The New York Giants took the stage at Super Bowl media day and fielded a lightning round of questions about their roller-coaster season, comparisons to the 2007 Giants, the potential weaknesses of the Patriots and Peyton Manning, among other topics.
The following are background notes and insightful quotes from key Giants.
It’s unclear how much Patriots wide receiver/defensive back Julian Edelman will be matched up on Cruz, but it isn’t difficult to imagine one of the Giants’ receivers abusing Edelman like Anquan Boldin did during the Ravens’ final drive in the AFC championship game.
“(When) you’re watching film, just naturally when you see one of the defensive backs as a wide receiver, you get excited.”
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Umenyiora held out from Giants training camp in a contract dispute until July 31. He was then sent home from practice and pushed for a trade before having knee surgery. He eventually put aside his frustration and added more terror to the pass rush after returning in Week 4 from the surgery.
“Had to swallow my pride … but you have to sacrifice for the team.”
If Eli Manning were camera shy, Tuesday would have been a miserable day for him. (AP Photo)
Asked to compare Jason Pierre-Paul to the Giants’ 2007 team leader Michael Strahan:
“I’m not gonna compare Jason to Strahan—that’s blasphemy. I was here for Strahan. … Jason is playing off pure athleticism.”
The 2011 Giants were able to rebound from a four-game losing streak and win five consecutive must-win games beginning with Week 16 of the regular season.
“We had our backs against the wall a bunch.”
Bill Belichick is revered for his ability to take away the opponent’s best offensive weapon or strategy. But will he be able to take away the Giants’ various key passing game components—Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, Ahmad Bradshaw and Cruz?
“Whoever they try to take away, other guys will get open.”
On his brother’s tenuous position with a neck injury and an owner who’s ready to move on with Andrew Luck: “Peyton’s going to do everything he can to get back healthy, and he wants to continue to play football. … If he can do that, everything else will work itself out.”
Eli Manning and the Giants are 7-1 in their last eight playoff games. He proved his toughness by enduring 20 hits in the NFC championship game at San Francisco.
“When things get tough, you get our best performance.”