What They Are Saying

Quotes from the Giants as they arrived in Arizona. Here is what Michael Strahan had to say.

(on the flight out to Arizona) "I slept. It was a good sleep … peaceful."

(on if he wondered on the drive out to the hotel where he was staying) "Actually, I've been out here quite a few times, so I'm used to it. I guess it's safe with all of the police escorts. I am happy that we are not on a plane and we can get here and finally settle in a little bit."

(on the importance of the pass rush) "It's important. You have a quarterback in Tom Brady who doesn't make a lot of mistakes and when they always ask, ‘What can you do to force Brady or pressure Brady?' – I think the only person who pressures him is himself. He hangs in there and takes hits in order to make the plays, and you have a lot of respect for a guy like that. He did it in our first game and he's done it in every game this season. It's a challenge, and getting there and hitting them may not be enough in a lot of ways. It's going to take great play on the back end as well with the cornerbacks, defensive backs and linebackers."

(on any unique memories about Super Bowl XXXV) "The game itself to me was a blur. I don't even remember playing in the game – haven't watched the tape since we played. You kind of wake up the next morning and you are thinking, ‘Man, we played in the Super Bowl?' I remember picking up the paper in front of the hotel room door and it said, ‘Ravens Win.' I'm like, ‘We played?' So, it let me know that when you get here, you slow down, you enjoy it and you take everything in. At the same time, you are here for business, you are here to win. I've learned that I always wanted the chance to come back and have another opportunity because you learn to slow the game itself down. There is so much going on that you can get caught up in it. You lose, what is there to remember? You make it this entire way and no one remembers the second-place person and we were that second-place team."

(on how close he was to not returning to play this season) "Pretty close. I was enjoying myself. My offseason was phenomenal. I had a great time. I did not regret or miss not being at camp one bit."

(on what made him decide to come back) "At the end of the day when you sit there and think, ‘Am I done?' I was injured last year and I'm thinking that was it for me. Did I go out with an injury? It's not the way I wanted to finish my career. When you are getting text messages every day from Osi and William Joseph, and all of these guys, they make you feel a little better about yourself than you should for their own selfish reasons. Then when you come back, they treat you like dirt (laughs)."

(on what was the worst thing about Super Bowl XXXV) "I don't remember the game. The one play that upsets me about that game was, I think the interception that they (the officials) called for holding – which is the worst call in the history of football. That's the one play because it was kind of a momentum-swinger. It would have given us some confidence. I'm here now seven, eight years later and to be honest with you, I couldn't care less about 2000. It's over and it's a totally different team, totally different attitude and a totally different approach. Not just to this game, but a totally different approach to football in general."

(on how the Giants played against the Patriots earlier gives them confidence for the Super Bowl) "I think that it helped us in a lot of different ways. I think we had some success throughout the season and especially offensively, it was a big game for us. Those guys put up 35 points against a very good defense. From then on, they've really been able to perform well against Tanpa Bay's defense that's tough, a Cowboys defense that's extremely tough, as well as the Green Bay defense. I think offensively, it really helped our team and defensively, we looked and said, ‘Well, if we can really hold our own and our offense can give us the production they've given us the last few weeks, we have a great shot.' They've done it."

(on if not getting back to the Super Bowl crossed his mind) "All of the time. Four weeks ago, I didn't think I'd be here to be honest with you. You are just taking it one week at a time, you are not looking too far ahead, and now that we are here, I'm happy to be here. It's a different type of happiness than it was the last time. Last time was probably giddiness. This is, ‘I'm just happy to be here,' and I realize that we have still one step to take."

(on what he would have thought if the Giants were at the Super Bowl and he was not) "You know what? If I would have stayed retired, they wouldn't be here (laughs). We all know that."

(on if he wants to leave the game like Jerome Bettis and John Elway) "Who says I'm quitting? You know everybody says that I am going out like Bettis and Elway. OK, they both won Super Bowls and went and quit. But Elway won two in a row, so who is to say that next year I don't come back and try to win another? We never know. I never worry about retirement or anything like that. Right now, I am worried about getting the heck out of your (the media's) face (laughs)."

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