Armstead talks to NY Media

The New York media got to talk to Jesse about the upcoming game with the Giants, how he likes being on the Redskins, and his feelings on football in 2002.<BR> <strong>What are your thoughts about coming back to Giants Stadium?</strong>

It will be a different experience but something that has to be done.

Have you been looking forward to this?

I have so many friends over there. And the fans, I am so used to them being on my side. It will be a different experience.

What kind of reaction do you think you are going to get?

I don't know. That is up to New York. All I know is how I was treated when I have been in New York. The only thing left is game day. And, I will be there.

How do you feel about having been treated the way you were by the Giants?

There is nothing that I can prove that I haven't proven over the last nine years.

How do you feel you fit in with the Redskins defense this year?

I fit in real well. I am the type of person that not about being in a system. That has never been a problem with me from the defensive coordinators in New York to the defensive coordinator here.

Are they using you any differently than the Giants used you?

I am being used a little different. There is nothing that is the same, everything is a little different. I have made an adjustment and everything is working out well.

Are you still playing basically on the strong side?

Yeah.

So you will be running into Shockey this week?

I will be all over the field. If that is the side I am on, then I will be on that side for a couple of plays. It's going to hard to know which side I am going to be on sometimes.

Do you know at all from Miami?

Yeah.

What about that big-mouth talking?

All Miami guys have a swagger about themselves. He's just one of the guys that came out of that university that has that swagger.

What are your thoughts about him as a football player on the field? He is an exciting to watch. You look at him and you see what a tight end should be like. He demonstrated on the field what he can do. He talks, but he backs it up. That's the main thing.

Do you still have some hard feelings about how your Giants career ended?

Being a first-class organization, like the Giants are, I thought they should have brought me in and talked to me, regardless if they were going to release me or not. I think I deserved to be brought it. But they didn't, so that's the way they felt. I have moved on.

How did they handle it?

You all knew before I did, so you can probably tell me better than I can tell myself.

Who finally called you?

You all called first.

Who from the team called you?

I talked to coach Fassel later, after you all called. He informed me what was going on and that was it.

During the offseason, you spoke out in the Strahan-Barber feud. How do you feel about that now and about going against Tiki on Sunday?

If I was playing in New York, I still would have done the same thing, so it wasn't a big issue. I said what I said and that was it. I left it at that. Everyone has opinions. Maybe he understood my opinion, maybe he didn't. I felt what I felt.

What are your thoughts about this Giants offensive line?

One thing about them is that I know they are a well-coached group. I know they all will be ready to go. They all still have a lot to prove. People questioned them at the beginning of the year, but they have been holding up real well. They are out there playing as one, that is the main thing. You can't start playing as individuals. And, they are looking to get the win also.

How do you think the Giants defense is holding up without you?

They are playing real well. They are making plays out there. I think the biggest thing is those two corners out there. They are holding their own, Will A. and Will P. That is a big strength that may not have surprised a lot of people, but make a lot of people wake up.

How long did it take you to become a Redskin and forget that you were a Giant?

You never can just forget. When you have that red and blue in your veins, it is hard to ever get that out of your system. I'd be lying if I said I came in here and got it right out of my system. It's something I will never be able to get out of my system.

How long have you been anticipating this game?

You look at the whole situation and you take it week by week. This is just another week that I am coming to another arena. This is bigger to other people who are waiting to see me come back.

Do you think you have been playing well?

I feel like I have. I am leading the team in tackles and making plays out there. You can't ask for more than that.

How about your health?

My health is fine. My hamstring is fine. I am going to go and demonstrate how healthy I am right now.

How good is the Redskin defense and compare it to former Giants' defenses?

I played with those guys in New York for a while. It would be hard for me to compare anything to those, because I knew how we played together and we were together our whole careers. That's a biased question. I can't compare the two.

Who are you looking forward to seeing on Sunday?

I am going to speak to everyone that is on the field. Those guys there, I played with those guys my whole career. I have been friends with all of the guys, offense and defense. It's not a situation where I ran and left them. That's no the situation.

Who do you think made the finally decision to let you go?

Whoever thought, maybe I can't play anymore. Maybe that was the reason.

Do you think it was a front office move or a Jim Fassel move?

I don't know whose move it was.

In your mind, how does this game play out to you?

The only thing I can look at is the whole situation. You have a guy who is going to be on the field that they told was 'no good' and 'can't play no more,' that is 'washed up.' We will be playing with 10 guys against their 11.

Is it going to be easy to keep up your usual conversation during the game?

You know the guys, that is the big difference. You have been to battle with those guys and things like that. But, you have to find a way to get yourself in that zone. And, with me being washed up and done, I don't do that talking anymore, because I am done.

Is it safe to say you feel you have proven them wrong and they made a mistake?

I think one thing about it, no matter what I do, no one will ever admit that. Why would they admit that? That is something that...you can never get that back.

Talk about what you see with Kerry Collins on film.

One thing about Kerry is he has a strong arm and can make things happen out there. You can't let him sit back there because he will pick you apart, I don't care what defense he is going against. Early in the season, he was in a groove, then he got out of it, now he is back in. The past two games he has thrown the ball real well. We realize that and we realize where he is.

Are you going to remember to go right and not left when you come off the ramp on Sunday?

That is a good question. I might have to go to the other side this time.

What does the Giants-Redskins rivalry mean in the Redskins locker room?

I know I felt we were bigger when we used to get up for the Redskins. I think it's a good matchup. Both opponents are in a situation where we can go either way with the season. They are a game up on us. We are going to go out there and play. The best man will walk away with the win.

The Giants signed Herman Moore today, a player in a similar situation. He was the Lions all-time leading receiver and was cut in a salary move. Will you ever come to grips on how the game has changed?

The game has changed, but they did call Herman back in before they released him. They did meet with him see which way he wanted to handle that situation. They asked him if he wanted to still be part of that team. So, I think they did call him in. I look at my situation and I wasn't even given that opportunity. That's the difference between a salary cap casualty and a salary cap casualty that you may still want on your team.

Do you miss playing here and are there days you still wish you were a Giant?

You always are going to miss the New York style; the people, the friends that you had, the friends on the team, all the way down to the equipment people and the trainers and things like that. Do you want to stay in a good, safe environment and don't want to test the waters? Right. You have been there nine years and everything had been great. But, you have to make a change and I made that change. Now, I am starting to get used to things around here.

Do you hope your defense gets introduced Sunday so the crowd can welcome you as it chooses?

We rotate every other week. It's not like they would change it just for me. It is our week to do so and that's just how it is.

Would you have been open to restructuring your contract so it was cap-friendly to stay here?

That wasn't even brought up to me. It was something they didn't want to hear anything about that. They considered it said and done.


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