Press Conference: Kenny Phillips

Kenny Phillips answered questions for the media today. Here is a transcript.

You must be pretty happy that you are with this team?

My agent told me that I could go between number 13 and 31 and I am glad that I went 31.

What has Sinorice told you about this place?

He told me I am going to love it up here and I am going to love being a Giant.

Are you a free safety or a strong safety?

I actually played both in college and right now I am learning both things.

Is it still intimidating to come to a team that is coming off a Super Bowl ring?

Actually that makes it easier for me. They are already established on defense, already established in the secondary, so whatever I bring them it is going to help.

What do you hope to do in a couple of days when you are here?

I just want to prove to them that they made the right decision by drafting me. I want to go out there and give them all in everything that I do. I want to play special teams, free safety, strong safety, bring the coaches water, whatever they want.

Do you think there is a starting job here for you?

Well hopefully, but I am just out here to compete and if I end up being a starting safety thank God.

What are the skills that you bring to the table?

Basically I feel that I am a very sound player. I could be a strong safety and stay in the box but I could also go to free and be a ball hawk so I am kind of versatile so we don't' have to give away our scheme and what we are doing on defense.

Did you know the Giants were going to select you?

Actually not really. I only spoke to them once and that was at the combine. They didn't say too much. I didn't take a visit up here or anything like that. A few mock drafts I heard had me going to them. I was in the dark.

How do you react to the comments that you are not Ed Reed or Sean Taylor?

I kind of just laugh it off because in the end I am not those guys. I can't be Sean Taylor, I can't be Ed Reed, I can just be me and thus far that has been good enough.

How does it feel coming into this place?

I definitely felt great. Especially after training for the combine and stuff and now I get a chance to actually play football and put on a Giants helmet, the team that just won the Super Bowl, I mean it feels like I won it, except I don't have the ring.

Wearing the number 21?

I definitely did it out of respect to the late Sean Taylor.

Is it tough for you knowing that it was also Tiki Barber's number?

Not really.

Do you have a preference between free or strong safety?

Probably free. I believe I can make more plays back there, have more interceptions and stuff like that. You can catch a receiver slipping at times so hopefully I can be at free.

What do you remember about the Giants win over the Patriots?

The biggest thing was the catch. I don't know which receiver it was, but it went over Harrison and another guy and the way Eli Manning got out of that and scrambled. It was crazy.

Do you see the departure of Gibril Wilson as a chance for you to take his old spot?

With him leaving they are definitely looking to fill a void. There are already a few guys on the team that are capable of doing that so I am just trying to come in and compete and hopefully I can win a starting job.

What are you most curious about when you come into this stadium and meet the veterans for the first time?

Basically all of them. They are all Super Bowl champs so I am looking forward to all of them. Actually Eli Manning's locker is right across from mine so I can't wait to see him.

What kind of advice did prior Miami players give you?

Just basically telling me that I already know how to play football so don't worry about it. It is not going to be much faster or much different. You can play ball so just come in and be yourself and it will work out for you.

Is it a lot to live up to with the terrific safeties that have come from Miami in recent history?

Of course anytime you think of the safeties from Miami you think about the late Sean Taylor, Ed Reed, Benny Blades, and Brandon Meriwether, and of course you want to live up to that tradition. They all have been doing well and they did well in college and went to the league. I don't want to say there is any pressure because in the end, like I said, I can only be myself.

They probably say you have a lot to live up to?

Not really. They all say I am a pretty good player so they don't really tease me about it.

Did you know Sean Taylor at all?

No, I never got a chance to meet him.

What have you heard about him?

He was a guy who my whole career, even in high school I had pictures of him in my locker, I wanted to get a chance to meet him, and I never did. I watch him on film and he was just an exceptional athlete. The plays he made were crazy. I just wanted to pay my respects by having his number and trying to live up to that.

Did his death hit you pretty hard?

It touched all of us. We are a big family down there at the University of Miami. He was our brother and when we lost someone we were really sad.

Is he the reason you went to Miami?

I went there based on the tradition that they have there at the safety position and also winning championships.

Did you attend his memorial service?

Yes sir I did.

What was it like during that?

I want to say it was an exciting moment just to see everybody from all over the league just coming to pay their respects. He touched a lot of people's lives and it was a good thing to see.

Were you a big cornerback prospect?

No. I never played corner, I was always a safety. I just played it a little bit from time to time, but I was always a safety.

What does it mean for you to play for this Giants team that has always been known for their defense?

Basically I feel good about it. I feel good that I was their pick this year and like I said I am just trying to add to the team.

What was your number at Miami?

I wore one at Miami.

Did they just give you the number here?

Well I asked and they felt that it was the right thing to do being that I am from Miami and everything like that.

So you did ask for it?

Yes.


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