Locker room chatter, 12/26

Posted on December 26, 2007 
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Here are a few snippets from media availability today at Gillette Stadium — we have Rodney Harrison, Heath Evans and Kevin Faulk. We’ll also make sure to post the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady Q&A’s later this afternoon, as well as the first injury report of the week:

Safety Rodney Harrison
On the most important thing facing this team on Saturday…
Just to go out there — in all three phases — and play good football. Execute on defense, make sure the communication is good. Offensively, obviously put up some points and don’t turn the ball over. And special teams, create good field position.

On seeking that “perfect” game…
You have to. You have to. You never get to a perfect game, but you have to continually seek to get there. We haven’t been there. We need to. Like in the past game, we played well in the first half, but in the second half, we came out and laid an egg, so we have to play more consistently.

On whether or not you can take anything from the preseason game against the Giants…
It has no bearing on now. Teams are different, guys are different — similar, but different. That’s almost 20 weeks ago. That’s a long time ago. You just go out there … if you don’t have it down by now, you’re never going to get it. Just go out there and try to play solid football.

On the Giants being one of the most physical teams they’ve faced this year…
No question. Probably one of the best offensive lines we’ve faced. They have receivers that want to block you in the running game as well as three backs that can get downhill and create some confusion down there. They’re so big and so physical. You start with Jacobs at 6-foot-4, 270, he can run a 4.4 40. And you see guys on film who really don’t want to tackle him, so definitely a challenge there, and also in the passing game with Plaxico and Amani Toomer.

On how he avoids talk of records outside of the locker room…
I hang up on them. My family knows not to say anything about an undefeated season or anything like that, because I will hang up on you. It’s pretty easy for me, because when I go home, my wife is telling me to clean up the kitchen or take the garbage out. I don’t have to really deal with it. It’s just the focus of the guys in this locker room knowing that you can’t look too far ahead and you have to stay focused on the game at hand, because if you start looking ahead to someone, that clearly shows disrespect to this team.

On going 16-0…
Maybe once I’m done playing, I can sit back on that and reflect on that if we win. But right now is not the time.

Fullback Heath Evans
On whether or not you can take anything from the preseason game against the Giants…
[It means] nothing. The last preseason game, I don’t even remember how many of our starters played, I don’t remember how many of theirs played. They’re a good team — they’ve win 10 games in a tough league. They’re just a big, physical team that creates challenges. You see fast teams, you see physical teams. But this team, on film, physical is the first word that comes to mind.

On the most important thing to get out of this game…
Teamwise, I don’t really know. One thing I know the running backs have talked about is let’s get better this week. This is the last regular-season game, so for us, we’ve tried to get better week in and week out through 15 [games], so let’s not let that change this week. We’re not looking forward to anything else but to get better this week.

On the importance of establishing the run, as they’ve done the last couple of weeks…
I don’t think … we stick in a game plan, and it’s been effective all year. I don’t know how other teams look at us. I know offensively, just because a team hasn’t blitzed in three or four weeks, I don’t think that means they’re not going to blitz us. If a team hasn’t run a Cover 2 in eight weeks, I’m not saying they won’t do it. I don’t think teams necessarily look at it like they can’t do this so let’s worry about the pass. I think they play based on game plans, and for us, the game plan has called for more passes some weeks and more runs some weeks. For us, I don’t think there was ever a doubt as to what we could do. I just think we want to be ready when those opportunities do come. It’s a performance league, and we do like to pride ourselves in the running back room, to get it done when we’re called upon. And that’s getting 4 or 4.5 yards a touch.

On how his role might change when faced with such an aggressive front four…
They get up field. For me, it’s awareness this week of maybe not even being so much focused on my guys but be aware to correct mistakes. They have a great defensive line. They have great linebackers — they get a paycheck too. They’re going to create errors, and so I have to be ready to adjust and do my part when I’m called upon to get this running game going.

Running back Kevin Faulk
On what standards he sets to be a successful running back…
Yards per carry, how you block. Little things.

On Belichick saying the Giants’ have an ability to stop backs and create negative yardage…
If Bill says it, it’s definitely true. He watches more film than anybody. So you have to trust in what Bill says and do it.

On the key to getting positive yards against the Giants…
Trust. Trusting that guy next to you to that he’ll get his guy blocked, understanding ways you’re trying to attack their defense.

On how his role might change when faced with such an aggressive front four…
By being ready for anything. You can’t anticipate the changes. You just have to be ready for it.

On whether or not you can take anything from the preseason game against the Giants…
It was so far ago … right now, you just have to worry about things to improve your team that you have to work on.

On the importance of establishing the run, as they’ve done the last couple of weeks…
As a team, we’re just trying to make our team better, each and every week. We’re doing what we have to do, and one of those things was emphasizing the run, and we’re just trying to do that piece by piece right now.

On the keys to blitz pickup against the Giants…
If you’re facing a team that blitzes a whole lot, of course it becomes a greater point of emphasis. But at the same time, you have to be able to do it no matter what the situation is, no matter who the guy facing you is, o matter who you are. It’s you’re job. If you can’t do it, you won’t play.

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