A Conversation with Will Allen

No one in the Giants locker room has put up with more media criticism – some just, most not – in the last year or so than Giants cornerback Will Allen. Fortunately for Allen, he stopped reading the papers way back before he even started playing ball at Syracuse. As a result, all he knows is what he hears from his coaches and teammates.

Those results, especially lately after Tim Lewis finally moved him back into mostly bump-and-run coverage, at which Allen excels, have come back nicely. Regardless, Allen is as available as any player in the Giants locker room on a daily basis. The down side of that, of course, is that TGI had to wait to corner the Giants top corner all alone – and he had to cut this interview short because he was rushing into a meeting. Read on to see what Allen had to say about the state of the Giants.

Q: How concerned are you that the emotional loss in Seattle will have any carryover effects on you guys?

A: That game was such an emotional roller coaster. You fight so hard just to stay in the game throughout the whole game. No one likes to lose. And I know we all say that all losses are the same, but honestly to lose in the way that we did, it definitely hurt big-time. But one of the big things that helped that hurt go away quickly is knowing how important our next game against Dallas is. A win there could really wipe everything else out.

Q: Is it really possible to put that one behind you?

A: Yes it is. It's gone. It's gone. In my mind it's gone. And the main reason is that the next game is always more important than the last game, no matter whether you win or lose. You have to worry about the game in front of you; there's nothing you can do about the game behind you.

Q: I know there have been numerous critics, but how do you feel you've been playing lately?

A: Each week I'm just trying to get better and just try to do my part out there. You have to make sure that you don't try to do too much. Just do your part and that's pretty much it.

Q: How concerned are you that you still can't come up with any interceptions?

A: Well, when they come, they come. Obviously those are momentum-shifters in the game and you would like to get them, and you'd like to get a bunch of them. But they do come, and when they do you just have to be ready for them.

Q: Do you feel you should have more? Why don't you have more?

A: If a cornerback ever says that he doesn't think he should have more picks, then that means he thinks he's playing perfect. I'm not playing perfect. Obviously you always feel like you should have more picks.

Q: How about the rest of your secondary mates? How have they been playing?

A: We have some guys back there that can play. It's definitely on-the-job training for some of them and they're going to take their blows, but I think overall, they're going to be happy with their play. One of the most important things is the learning experience and game-time experience. You can't beat that anywhere.

Q: Have you been playing better of late, compared to the beginning of the year?

A: I don't want to get into that. I'm not even going there.

Q: Well then, how has the year gone for you so far?

A: I think I've been pretty much steady the whole way through. Obviously you always feel like you can make more plays, and you obviously want to make more plays. But at the same time, you have to be patient and not try to overdo it, and put yourself out there because you're trying to make more plays.

Q: Could you please describe the emotions of this season for everybody?

A: It's been a tough year, I think for everybody. It really hits home how we're all intertwined here with management and everything like that. Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch had so much to do with the team. It's tough because you're used to seeing certain faces that you're not going to see them anymore. That really hits home pretty hard. That's just the way life is, but it doesn't make anything any easier.

Q: Any thoughts on becoming a free agent at the end of the season? Is that even on your radar screen?

A: Right now I'm not even focused on it. Not at all. I'm totally just focused on trying to win and going to the playoffs. I've only been to the playoffs one time since I've been here, and we lost in the first game. So right now that's all I'm thinking about. As far as my future, I'll just let the chips fall where they may.

Q: What's the team's level of confidence right now?

A: I think it's still good. To me, a loss is a loss, but I think we played that team (Seattle) hard and played them tough. We really did a lot to beat ourselves. I have plenty of confidence in our team moving forward. I think we can play with anybody and I think we can beat anybody. But in order to do that we can't afford to make mistakes and have to just go out and play aggressive football the way we do.


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