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Aaron Kampman Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 18

(How ready are you guys for this? How was the week of practice, and can you gauge your team's emotion being one game away from the Super Bowl?)

High. Yeah, we're in a good position right now. We really feel excited. You know, it's almost like you want to kind of keep a simmer on it, not to get too excited too fast. But yeah, we're in a good position.

(Is there any concern that the Giants' offensive approach would seem to be very suitable to the kind of conditions that are expected on Sunday?)

Well, they like to run the ball obviously, and so obviously when the elements and weather are involved, you want to be able to run the football. The positive side is that we run the football pretty good, too. So I think defensively we take that as a challenge. We know that that's what they want to do. We know right off the bat that it's going to be a huge factor in the game, who's going to be able to control the ground game.

(How does the weather affect anything about your job at all? Do you change anything?)

I don't think you change necessarily anything. It's just more of a focus standpoint. I think you realize that it's going to be cold. I think you're lying to yourself if you don't realize that it's going to be cold out there. Having said that, it's more just a decision to say, hey, I have to go out and do my job, and I'm going to do it well. I know that might sound cliché, but that's really what it comes down to. Yeah, you do a little extra planning as far as what you're going to wear, things like that, to make sure there's no distractions on game day, should I have this on or that on. You get that all laid out beforehand. But really that's probably the only difference.

(Ryan Pickett yesterday was talking about how so early in his career he got a chance to go to the Super Bowl, assumed it would happen year after year. You've never had that chance and you got real close with the Philadelphia game, the 4th and 26 has been talked about forever. Does that still drive you guys at all that you got that close and didn't finish it?)

Obviously that's the last time we got ourselves in a position to be as close as we are now, but I don't think personally, ... I can speak for myself, I haven't thought about that game at all this year. I think what I've taken to heart, though, is what Mike talked about earlier. This is even before the Seattle game. He says, guys, listen, that was his rookie year in coaching, and he was with the Chiefs then, and they made it to the AFC Championship game, lost the game, but he figured we'll be back next year. And it's been however many years he's been in coaching now to get back to this position. I think that to me really hit me and helped me to realize that this is a special moment, and so you want to take advantage of it.

(Obviously it was a physical game in the trenches last time you guys met. In your experience when you play a team a second time and the game was like that, does that add anything more? Is there a little extra stuff going on when it's a rematch like that?)

I don't think so. You know, it's the NFC Championship game. There will be plenty of energy and plenty of excitement, plenty of physicality, so to speak. I think really what it does, though, is you have a little bit of familiarity with the team, just like a divisional game. Whether we're playing the Vikings or the Lions or the Bears, you get those guys twice a year so you know their personnel, so having played the Giants earlier in the year, obviously it was very early in the season, but they had a lot of the same personnel. It just kind of gives us a familiarity with this football team.

(Dan mentioned what Ryan said yesterday. Ryan also said that the interior linemen can't wear sleeves but the ends are allowed to. Why the double standard?)

I don't know, you'd have to ask Ryan that (smiling).

(This time has been particularly loose all year long. Has that changed at all as the stakes have gotten greater?)

I don't think so. I think we realize the fact that there's more at stake. But having said that, you know, we still are the same team. Coach McCarthy has done a great job of keeping us on the same routines, keeping us in the same, basically the same structure as Week 2 or 3 or 10 or whatever, and I think that's really been a benefit for us. No, we're still goofing around at times, not in a negative sense, but we enjoy each other's company. We don't look at it as coming to work. I think we enjoy each other, and that's been a real key to our success this year.

(With all the talk of what happened in Week 2 obviously between you and them and Nick Barnett and everything, do you have to remind yourself, hey, we can be physical but use your brain, stuff like that, or how do you approach it?)

In terms of the...

(In terms of the magnitude of this game and the situation and stuff like that.)

Yeah, I mean, I guess. It's the NFC Championship game, so I don't think there's any need for extra incentive or extra motivation. It's pretty much out there. If you don't have it up for this game, you don't have a heartbeat (laughing). I think that's really what it comes down to.

(What does it tell you about the Giants that they've gotten here the hardest possible way, by winning on the road in the playoffs a couple times? They've played well on the road all year. What do you think about their confidence level and what does that say about them to you?)

I think it says a lot about their team. Being a good road team ourselves, I know what that takes, to be able to go out on the road and be successful. So obviously they have a lot of confidence. They've gone the hard road. You know, when you're on the road you kind of have this mentality of us versus the world. We know it well. Like I said, we've had success on the road, as well. That's kind of what we do, so I'm sure they're rallying around the same type of idea, and it's worked for them.

{sportsad300}(Just two years removed from 4-12, talk about the road to get back to this point right now and the ups and downs this team has gone through.)

Yeah, my first three years here we went to the playoffs every year. I just kind of anticipated it. We were the Green Bay Packers and we were going to win the NFC North and go to the playoffs and then win the Super Bowl. Obviously we came on hard times with that 4 and 12 season and last year kind of rebuilding the new regime with Coach McCarthy. So it's been exciting to have some ups and downs. But I think everything that I've seen about our team that's been so positive is even in that 4-12 season, the core members of our team I think really showed what they were about, you know, the character involved. And even when we were 4-12, that last game we played Seattle in '05, we came out to win that game. And then continuing that type of a mantra. So I think what it's really done for me is it's been really enjoyable to see, now we get to see some of the fruit from that labor and perseverance.

(Because the Packers have had such success playing in the wintry conditions there's a public perception that they enjoy playing in those conditions. Nobody really enjoys that, do they?)

Again, it's a decision of the mind. I think we relish it because we're at home. This is what we play for. We play for home-field advantage this late in the year. We look at it as a definite advantage for us being able to be in a familiar setting, being in our home locker room, being in this situation.

(Do you, in fact, not like the way the Giants' offensive line plays? And that description of them being dirty, does that still apply?)

Listen, I think anyone that knows me knows that I am not one to talk negative about any other person or club. Yeah, I mean, that's pretty self-explanatory. I don't know how this whole deal, ... I came to work today and everyone said there's a bunch of stuff out there. I didn't even know what they were talking about. I didn't watch the news or anything. Like I said, there's nothing there. I think the Giants play the game extremely hard. I actually respect that. Yeah, I don't know where that all found its source.

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