Giants Q&A: How great was that for Andre Brown?
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So, Andre Brown, what was it like to rush 13 times for 71 yards, convert a key two-point conversion and score the winning touchdown after having previously carried twice for minus-1 yard in four years on five different NFL rosters?
"It feels awesome, especially in my situation," he said. "Y'all know my story. Active, inactive, cut 18 million times and finally get an opportunity like this. I'm playing this role like I'm chill right now, but you don't know, man. I'm just excited. I can't wait to go home and watch the game. I haven't even looked at my phone yet. My mom's probably left 18 messages.''
How did Brown feel about initially being denied his first NFL touchdown when he was told not to score to run more time off the clock, even though the Bucs were not defending him?
"I heard Eli [Manning] say, 'Get down!' And I was like, 'All right, I've got to get down.' And then he was like, 'OK, you can score on the next play.' I'm like, at least I got a touchdown out of this."
Why was Brown playing, anyway?
Oh, yeah. The bad news. Ahmad Bradshaw left the game early in the second quarter with what looked like a stinger. The starting running back went to the locker room for X-rays of his neck and did not return to the game.
Any other injuries?
Yup. Receiver Domenik Hixon left the game with a concussion in the first quarter after taking a hit from Mason Foster that knocked Hixon's helmet off. Foster was flagged for a personal foul on the play. Two snaps later, starting right tackle David Diehl injured his right knee on a second-and-goal run from the 2. Neither player returned.
At least they have a week to get healthy before their next game, right?
Not this time. The Giants are back in action Thursday against the Panthers in Carolina on a short week.
So how did they rearrange their offensive line when Diehl went out?
It took a few plays to sort things out because Will Beatty was reporting as an eligible receiver (and we'd just found out how eligible, because Manning threw an incomplete pass to him in the end zone). So for one play, the Giants brought Jim Cordle in to play right tackle and had Beatty as an extra blocker. Their next snap, they moved Cordle to left guard and guard Kevin Boothe out to tackle. Finally, they settled in with Sean Locklear moving to right tackle and Beatty playing left tackle the rest of the way.
How did the Giants' pass rush work out?
Well, a defensive end finally made a sack. Jason Pierre-Paul brought down Josh Freeman, but it was more of a coverage sack. Chase Blackburn also had a sack. For the second straight game, neither Justin Tuck nor Osi Umenyiora got even a hit on the quarterback. Linval Joseph, however, did have two quarterback hits.
Did Kenny Phillips' hit on Vincent Jackson late in the third quarter set the tone for the Giants in the fourth?
It sure seemed that way. And Tom Coughlin defended it as a "thoroughly legal hit even though they were over there yelling and screaming." By the time the game was over, there'd be plenty more of that kind of communication.