Giants Report to Camp: Player Interviews

The Giants reported to camp today. The media was on hand to do some interviews with players. In this article, LaVar Arrington, Mathias Kiwanuka and Jeremy Shockey answer questions for the media.

Q: What kind of impact do you hope to make on this defense?
A: The main thing for me is to come in and just try to bring a little energy and just be that guy that other guys can depend on. I have been fighting this whole bad rap thing about doing my own thing and not staying with the team and everything.  People can say what they want to say, but I know how I feel about coaching and I know how I feel about helping this team.  I think this a great bunch of guys and I just want to come in and add a spark and really do something to help the team win.
 
Q: A lot of your teammates say that you come in here with a chip on your shoulder?
A: Well, I always play with a chip on my shoulder.  I seem to be the guy that people love to hate for some strange reason, I don't know. I play with a chip on my shoulder anyway because it just seems like it's much better to play as an underdog then it is to play as the guy that everybody is chasing.  It is an exciting time for me. I try and keep level though because I don't want to get caught up in all the expectations or whatever people are saying. I just want to get in here and really just contribute.
 
RE: Coach mentioned yesterday a little tendonitis for you, what's your health?
A: I feel good; I feel real good. We just have to play it smart.  I felt it a little bit in mini-camp and right now I can feel it a little bit, but I don't think it should be a problem.
 
 
Q: Did you kind of get a sense, finally, that this is a business? 
A: Oh yeah, you get a sense of that before you start negotiating your contract, but when your actually sitting down and talking about numbers and figures and you see how much attention is paid to every little detail.  I understand now how some players might end up in a hold out, because there are so many different things that could affect the way a contract is structured and who it's in favor of.
 
Q: What are you hoping to accomplish at this training camp for yourself?
A: Just to try to establish myself as a player.  Goal number one is to get on the field and the first way I do that is to produce and to participate fully, and to do the best I can in every little drill.
 
Q: How did it feel [to sign]? 
A: Really good, really good.
 
Q: When did you learn it was done, last night?
A: Last night, yeah.
 
Q: Did you have any doubts that you would be here on time? 
A: Yeah, I didn't know, it went into, I don't want to talk about exact negotiations or anything like that, but for the most part I'm just happy that everything got done.  It's a tense moment, and now it's over, now I can just play football.
 
Q: You really don't want to miss anything, do you?
A: No, no, absolutely not
 
Q: How much did Coach Coughlin encourage you to make sure you got here on time? 
A: In a general meeting, I remember him mentioning things like that, but he never individually came to me and said hey get that done.  There was no pressure.  It definitely is a business, but they also understand that I have to look out for myself and everybody in the front office has been pretty relaxed or pretty nice, I guess it's the only word I can think of.  They want the best for me, basically, and they know it's a negotiation, but they also want me to be here.
 
Q: What are you anticipating to be the difference between maybe some of the mini camp stuff and watching stuff and learning about stuff versus now actually being here for training camp?
A: The intensity of it, you put pads on things change, people change, people's intensity changes.  I'm ready to play, but this is going to be my first taste of actually playing in the NFL.  You got an NFL playbook in training camp and mini camp, but once you come up here to training camp you get NFL plays and players, in pads, and that's different.
 
 
Q:  How do you feel going into another year of training camp?
A: It's another year.  I guess that pretty much speaks for itself , it's training camp, so it's a good time to get better.  The weather's not too cool out here and I guess there's going to be plenty of (heat).  It's another year.  It's another year to group together and another year to get better.
 
Q:  Do you like having high expectations put on the team at the beginning of the season?
A: You have to get through the high expectations or you're never really going to reach your goal.  I think people are going to put you up on a pedestal and people are always watching (you) under a microscope.  You just have to play to the best of your ability.  We'll just have to see how it goes.  I'm pretty excited.
 
Q: What is your reaction to Troy Aikman's comments that Eli Manning's development will suffer without extra practice sessions with his receivers during the summer?
A: I didn't read it.  I don't even know Troy Aikman?  What was his comment?  He's a taxpaying citizen of this country, he can say whatever he wants.
 
RE: Returning the offensive line in tact for a second straight year
A: It's very important, like I said earlier.  It's good the group is here for another year.  We have a good group, a good base, so hopefully we can get a lot better.  Our offense was good last year, but hopefully we can upgrade and get better every week in practice here, every day in practice here, and every game we play.
 
RE: The purpose of training camp
A:  It's good for the young guys.  It's good to learn, because you can always learn. No matter how good you are, you can always pick out little critical errors in what you do and how your game is.  It's good to see other people practice and, besides all of the game-planning for the season, it's good to go in and feel everybody out, see their mistakes and learn, and hopefully it won't happen to you. 
 
Q: Do you think about last season's play-off loss to the Carolina Panthers
A: No, not really.  Not at all.  It happens.  You can go back, I can go back in my career and there's five or six games that really bother me, but you have to learn to let them go.  Harping on the past isn't going to do any good.
 
Q: After winning the division last year, do you expect to come in and win it again?
A: Yeah.  Like I said earlier, there's been high expectations.  We're confident. To me, it's fun to be out here.  It's fun being in training camp, being around the guys to really gain unity and to be as one.  It's good.  I think our offense is going to be good and I think this team is going to be very exciting to play with.
 
Q: Do you think your on-the-field relationship with Eli is where it needs to be going into the season?
A: I don't know. I have to practice.  People always talk about timing and stuff like that, but you have a month here.  If you can't do it in a month, there's definitely something wrong with one of the guys.  I think we'll be on the same page, as we were last year and the year before that, and hopefully we'll win all of our games.
 
Q: Do you like the make-up of this team coming into the season better than you have in the past?
A: Yeah.  You know, you run guys and guys are here, so we have a good group, a good core.
 
Q: What does the offense need to do to improve?
A: I don't know what we were last year total.  (2nd) Maybe be first in everything?  Last year was just, I don't even really think about it.  It's just another year.  We didn't win as many games as we could, and hopefully this year we can, so even if we're not as good offensively, we win more games.  Everybody's satisfied with that.
 
Q: Was the Carolina game one of the five or six in your career that really bothered you?
A: Yeah, every time you lose a critical game like that it's hard.  But, like I said, you don't harp on it, you don't stand and say would'a, could'a should'a, called this play, caught that ball, done that differently.  It's over with.  This year is a new slate for us and now hopefully we can lay the foundation really well for us at camp and get off good.

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