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Michael Matthews interview

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Michael Matthews interview

Post  Big_Pete on Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:34 pm

a good read


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Player Spotlight: TE Michael Matthews

Q: How is your shoulder coming along?
A: Itís coming along good. It feels great out there. There are no twinges out there or soreness. Feels really good.

Q: You, of course, are not at liberty during the season to discuss injuries, but now that this one is behind you, just how much of a problem was the injury with your performance last year?
A: A lot of guys get bumps and bruises and are able to play through them, but anytime you have instability in a joint like I had, it does affect you big-time. I had the injury early in the year and toward the end, I was pretty much trying to work with one arm. But I wonít say that it totally took away from my game.

Q: With Jeremy Shockey gone, right now you are the #2 tight end. How does that change your role in this offense, if at all?
A: Right now I donít know. I guess weíll see during the course of training camp and preseason how I develop and if I develop according to what Coach Coughlin and Coach Gilbride want. Iím sure they have a role for me in mind and my thing is to work as hard as I can and give them everything I can to the best of my ability.

Q: Have they put anything new in the playbook to take advantage of the combination of your unique talents as well as those of Kevin Bossí?
A: Things are pretty much similar, though there are a few changes. You change to better yourself. So right now I donít see a huge difference, but there are some. Thatís just a matter of us trying to make the concepts better.

Q: With Shockey gone, you guys lost a pretty vocal and emotional leader whom on numerous occasions last year you all mentioned was instrumental in coaching you up. How have you guys been filling that void?
A: It does change a lot because we could look to him and he has been through a lot of battles on the field. That voice is definitely missed. I guess maybe we could always shoot him a text message or something. But seriously, itís up to us now to dig into Coach Popeís head because heís got a lot of knowledge up there, and we need to get that and apply it to what we do on the field.

Q: Every one Iíve spoken to said you have to forget about last year, that this year is a whole new season. How do you forget about one of the greatest seasons ever in pro sports without letting your ego swell?
A: It is tough, but you do have to put it behind you. We celebrated enough, but itís time for the 2008 season. I totally understand and I totally grasp that. Now that itís my second year, I really feel the seriousness and understand that it is about winning games, and that this is what we have to do. Thatís the only way you win championships. This year we have the targets on our backs so we have to crank it up and go it.

Q: Iíve seen a few offensive formations where it looks like youíre playing that H-back role or in some cases, even fullback. Am I imagining things or is that something they have you working on thatís new for this year?
A: No, youíre not imagining things. Iíve always had that kind of role Ė even when I was in college I was able to go into the backfield and be on the line of scrimmage and thatís a positive. Being versatile is key; it helps you stick around longer.

Q: What do you feel you need to show the coaching staff to reinforce the confidence they have in you?
A: Just showing improvement overall. Showing that the mistakes you made previously you now have it down. Footwork, your hands, going downfield Ė whatever it may be, just show improvement. Thatís what coaches like to see, that you accept their teaching and youíre actually applying it so that you are on the same page with everyone else.
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