5 Minutes With Kevin Boss

Giants starting tight end Kevin Boss talks about entering his third NFL season, getting on the same page with Eli Manning, blocking for the team's running backs, and the Washington Redskins in this exclusive interview with Scout.com's Ed Thompson.

Ed Thompson: I know you're facing a division rival, the Redskins, right out of the gate this weekend. I've got to believe that takes the focus and intensity of Week One just a notch higher than usual.

Kevin Boss: Absolutely. Anytime you're facing a division opponent the focus and the intensity of the week is turned up a few notches, then to have it be the opening game of the season takes it higher. Things are pretty intense over here at Giants camp, so we're excited to get this thing going. Coach Coughlin was just preaching today that we need to win in our division and we need to win at home. Those are two things you need to do in the NFL to be successful, and that's what we're looking to start the year off with.

Thompson: Kevin, this was your third time coming out of training camp. How was it different than the other two times?

Boss: It was different this year. I don't know if relaxed is the word, but in your first year where you have all the anxiety of being a rookie in your first training camp to the second year when I found out that (Jeremy) Shockey got traded as I'm boarding the plane to go to training camp, I had to deal with all that. And that was kind of a media circus for a while. So this year is just more comfortable in terms of knowing the offense and having that full year under my belt of being a starter, just knowing what it takes.

Thompson: Any significant wrinkles in how the Giants are planning to use their tight ends this year, Kevin, especially with your ability?

Boss: Nothing really new or out of the ordinary. We still got the same offense, we're still doing the same things. But at the same time, we've got a young receiving corps, and I'm still young myself. I'm hoping to be there and be that guy that Eli can trust and rely on.

Thompson: You had 33 receptions and 6 TD catches your first year as a full time starter. Are you a guy that likes to set goals or do you like to just go out and play the game and let the numbers take care of themselves?

Boss: I'm not much of a guy to put a number out there in terms of how many catches I want and how many touchdowns I want. Most importantly I want to win. That's the number one thing I want to do, whatever it takes to help this team win and help us get back to a Super Bowl. If that takes catching 60 balls, that'd be great, if it takes catching 35 or 40 and we're still winning, that's fine by me.

Eli Manning should look to his reliable tight end even more often this year.
Getty Images/Jim McIsaac

Thompson: What are a few of the things you've learned about Eli as a quarterback that's helped the two of you be more successful?

Boss: I think our relationship and chemistry on the field has definitely grown every year,  and we're continuing to get more comfortable with each other. I think he's starting to be able to read my mind, what I'm thinking, and we're saying the same thing. I think we are more on the same page.

Thompson: The blocking of the tight end is so critical to the New York offense. Talk about that rushing attack with Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Danny Ware. It's got to be fun to block for those guys.

Boss: Obviously we're going to miss Derrick (Ward), but I think Danny Ware is going to step in right there, and I think Ahmad is going to step up and be that number two guy. I think we're going to have three great running backs,  and that makes me excited to go out there and work even harder because you know those guys are going to get it done. Anytime, we--as on offensive line, and I say "we" even though we sometimes get left out--come off the field after the game and the running backs rushed for 100 or 200 yards, it's kind of an accomplishment.  

Thompson: You bring up an interesting point. Talk about that chemistry factor because as a tight end sometimes you're a receiver and sometimes you're one of the offensive lineman. Are you sort of the half-brother of the offensive lineman? Is that a good way to look at it?

Boss: (laughing) Yeah, that's a good way to look at it. Sometimes we call ourselves glorified offensive lineman. They get a lot of credit, and deservingly so, for the run game. They definitely deserve it because they don't get to catch the ball and get our so-called glory from doing things with the ball. But it is kind of a funny in-between position where you're not really an offensive lineman and you're not really a receiver--so that's why we call ourselves the best athletes on the field.

Thompson: How much talk has there been about the talent the Redskins have added to their defensive line?

Boss: There is a lot of talk about their defensive line. With their addition of Albert Haynesworth and the new rookie, Brian Orakpo, they have a very talented defensive line. Haynesworth is a great force in the middle, and it's going to be quite a challenge for our offensive line. But I think it's a challenge the guys are excited about. We've got a great offensive line, so I think they're going to be able to put up a good

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