Q: What are you thoughts about coming to the Giants?
A: I'm excited. It's a wonderful opportunity. I'm very thankful that the organization and Coach Fassel thought enough of me to have me come in and give me the opportunity. Hopefully I can come in and do what they think I can do.
Q: How surprised were you to hear from the Giants?
A: I was surprised, to say the least. After going eight, nine games into the season and not getting any phone calls, I pretty much felt it was a done deal as far as me going to play anywhere this year. I had pretty much geared myself up towards the free agency period next year and trying to get with a team during the off-season. That would give me an opportunity to learn the system. It's tough to come in during the middle of the season, but it's an opportunity so I have to do what I can.
Q: How frustrating was it to be out of work this long?
A: It was frustrating not to get any calls, but I knew that would be the possibility, especially after the way my season ended last year. I was on Injured Reserve and coming off a weak year before that. It puts a lot of doubt in people's minds as to whether or not I can compete at the level I had in the previous years. For me, I can think highly of myself all day long, but it's all about the perception that other people may have of you. For me, for several reasons, that perception was lowered. But I'm not here to prove anything other than doing my best, going out and contributing to the team. I'm not bringing any baggage or anything like that.
Q: Did you leave Detroit with a bad taste in your mouth?
A: Not at all. That's where my home is and where I'm going to live. The organization has been nothing but great to me. I can't blame the things that have happened with a few people there and say I have disappointment in the organization. Perhaps I rubbed them the wrong way or we just didn't get along. I'm more just thankful for the opportunity that they gave to me to be a professional football player by drafting me. I have nothing but nice things to say about the Fords and the organization.
Q: How close were you to signing with Pittsburgh this off-season?
A: It was between myself and Terance Mathis. The only reason they picked him over me was because they were looking for a slot receiver. They knew I was more of an outside guy. They were going to move Hines Ward inside so I could play outside. It was back in June so I would have had a chance to go through an entire camp and familiarize myself with the system. Right now, it's quick fire. I have to take in a lot of things. I have to delete a lot of the systems that I've had in my mind for a while. It's a tough situation for me, but I'm not here to make any excuses. I'm here to capitalize on the opportunity.
Q: Can you give me an example of a difference in terminology?
A: I'm familiar with a lot of the plays they have, and I've run most of them before. The problem is that they call it something different. When I hear the same verbiage, it now means something different. Probably at least 60 percent of the terminology I used someplace else, so I have to eliminate all that. Now it means something entirely different.
For instance, when they talk about ‘zoom' motion. For me zoom was something that always referred to our Z receiver and it caused him to line up in a certain part of the formation and caused him to go a certain way. Whereas now, the zoom doesn't talk to that person. It talks to another player that has another whole different motion. It's things like that. It means the Z receiver's alignment is in a different place and he goes in a different direction.
Formations that they may have, I might have had somewhere else where the alignment was different. They use number systems to talk about who's in the game and who isn't. I've always had names for the system. Their personnel may be 11 or 12. In other systems it's been called base personnel or tiger personnel.
Q: How much have you been able to learn in the first couple days?
A: It's tough to learn it in pieces and only memorizing only 10 or 15 plays. That doesn't help me. It only helps me for this week. Next week, you're going to move on to a totally different game package. Then I have to start all over. It's better to just learn the system, learn the formations and terminology; that way when they come up with plays – whether they're old or new plays – at least I'll know where to line up and what that play is. It makes the learning curve a lot easier, when you go through it and learn the system. It's more than just learning the Z position for me; I need to learn what everybody is doing. That's a good way of double-checking yourself.
I'd say percentage-wise, I probably know about 50 percent of the playbook. But that's only recalling it on a piece of paper without a time clock and game situation involved. I'd probably feel comfortable with about 20 percent of it if it were being called in the huddle.
Q: How much have you been studying each day?
A: I've been studying a lot. A real lot. Every night. The coaches probably look at me and wonder why I look so tired in the morning. It's because I'm up till 1 or 2 in the morning. I cram about three or four hours each night and then test myself every hour to see how much I've been able to learn and absorb. It's frustrating sometimes because I revert back to things to how I knew them previously. It's going to be a challenge. It's impossible to pick up a system in two, three, five days. It's not going to happen. But I have retained some and I have picked up some. Every week I'm going to be better. Next week, I'll be a lot further along.
Q: Have you noticed how excited everyone is that you're here?
A: The team has been great. If I had to paint the perfect picture and have the perfect story as a player coming from a rival team to a new organization and how to be received, it would be this. It's been outstanding. The players here are outstanding; they welcomed me with open arms. For me, that makes me want to go ahead and give my all.
Q: How important was it for you to come to a team with at least an outside shot at the playoffs?
A: It was very important. I'm not at a position where I want to start over. I want to win and win now. This team presents that, and is focused on that. This team doesn't have low expectations. If anything, they're expecting to be better than what they are right now. That's the type of team that any player would want to play for. It's just a blessing to get this opportunity. Whether passing or running, or if I'm a utility guy. Whatever, I'm here to help the team. It's not about me; it's about the team.
Q: How did you spend your last year away from the game?
A: Basically, I just got into business. After I was put on Injured Reserve last year, I really just kept in shape and worked out up until the fourth game of this season. I was putting myself through a lot, hoping to keep my hopes alive. When those calls never happened, I had to start looking at doing something else. So I focused on my businesses. I have about 18 Cinnabon franchises, three coffee shops and three pizza franchises.
Q: Could you explain the name on the coffee shops?
A: Sure. AH!MOORÈ is the name. The A is for my wife Angela and my sons Aaron and Ashton, and the H is for Herman. It's a really nice logo. It's pretty cool.