Ryan Pickett Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 17

(What's the state of the pass rush right now? The sack numbers haven't been there but are you happy with the pressure?)

Most definitely. Sometimes things are not as it seems. Our sacks have been down but we're getting great pressure on the quarterback, causing them to throw quick, so we're not worried about the pass rush. It's there.

(What are teams doing against Kampman right now and is that freeing up other guys?)

I mean he's definitely drawing a lot of attention. It's freeing up a lot of guys and they're stepping up, getting pressure - mainly (Cullen) Jenkins last game. He had a big game rushing the passer. Kabeer (Gbaja-Biamila) did too, so Kamp's definitely drawing a lot of attention.

(What's a collision like between you and a 265-pound running back?)

Ooh, I don't know. I can't tell you. I've never had one yet, so it's definitely different. I know it's going to be just like tackling a guard. They can't run fast though. It's definitely going to be different. He's a big, physical running back, good feet, so we've got to do our best to stop him, try to stop him early.

(What did the Giants do to cause you to lose your composure and draw two personal fouls as a team?)

I mean it's been so long ago I'm not even sure. I'm sure it was a hit after the whistle, something like that, but I don't even know. We haven't talked about it. I ain't even thought about it.

(You have Jacobs by what, 35 pounds?)

I got him by a little more than that.

(When a guy's Jacobs' size what are the fundamental keys to bringing him down?)

Of course, hit him low. Normally guys that tall and big, they don't like being hit low so you definitely gotta hit him low and somebody like Brandon Jacobs, you've got to get him before he gets started downhill, because once he starts downhill he'll fall forward for six, seven yards. So it's important to make him use his feet in the backfield and not just let him run straight downhill. As a defensive line we have a challenge in front of us, one we haven't had all year, a back this big, but we have to get a lot of pressure and hit him early.

(Do you think it was the right decision to hold you out the last couple games and how much fresher are you now?)

Yeah I think it was the right decision. At the time I didn't think it was the right decision. I didn't like the decision Coach McCarthy made but now I got to be 100 percent healthy instead of playing on an injured groin. My legs felt great last game and we played pretty good against the run, so all in all I think it was a good call.

(What is it about the way Mike treats you guys that makes you like playing for him?)

He is a very approachable coach. He gets up there and he talks to us and a lot of times you kind of shy away from going and talking to the head coach, but not with Coach McCarthy. You can just walk up to him and just, hey, start talking about the day. He's one of those guys. All the players feel comfortable with him. We respect him. Everything he says, we listen. At the same time, we go to him and talk to him about our day and things just happening around the facility and he's just a great coach.

(Is he pretty straightforward when he's unhappy with something?)

Oh yeah, he's straightforward. He don't cut any corners. He tells us how he feels. If he don't like this or you're not doing what you're supposed to do, he tells you, and as a player you have to love it. You have to love it and respect it when a coach is straight forth and honest with you.

(How do you feel about playing in the extremely cold conditions that are expected for Sunday?)

I don't know. I'm seeing like three different reports on how cold it's going to be and really not even trying to worry about it. I know it's going to be very cold, so we're kind of ready for it and I don't think it's going to be a factor. I've never played in weather like that before. This is my first time but I'm kind of excited about it.

(What can you do to get ready for the cold?)

You can't do nothing. We can't do anything, and as the D-line, as the interior linemen, we're not even allowed to wear sleeves. It's like a little thing we have here that we don't even wear sleeves or anything, so I don't think you can do nothing. I think you've got to go out there and just face it. I mean, don't even think about it.

(Are you on board with that policy of no sleeves?)

I don't think I had a choice. They kind of just volunteered me on that one. When I got here I threw on some sleeves. They're like 'Hey, what you doing?' I'm like 'Man, it's cold. It's like 'No, it's not cold to you,' so you can't wear them, so I just follow suit.

(Do you remember who said that to you?)

All the guys. All the interior guys. The ends (are) on a different rule, but the inside and the offensive line, they said we can't do it. They said if you're over 300 pounds you can't wear sleeves, so that's pretty much all of us.

(We always say because you live here you're used to the weather, but when you go out don't you park as close to the door as you can?)

Yes, most definitely, park as close as I can. I mean, I guess in a way, you kind of get used to it. It's cold every day here and you just continue doing everything you have to do, so it's not like a big deal. I think it's all mental in dealing with the cold and I think we'll be fine with dealing with the cold. I mean we deal with it every day.

(How much equipment would you wear if it was up to you?)

Oh if it was up to me I'd probably have on some long johns, being from Florida. But it's not that bad. Once you get playing you kind of forget about it.

(Why did you choose Green Bay in free agency?)

I chose it because I just really felt a good fit with the coaches and the players they already had here. When they brought me up I met people and just what they were trying to do and what route they were going, and I just thought it was something great and I wanted to be a part of it.

(Do you feel like your career has gone to a different level in your years here in Green Bay?)

I think so. I think it's gone a different way. For one, I think I'm playing on a good defense. In St. Louis it was a couple years we struggled on defense and things like that, but here we're pretty good defensively and I think that just makes everybody just better.

(How does pressure effect Eli from what you've seen on tape?)

Personally I think pressure affects every quarterback. No quarterbacks want to get hit - not by 280-pound, 300-pound guys. I don't think anybody wants to sit back there and take a hit, so pressure definitely changes up any quarterback. It has to affect them, so will he handle it? He'll handle it like everyone else, I think, in the NFL.

(Do you marvel at the way your secondary hits?)

Oh yeah, we love it. We sit and watch film and watch those guys and we love it. It gets us going just knowing that they're back there just waiting to hit somebody. It's a good thing because a lot of secondaries, a lot of guys don't want to tackle, but our secondary's not like that. It's a very physical secondary and they love hitting and competing.

(Did you take the Super Bowl for granted playing for it in your first NFL season?)

Most definitely I did. I took it for granted my first year. I didn't take the moment. I thought 'Hey, it's going to be like this every year. It's my first year, we're here, oh yeah, it's going to be every year I'm going to be here, so it's no big deal.' But seven years later I've never been (back) so I'm definitely taking this time different. I'm more focused. I'm taking everything in. We're not trying to let this slip away. I'm not taking anything for granted and I'm also passing that same message to the younger players that I don't think anybody passed to me to take it in and you know, let's take advantage of our opportunity we have because it's not every year that teams have this opportunity.

{sportsad300}(How are you with guys in the locker room and how is your leadership?)

It's funny because coming from St. Louis I was like the youngest defensive lineman and now I'm like the old guy everybody coming to, 28 years old. It's definitely, I talk to them like I'm talking now and they come to me about certain things they haven't been through and things like that, and I just try to do my best to help them out. But mainly I try to lead by example, by how I play and how I practice and how I approach every situation.

(How seriously do you veterans take your leadership role with how young this team is?)

We take it serious. Sitting down just talking with Kampman and things like that, some days we have to hold each other accountable for what we say and do in practice because we can't go around complaining, because then they feel like it's all right to complain, so we hold ourselves at a different level than the younger ones. That's very important, especially when you have a young team, because they're going to follow the older leadership, and I think we have veteran guys in every position that do a good job of leading. In the secondary, you know, linebackers, everybody, so we have a pretty good group.

(Were there any qualities you noticed about the players in St. Louis that allowed them to get to the Super Bowl?)

The year I went, I know everybody says it, but I think we were a very close team that year. We had a good mix of people in veterans and younger players and I think a lot of getting through that, it has a lot to do with the locker room - how the guys are, how they get along, how you trust each other. And we say it, and I know a lot of people say it, but trust is such a big factor in being a good football team. If you trust the guys behind you, you're going to do your job and you stay within a system, and I think that's what we have here. We have a lot of guys who trust in each other. We believe the linebackers (are) going to be where they're supposed to be, the secondary and the D-line, and as a defensive unit we just believe and trust in each other and offense, the same thing.

(How much did that Super Bowl loss hurt?)

It hurt. I mean you think about it. I still think about it now. You know, what if? A last-second field goal to lose, it's painful. It kind of messes up your whole offseason. I think that's why you see a lot of teams slump after losing the Super Bowl. It's tough to take, man, and you're trying to get back there and you know you're doing everything you can to get back and then you forget the little things that got you there.

(Any reaction to Eli's low QB rating when the temperature drops under 30?)

That's good for us because it's going to be under 5, right? So, hopefully that stands true. Hopefully it stays like that, so yeah. In that case we wouldn't mind it being minus-20.

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