia) and I was able to put it in. That felt really good.
I felt good about that. I'm getting more confident in myself and the offense. I know what I have to do. That's the main thing; knowing what you have to do. Then when you get out there it's natural to you.
I'm glad that Coach came and gave me an opportunity that I can show that I can play. I just want to keep improving and getting better. I'm thankful that he gave me another chance. If he asks me to do something, I'm going to come in and do it. I'll do whatever he asks, no problem. I did that before, for any coach. I respect every coach I've had. But I would never do anything to get Coach Coughlin upset.
Coach is just more straight-forward. He's going to let you know how it is. He doesn't beat around the bush or wait to tell you a week later. He tells you right when something happens. There's no sugarcoating anything with Coach Coughlin.
I think we can be pretty good. We have to get together and get to work on some of the small things. We did a lot of small things wrong in the first game and it turned into a big thing. If we can handle those small things and keep working to get better we'll be fine.
I can't say that I'm surprised that my career has turned out like it has to this point. I never really had the chance to talk to anybody or ask anybody what things were going to be like. I just wanted to come in and do what I had to do and wasn't really worried where things would be a couple years in for me. I took it each year at a time and then waited to see where it went from there. I really never made big goals or big plans or anything like that. I never looked ahead and decided that I wanted to be somewhere or have accomplished something in particular. I just planned to come in, play and let the dice roll where they may.
Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. Sometimes it's up and sometimes it's down. That's just the nature of this job. A lot of fans have supported me and a lot haven't. I know it's mixed; I just do what I have to do to support me and my family and help the team win. That's all I can do. No one's really ever come up to me and said anything negative. But a lot of times I can overhear people talking or hear things that are said in the stands. I know that I can't do anything about it. You just have to block it out as best you can.
Since I've been in New York, I still have not had an opportunity to play as much as I want. But I can't cry about that. Sometimes I get to play, and sometimes I don't. It's really that simple for me. This is my contract year, but I can only do as much as they let me do. I can only go out every play they let me and do the best I can, contract year or not. I just want to play and win. I hate to lose.
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