Chad Clifton Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 17

(How quick is Osi Umenyiora compared to some other players?)

Osi, he's a phenomenal player. That goes without saying. You look at him on tape and he brings everything that you look for in a defensive end to the table - very athletic, very quick, excellent length in his arms and he plays with power as well. So it's definitely going to be a challenge.

(How have you stayed so durable during your career?)

I wish I knew man. There's really no secret, just come in every day. You do what you have to do as far as on the practice field and then you do your rehab and your treatments and just try to stay as healthy as possible and stay as strong as possible.

(Did you see yourself at all in the younger guards when they came in and how did you mentor those guys?)

You kind of know where they're coming from, what they're going through, what they're experiencing right now. Starting as a rookie, it's not an easy thing at all. You come into the league where there's a lot of great players and you have to bring your 'A' game each and every week, and there's definitely a learning curve there. Week in, week out the guys are getting better, definitely.

(What does Justin Tuck bring to the Giants pass rush?)

Tuck is a very versatile player. He plays inside and out, a lot like Osi. He may even be a little bit taller, maybe a lit bit longer than Osi, but another great athlete. Very strong at the point, he's very good against the run, so yeah, another excellent player

(How much do you enjoy run-blocking more plays in a game now that Grant in the backfield?)

Yeah, that's a definite plus for any offensive lineman. When you're able to run the ball with success, especially the way we have the past eight or nine weeks, Ryan you can't say enough about the guy. He comes in, plays hard, plays with great vision and he just tries to finish everything.

(Did you take not running the ball well early in the season personally?)

Yeah, I mean in a way we took it personally. As an offensive line you want to be able to run the ball and we were catching a lot of bad press from not being able to run the ball very well, so I think each and every player just kind of looked within themselves, kind of looked at themselves to see what they could do better and as the weeks went on that's something we improved on.

(How much of the improvement is more continuity on the offensive line, how much is improvement is the zone-blocking scheme and how much of it is Grant?)

I think it's a little bit of both, of all three. As the weeks go on you're going to be more cohesive and then you bring in Ryan Grant, a guy that plays with absolute great vision. He knows where the cutbacks are going to be a lot of the time, so it's a combination of all.

(Do you read headlines and keep up with bad press?)

Yeah, you check it out occasionally. It's not like I go to the computer each day and 'Oh, let's see what they're writing about us today,' but it's kind of hard to avoid there in the early weeks.

(How much pride do you take in not requiring much help in pass protection?)

I think Mark and myself, we both take a lot of pride in that. It's not like we never get any help whatsoever, but it's minimal and we both go out there, we trust our technique, we work hard in practice and that's why we've had success.

(What does being a leader by performance mean to you?)

Just basically what he said. I go out there and kind of lead by example, just go out there and do my job each and every day. You know (I'm) not a big rah-rah guy by any means but just go out and do my job.

(What don't you like about attention? You don't seek it out. Do you just not care about that kind of stuff?)

Just to be pretty blunt, I just don't go looking to make headlines every day or get in the paper every day.

(If Strahan and Umenyiora have quiet days does that mean you've done your job?)

Well, I think that's with any offensive lineman, the opposing defender, if you don't hear their name very much I think that's a pretty good indicator that the offensive lineman has done a pretty good job.

(When you watched film of Tauscher against Kerney, was that the best he's played against a top-tier pass rusher?)

Tausch has played well for a number of years. This is his eighth season and he's faced Patrick before and I will say this. I've never seen that much hype before one individual match-up, especially since he's faced him before and has played well against him before. But Mark's a great player and he's going to go out each week and battle and compete and do what it takes to win.

(What is the pressure and responsibility of pass blocking for a player like Brett?)

Everybody knows Brett Favre. He's probably the most recognizable face, I would say, in the NFL and you know, you never want to be the guy that lets the quarterback get hit, get touched, get injured, so every offensive lineman takes a lot of pride in keeping their quarterback clean.

(What do you go through to prepare for the conditions that are expected on Sunday?)

There's really no change. We live in Green Bay year-round so we're kind of accustomed to the weather. Me personally, as far as any equipment changes, there'll be none. We really don't wear the thermals and all that stuff as an offensive line. We just kind of go out there.

(What do you do to an offensive lineman who wants to wear sleeves?)

You just kind of tell him, you know, ever since I've been here it kind of goes back to Frank Winters and those guys, it's like, 'Hey we don't wear sleeves here, so get used to it.' So you pretty much just say that to them.

(Do you get to the point where you can't feel your arms?)

It just depends on how bad the wind is blowing. That Chicago game, the arms were stinging. That was brutal. But it can be 10 degrees, 8 degrees, 9 degrees. As long as the wind is not that bad you can get through it.

(That shows how tough you are but does it show how smart you are?)

Well, Mike Eayrs tells us every Thursday, he gets up in front of the team and speaks to us. He says, 'You know, nobody's going to go to the hospital from the weather, so you guys will live it through it.' It's a mental thing. You've just got to be tough.

(When you first got here did you try to wear sleeves and Frank Winters told you no?)

I might have asked him but it's like, 'What about sleeves, you know, it's 10 degrees right now. Why are we going out there in just T-shirts and our shoulder pads?' And, it's just the way it is.

{sportsad300}(Has your podium appearance been a topic of conversation among the offensive line and will they critique it?)

Are they going to watch this? Yeah, with Mark maybe, Tauscher maybe, but I would hope they have a lot better things to do.

(You're a quiet guy. Can you get used to all this attention?)

Oh yeah, I'm fine with it. It doesn't bother me.

(You don't consider yourself shy at all?)

No, not at all.

(What kind of pride do you take in being out there every week?)

Yeah, you kind of get the starts rolling and I can't tell you, other than the Miami game last year, how many consecutive starts I have. But it's definitely a pride thing. You want to be able to go out and you want to be able to play for your team each and every Sunday.

(That was bad sushi that caused you to miss the Miami game last year right?)

I believe that's what it was. I don't know what that was. Everybody else had the exact same sushi so, I don't know what I came down with, man. It was brutal though.

(Did you see Dallas' line get tired against the Giants in the second half?)

I don't know if they wore out, just definitely the second half the Giants defense, they were coming up in the A and B gaps, so for whatever reason - I don't know if it was blown assignments or just the scheme. But we definitely watched that tape and that's something that we're going to concentrate on, being fundamentally sound. In our offense that's the way we go. We protect the A and B gaps first and then let the outside rushers do what they do.

(How much better are the Giants at blitzing now than they were in Week 2?)

I think you just go back to the tape, you look at last week for example, and even the week prior to that, their linebackers are a lot more involved in their blitz schemes now and they're getting home a lot of times.

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