Opponent In Focus

It's been a very tough year so far for Warrick Dunn and his 1-4 Falcons. Dunn weighed in on the importance of sticking together and keeping the faith...and, of course that Vick fellow...

Q: How is the week going in practice to get ready for the Giants?
A: I think right now everybody is cool, just trying to stay upbeat and just trying to stay focused and trying to figure out how we can get better as a team so that we can play better and be much more consistent. I just think we are just trying to stay together and stay tight. You have to do that when you have some trials and tribulations. What we had this offseason and this season have been tough. But guys are just still fighting and playing hard; just trying to stay together.

Q: How do you do that; how do you stay together? Things have been said the last couple of weeks. Just how do you keep guys together?
A: Well, you talk. You have to talk it out and clear the air a little bit. And just understand that everybody has the same mission and goal. And that is to win. And if you have that, then I think if anyone has said anything it is all understanding it and you can talk about it and move forward. I just think, as a team, guys are frustrated and we have been up and down a little bit. But it is all the same goal and mission – to be successful and to win football games. And I think right now we are just trying to get to a point where we can get a win. Get a win and then you move on and move forward.

Q: When you have comments like those of Alge Crumpler's this week on top of what happened with Michael, what does that do to a team and how hard is it to rebound from that sort of stuff?
A: I think Coach Petrino, first of all, has done a really good job of just keeping us focused and getting us ready to play week in and week out. And believe it or not, we have four losses and we have lost all four of those games in the fourth quarter. And when you have that, you just have to figure out ways to win the close games. We haven't done that. I just feel like we can easily be three and two or two and three, easily. But we are one and four. And we have to figure out a way, as a team, to overcome all of the madness. And I think guys are going to do that. Guys are still practicing hard, working on their crafts, getting on the same page. And we have to figure out how we can play better for four quarters.

Q: Alge has expressed frustration over the team's performance in the red zone. Do you share that frustration?
A: Everybody is frustrated, everyone on offense, I think all of the coaches, all of the fans. I just think everyone is frustrated because we haven't been as efficient as we felt like we should be in the red zone. And we have to figure out ways to get that better and fix that. And Alge said some things but I just feel like he is a frustrated guy who just wants to win. And when you have guys like that – guys don't complain about that – we just want to figure out ways where we can get better and score points. And we are going to work on that.

Q: What about all of the Michael Vick questions? Is it frustrating for you to have to answer these questions week in and week out? Coach Petrino said this morning that the team has put it behind him. But is it frustrating personally for you, just having to answer the questions about Michael?
A: The crazy thing is is that he hasn't been here. So to keep getting asked questions about him, to me, is pointless. I just feel like everyone – the first thing that happens to the Falcons, you say our ex-quarterback. You know what, we have moved on. We have played five games without him. And it is totally different team, different head coach. We have moved in a different direction. So I think now it is just more about the team--- the Falcons. Does it get frustrating when people mention that? Yeah. Because this guy has other things that he needs to worry about. And we as a football team have things we have to worry about and get better. And we are just trying to figure out ways to win. And, to me, talking about Michael is just pointless, at this point. This football team is different and the guys are just playing hard and working hard trying to figure out ways to win.

Q: Let's talk about the quarterbacks that you have. There is some question as to whether Joey was going to start this week. I guess Coach has announced that he is going to start. How does that affect the team when there is sort of uncertainty at that position --- whether it is going to be Joey or Byron?
A: Actually we really don't have any uncertainty at quarterback. I think last week he put Byron in to try to get a spark. It wasn't that Joey wasn't playing well. He didn't make plays that he made the last couple of weeks. But that is a team effort. We didn't play well offensively, obviously. So I think Byron came in to try to get a spark. Right now Joey is our starting quarterback and if something happens obviously you have Byron there. But Joey is the guy, he is going to go out and lead this football team, hopefully, to a victory.

Q: You also have a rookie at left tackle. I'm sure you saw what Osi Umenyiora did to the Eagles. How much of concern is that for all of you guys?
A: Coaches have to make sure that we are in a position that we are able to help each other. But as teammates, I have to make sure that I can help out and protect my guy who needs help. But, you know what, I'm not worried about that. Osi is a great player and obviously he gets paid a lot of money to make plays. But we have guys who are going to go out and fight. And I have all of the confidence in the world that Foster is going to go out and fight and play hard. And hopefully he can give Osi a run for his money. But Osi is talented and he had a great game a couple of weeks ago. And we just hope he doesn't have that type of game on Monday night.

Q: How much pressure has there been on you as one of the veteran guys --- an offensive guy – to sort of be more of a leader, even in this kind of turbulent season with a new coach and so much around you?
A: Obviously it gives me an opportunity to voice my opinion a little bit more. And to try to keep guys on the same page and let guys know that this is a storm that you just have to weather a little bit and hopefully get through it. And you still have things that you can ……. And to move forward. And I just always try to lead by example throughout my career. And this is no different. I just may talk a little bit more and voice my opinion, but these guys believe in each other. I believe in them. And if I can show them this is the way you need to do it and go out and play hard and lead my example, I want to continue doing that. When I need to say my peace, I'm going to do that, also. So I think I have the respect of the guys around me.

Q: Did you talk to Alge about those statements?
A: I have talked to Alge and I understand why he said what he said. And it is done and over with. We have already moved on and we are just trying to figure out a way that we can get it done. If we can get that, all of his frustrations, and other guys' frustrations, the coaching staff's frustrations; will feel a lot better when you can win a football game.

The Giants Beat Top Stories