Ryan Grant Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 9

(Can you talk about how you've been able to run with this opportunity?)

To be honest with you, I think it is a combination of a lot of things. I'm trying to take advantage of the opportunity and really just wanting to contribute whichever way that is. The team has been doing a great job, pulling together, I think from the midway point of working on fundamentally what we wanted to work on. Even though we were winning games, we felt like we could get better in a lot of different things and everybody has been pulling together.

(How much did the New York experience help you?)

I learned a lot. Those two years were very good for me from a sense of experience on and off the field. My first year coming out was a humbling experience. Even being there last year, having to sit out, was a learning experience. I learned a lot from Tiki on and off the field. I feel like as a group, as a backfield, we help each other out a lot.

(Can you take us back to the night you cut your arm at a club?)

I cut my arm. That's about it. I'm not going to go into detail.

(Do you think about that night?)

Not very often to be honest with you. I've moved forward. It was unfortunate. It was something that happened. It was a freak accident. I guess I could have, maybe, changed but I moved forward with it. I was blessed. Once I was told that I was going to be OK I just moved forward and tried to work as hard as possible.

(Did you change at all because of that experience?)

Not necessarily. Any time something like that happens you take a look at some things. I don't think I was a bad person so there wasn't much to change dramatically.

(Do you remember the moment you realized you could help this team?)

I never really thought I was just some guy on the roster. The mentality you take is that everybody contributes. I guess from the stance of fans really looking at it, I guess it would have to be the Denver game. When I came in we were able to do some things offensively, running the ball against them.

(What is it about the RB position that makes guys fall through the cracks or emerge from nowhere?)

For our position there are a lot of instincts, things that go along with it. There are a lot of good backs out there, guys that can run but for whatever reason don't have an opportunity. When you look at our backfield, we have four backs that can run. Before DeShawn Wynn went down, we had four backs that can get the job done. But from a sense of carries, how do you get four guys the opportunity to get the ball? That's just how it works. Sometimes guys do fall through the cracks.

(What were you doing when you found out about the trade here?)

I was at my house. My family was calling people, telling them I made the team in New York. Then I got a phone call that said I made the team but then I got traded.

(What was your initial reaction to the trade?)

Initially surprised, just a little shocked. I didn't really think that I would be traded. It was something that I looked at the positive in it. It was an opportunity to play for this team that wanted me. They traded for me at that point in the season. For anybody to trade for you is a good thing. That's how I took it.

(Do you have a favorite play you're best suited for?)

Not really. I feel comfortable with all of the plays. There's nothing really in particular. If you look at the film, we do a lot of different things. A lot of people ask me, 'Do you like tosses? Is that your favorite?' We do a bunch of different things.

(Were explosive runs always a part of your game in college? What's been working for you to get so many this year?)

I try to make it always a part. No. 1 is everybody up front, bodies-on-bodies. They make it real easy for me. The wide receivers do a great job. We always talk about finishing plays, finishing blocks. One thing I say is that I'll take care of the safeties. That's my job, once I get to that level, to the second level, to take care of linebackers and safeties.

(How big is that 1,000-yard milestone and how disappointed were you to just miss it?)

It's not really that big considering what game we're playing in. That's the No. 1 thing. I guess from an individual standpoint, from a team standpoint it is big. It's something you want to reach as a team. From the offensive group, it means that you're doing some good things. In the big scheme of things that we're trying to accomplish on this team, it's not that big.

(How do you feel about the running game being more a part of the offense than early in the season?)

At this point it's not a matter of feeling more. I think from the past 11 weeks we've been a part of this offense so I think you can say that we are a part of this offense. The running back corps is big contributors. We take care of business from the sense of receiving, blocking, and that's the pride that we take in this team. We want to do whatever it takes. Some games that will mean we have to run the ball. Some games that will mean just protecting Brett. Whatever it means, we're willing to do it.

(Do you feel like you've proven that you're a No. 1 running back in the league?)

It doesn't really matter to me. For myself, just the approach that I've always taken is that I'm going to try to perform on the field, and hope to prove everything on the film. And winning games, that's the No. 1 thing. Whether they feel like I'm a bona fide No. 1, whatever spot they put me in I'm going to try and take advantage of it. Whatever role they want me to be, I'll roll with that. I don't get caught up in that.

(Did you get the sense your teammates were impressed with you when you caught that screen pass against the Giants?)

There were some things early on. I had a couple plays, whether it was in practice or in the game, when I would do something and guys would say, 'Oh man,' because guys didn't even know me. They didn't know my first name when I got here. They understand. We have a bunch of backs. It's just a matter of trying to get guys carries. I understood that. I knew what my role was at that point. It's really just trying to take advantage of what they give to you. I didn't know how many plays I was going to get at that point in time. I just tried to make the best of everything.

(Do you remember that play in particular?)

The screen in New York? It was just a regular screen. I was with the Giants for a while so I know how some of the guys tackle. I felt like I could take advantage of the way Webster hits. I spun off the tackle and went down the field.

(What do you see from Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill?)

I've known Leroy for a little while. I think he's a fast, energy type of player. He plays real fast. He plays physical. You definitely hear about Peterson and Tatupu but I think Leroy is one of the catalysts in that linebacking corps. He plays at another speed. Whenever you have a linebacking corps that does that, good things usually happen. We need to exceed that intensity.

(How do you think it will affect the game on Saturday with having fewer players with playoff experience than Seattle?)

With the approach that we take towards practice every week for every game, I don't think it will play a part. The veterans on this team have done a really good job of bringing us along and letting us know what to expect, different things like how to exceed that intensity jumping from the regular season to a playoff game. It's something that we have to learn by jumping into it. I feel like the preparation that we're putting in will be necessary.

(What's the most useful thing you've been told about the playoffs?)

Just play our game really. Nothing's changed from the sense of what we do as a team. Of course we know that the intensity is going to rise. Really, if we play our game we'll be OK. Finish our blocks, that's one thing that we want to focus on. Just finish as a team and finishing everything that we do. Keep that focus going.

(Since you got here you've always talked about winning being the most important thing, but do you relish the idea of being a star running back?)

I feel like all of that stuff, from an individual standpoint, a running back of course, you want to run for a certain amount of yards. You do have individual goals that you want to accomplish. Scoring touchdowns and running for a lot of yards are things that you always want to do as a running back. But I've learned that if you don't win, it really doesn't mean anything. Nobody hears about the guy who ran for 100 yards in the Super Bowl and lost. It doesn't make a difference. I know how I feel when I win. I don't play this game necessarily to go for that yardage. I play to win the game. That's why I love football because it's a team aspect and you have to win with your team. I may run for 100 yards but if we don't take care of business across the board, we still might not win. I guess all the extra stuff is nice and definitely something that I appreciate, I really do, but No. 1 I do want to win.

(Have you always thought that way and how do you avoid getting caught up in the individual success?)

I'm a competitor. From the earliest point I can remember, no matter what I'm in I want to win. I don't care what it is, cards or whatever it is. If I'm doing something with coach, I may let him win because he's my coach but I probably want to win. It's just my mentality. It's not about an individual standpoint. If it's an individual sport then OK. But from a team aspect, that's one of the things I love about football is that it takes everybody to get it done. It doesn't matter how hard I play, if the guys up front don't take care of business then it doesn't make a difference. Brett could be playing great, if I'm not protecting for him then it doesn't make a difference. We all have to play together and play on the same page. I think that's what makes football special. When look at what makes it special it's that everybody has to be on the same page and you can see exactly what a team can do if everybody is clicking together.

{sportsad300}(In golf or 1-on-1 basketball would you be a different guy?)

I'm still going to be tenacious but if it's 1-on-1 I'm going to try and beat you. I think people look at the fact that I don't pat myself on the back and I don't recognize certain things that I do but at the end of the day, nothing that I do is without the help of somebody else. I know the work that they're putting in. I know the work that Tauscher and Cliff put in everyday. I appreciate all of that and I recognize all of that. Without their work, I can't do anything. It's definitely a team aspect.

(Did the linemen get anything for 956 yards?)

They will. They haven't yet but they will.

(How did Brett Favre treat you before and after you made a name for yourself here?)

He didn't joke around with me as much. But he did, to be honest with you, he communicated with me very well from the first day that I got here, always letting me know where he wanted me to be, what he was looking for from me on the field with certain plays. That's the one thing that is very good about Brett, he always lets you know what he's looking for so there's never a miscommunication. You appreciate that out of a quarterback, leading you and the little detail things are important. I feel like he's comfortable with me. I don't really know if that's true but he made me feel comfortable.

(Did things change a little bit after the Giants play or the Denver game?)

He jokes with me a little bit more from the sense of making fun of me about certain things. Brett's a jokester in general. He definitely keeps that spirit alive, that young guy who's always out there playing hard.

(Do you appreciate the comparison with Dorsey Levens or do you pattern yourself after any other backs?)

I don't like to compare my style to other backs necessarily but I definitely appreciate the comparisons with Dorsey just because I know what he was to this organization and how high they hold him. I really appreciate that. I don't think I'm deserving of it. I said that before. I haven't really done that much and I know what he has accomplished. I take it if people want to say it. I definitely appreciate it.

(Have you talked to your friends on the Giants about possibly playing in the NFC title game?)

Yeah, I've actually spoke to a few guys. I was excited for them for the Tampa win. They're playing really well right now. They know that they have to take care of business in Dallas. We have to take care of our business. That's second to what we're trying to accomplish but I know in the back of their minds they don't really want to come to Green Bay.

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