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The Kiwanuka transcript


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October 27, 2008 4:58 PM


Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka spoke to reporters via conference call earlier this afternoon. Here's the complete transcript of what Kiwanuka said:


Could you talk about the difference in performances between the road game yesterday and the road game in Cleveland a couple of weeks ago?


I think a lot just has to do with the determination that we had after putting a bad performance together on national television. We kind of had the focus and mentality not to let it happen again so when we got in the game we were definitely prepared this week and we knew the kind of fight and the kind of battle we were going to get into and the coaches did a good job of preparing us for the kind of things we were going to see. After that it was just a lot of effort from a lot of people.


Was it good to get the turnovers going?


Yeah, that is huge. As a defense that is something that you have to do in order to help your team win. We have guys who play big-time ball in the secondary and this week we definitely contributed once again as a group upfront on the d-line and that is the kind of thing that we need to do week in and week out.


The locker room was pretty lively after the game. What does that say about what the team felt about the game and the victory?


If you look at this team, if you look at the Steelers, they are a great team and to go into their stadium and beat them at a point where they are playing well and they are playing good football and they have a lot of their weapons together it was definitely a huge win. We are definitely excited about it.


You would think that after winning the Super Bowl it would be harder to get excited for a game like that, so does the excitement show the kind of team that you are?


Yeah I think we are definitely not resting or taking time off because we won last year. We have a lot of guys who have been in these situations before and guys who have played in the league for a long time and they know how rare Super Bowls are to come by. We are definitely still excited about playing every week.


Was this a good emotional setup for this week's game against the Cowboys?


Yeah, I think it is. I think it can be as long as we use it that way. If we take it the way that we should, which is a good victory and something we can build on then it definitely will help us out and help to propel us to next week.


It seems like turnovers come in groups, is there any reason for that?


I wish I knew. If I did, I would have the formula down, but they definitely come like that. They come in bunches and just hopefully the wave isn't over yet.


Since the defensive linemen are very competitive amongst each other, how good was it to get three sacks yesterday?


It felt real good. I have said before we compete with ourselves as a d-line more than we compete with anybody else and when you look across the line you have guys who have played at a high level, guys that are as capable as Tuck and Robbins, Cofield, and myself and Dave Tollefson. We have backup guys who can come in and definitely have great games so there is a lot of competition there.


How important is it for you to have a game like that where you put it on film so defensive coordinators have to start paying attention to you more and thus possibly create more opportunities for Tuck?


That is one thing that I definitely wanted to focus on. You see on film a lot of teams are paying a lot of attention to him and that is when I have to get the sack. When the game is put in my hands, when the coordinator says, 'Okay we are going to let this guy essentially beat us,' that is when, as a guy playing across from a great defensive player, you have to be able to step up and make that play. Now it will make things a little bit lighter on him and make it a little even. Hopefully other teams will start respecting both of us and then we can both go out there and play and have fun.


Was that what happened yesterday?


Yeah, in my opinion they did because they ran to one side, but then every time they were passing there were a couple times when I went through unblocked. I am in a stance 5 yards away from the quarterback and they decided to leave me untouched so those are the ones I am talking about where I have to capitalize on and be able to make the offense respect the right side of the line.


Is that at all insulting when they don't block you?


Ha ha, oh yeah. As a defensive end that is one of the biggest insults you can have, but I will take the sack and the quarterback hit. It should have been a couple more sacks for me, but as far as the way I played I feel good about it and as far as the way the team played so I am really excited. We are happy with the win and we just have to move on from that.


Is there much concern that despite a very good record you are barely ahead of the Redskins in the division?


That is just the nature of this division. There are a lot of great teams and these teams are playing some of their best ball right now so we knew coming into the season that that was the kind of battle we were going to be in. We didn't expect to be out in front regardless of how good we were playing early. We knew that we were going to have play some tough games in the middle and down towards the end so we are ready for the challenge.


I think there was a play at the start of the fourth quarter where one of their linemen fell near your leg, did that make you a little worried there and do you think he fell near you on purpose?


No. I couldn't say. I don't think he fell near me on purpose. During the course of the game stuff happens. If it was something where I really felt somebody was trying to intentionally do something I would speak up about it, but in this case, no, I just feel like it was one of those plays. Anytime you are coming off of an injury you are definitely a little more cognizant and a little more protective of that part of your body so yeah I felt it, but during the course of the game your adrenaline is pumping and it was just an afterthought.


What does this game against the Cowboys mean to you since you can really put some distance between your team and theirs if you can beat them?


It is huge. I think it is the toughest division in football and for us to go out there and get a win would be really big for this team and obviously would say a lot and would do a lot for our positioning, but we are really trying to take everything one game at a time because you can't look too hard at one because there is another one coming up. Obviously you don't want to look past any team, but that is all it is, it is just one game that we have to be focused on and get ready for.


What are your impressions of Flozell Adams?


Their entire offensive line, not just him, they are very talented. They are obviously one of the biggest, most physical lines in the NFL, but we have played them twice a year and we understand what they bring to the table and we know what kind of game and what kind of intensity we have to play with. If we play like we did last week, I think we will be okay.


Has Osi Umenyiora given you any tips strategically during this run for you?


Yeah. He obviously needed to take care of himself and get himself healthy, but he is definitely around and he is very active with not just me, but coaching everybody up on the defensive line. We definitely look to him and he has been there. He has been to Pro Bowls, he has had 13-plus sack seasons so we definitely respect everything he says and he has a lot to do with our success.


Has he done anything tactically with you such as positioning of the hands and feet etc?


Yeah, but that is not something that he started doing since he was hurt. I don't think about it because he does that all the time even before. When I first got here he would help me out. He would help everybody out just as far as where you need to place your hands, what kind of moves you can do against a particular guy, and all that kind of stuff, so yeah that is something he has always done.


Do you still remember that you were once a linebacker?


Ha ha, oh yeah I remember it. It was a challenge, but it was something that I felt like it gave our team the best chance to win a championship and everything turned out for the best.


Did you get anything out of that which has helped you play defensive end?


Yeah, I think just learning the total package of the defense and then understanding offensive formations and understanding what the guys behind you are trying to get out of the calls that they are making and being able to kind of be in their head when the ball is snapped, that definitely helps out because you know where a guy is going to be, where he is going to have trouble, where you might need to pick up some slack without doing too much. Without running into somebody or causing more problems than good.



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