10 Minutes With Giants LB Michael Boley

Giants starting weakside linebacker Michael Boley never missed a game while playing for the Falcons. But he's already dealt with two injuries since joining the Giants. Get the latest update on his knee injury, his thoughts on the Giants defense and more in this exclusive interview with Ed Thompson.

Ed Thompson: The big news that everybody is waiting to hear about it is how the knee is coming along.

Michael Boley: My knee is doing pretty good. I've done a good job of doing everything the trainers and doctors told me to do over the past couple of weeks in preparation for getting back on the field. Hopefully, they will start letting me do more and participate in team activities this week. We'll just have to take the week slow and see how it goes.\

Thompson: Do you feel like you've got your mobility and strength in the knee back to normal?

Boley: The strength came back pretty good. It's one of those things where you can test it out doing stuff on your own, but the real test is when you're actually getting back going against other guys and getting a workout.

Thompson: This year started out great for you with free agency when the Giants stepped up to the plate. Talk a little bit about what free agency was like for Michael Boley and your excitement about the offer.

Boley: It was a tough process. It's a waiting game from the time the season is over. You're not really sure if the team you are with is going to re-sign you or which team out there is going to sign you. The closer you get to free agency, you wait. And when free agency starts, it's like a mad rush waiting to see who is going to call and what their offer is going to be like. For me, I was just trying to be patient. When my agent told me the Giants wanted to sign me, I was ecstatic because of the history of the franchise and the things they have done in the past. It's a great opportunity for me--my first and last offer. I was sold.

Thompson: Earlier this year, you had surgery for a torn labrum in the hip. Was that something that had bothered you in the past, and how did that happen?

Boley: It's just one of those things you regret. I was doing some stretching, I squatted down and I guess the labrum just caught and tore. It just happened. And you're like, 'how did that happen?'

Thompson: You had never missed a game while playing for the Falcons due to injury, so emotionally and mentally, how have you handled having to work through two recent injuries?

Boley: It's been very challenging, especially coming in here with high hopes of doing the things that they brought me here for. I've been anxious to get out there and produce. Coming back from hip surgery, I was so excited and I was just getting to the point in the game where I was getting into a groove--and then bam--the knee goes and I'm out for another month. It's been a roller coaster.

Thompson: What were the biggest adjustments you had to make moving into the Giants' scheme versus what you were used to in Atlanta?

Boley: It wasn't a really big adjustment, but the biggest adjustment was really going from strongside to weakside--playing over the tight end for four years, and now being able to free up a little more. Being able to use my speed and run more has been a good thing for me.

Boley logged 265 tackles during his four seasons in Atlanta.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Thompson: Talk a little bit about your skill set, because I've always admired your tackling ability. You seem to wrap-up really well and hit with good impact. What have you done to help you have so much success in that area?

Boley: It's something you have to work at. It's not easy by far, especially with some of the running backs and receivers in this league now. It's one of those things where you just keep up with your technique, wrap up and don't let go.

Thompson: Last year at this time you were practicing against Michael Turner, a hard-nosed runner. And now you come up to New York and you've got to face a guy like Brandon Jacobs. Talk a little bit about Brandon and what he brings to the game.

Boley: He is tough. I mean, you get a guy that's 6-foot-4, 265 pounds and is a hard-nosed, downhill runner. Anytime you get a guy of that size with that kind of speed, it's hard to stop him. It's great having him as a teammate. It's been great watching him run the ball, there aren't many guys like that. He is very impressive.

Thompson: As a linebacker, give us a little glimpse of the contrast of Ahmad Bradshaw, who is also having a great season.

Boley: Oh my goodness, it's a big change. You get a guy like Brandon coming at you--and he is big--and then you get Ahman, who is half his size, but he runs with such a low center of gravity and he runs so hard. It's tough with guys like that.

Thompson: Last week was a tough game for the Giants, giving up 40 points to the Eagles. I know you had to be chomping at the bit, wishing you could have been out there helping those guys and bringing your talent to the field. From a defensive perspective, what do you think went wrong overall?

Boley: I can't say it's one big thing we need to work on. I think it's a bunch of small things we need to work on. I think it's just up to us to settle down, take a step back and really look at things and focus on making these little things better--and I think we will be all right.

Thompson: I looked at some of the stats for the Giants defense, and you guys are doing a spectacular job in some areas. You're third in the league in forcing three-and-out drives, you're second in limiting third-down conversions, third in net passing yards per game allowed, and nineteenth against the rush--which is roughly average in the league. What's really biting you guys is the points allowed. You've surrendered 12 rushing touchdowns and 12 passing touchdowns. It's a real anomaly, because overall you're doing a pretty good job statistically, and yet these teams are managing to put up some big point totals on you.

Boley: We have done good in some areas, but for us, we really need to focus on one area--scoring defense. I think it's one of those things that is going to run its course over the year, and we are going to get better. This is a defense that doesn't accept failure. We've got too many guys on defense who are about to excel, so I see us getting better over the next couple of weeks.

Thompson: Earlier this year I talked to Chris Canty, another terrific guy. Chris has been trying to come back from an injury, too. With both of you being new faces on the team and both coming off of an injury situation, have you bonded at all since you've been going through that experience together?

Boley: Oh yeah, we've been kind of close. We actually trained together for the Combine a few years back, so we've known each other for quite a while now. We help push each other as far as getting back and contributing to the team.

Thompson: Michael, do the New York Giants fans a favor. You guys are coming off of three losses, but you have an awful lot of talent on this team. Give them some optimism, a few comments from a guy inside the team who can tell them why they should be pumped up about this ball club the rest of the way.

Boley: They should be pumped up because things will get better. This is not a team that accepts losing or failure. From this day forward, there is one thing that I can say about this team, and that is we will get better and we will accept nothing less.

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