I was thinking when I was watching the championship games how it’s always an exciting time of year to watch the playoffs and see what other teams are doing.
However, as I was watching the games, it was hard for me because I was thinking to myself how around this time last year, we were about to play in the late game against the 49ers in San Francisco, and that’s the game that sprung us into the Super Bowl.
As I thought about it, I asked myself, ‘What was the difference between this year and last year?’ If you look at our regular season record, we were 9-7 last year and this year. Last year we went to the Super Bowl and won, and this year, we didn’t even make the playoffs. It’s funny how things work, but we know that if we had gotten one or two more wins, things would have been different for us this postseason.
But you know what? As difficult as it was for me to watch the games, they served as extra motivation. After the NFC Championship game was over, I told myself that it was time to start training get ready for next season.
So after taking three weeks off to let my body heal from last season, I have started my training for 2013, and I’m determined to do my part to make sure we get back to the playoffs in 2013!
Shifting gears, I want to thank the fans from Big Blue Huddle, an online Giants fan community that’s part of Giantsfans.net, for submitting some of the questions for this week’s blog. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying these fan Q&As – you guys have some awesome questions, and it is my pleasure to answer them. I hope you are enjoying the interaction with me as well, and that I hear from as many Giants fans as possible this offseason!
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Hey Henry, I was wondering what you consider the most difficult part of your weekly prep during the season? Thanks. – Rob G.
Hey Rob, great question! I think the hardest part is when you have a team that has different defenses and blitzes. Certain defenses tip off certain tendencies, so when their team has many things that they run, it’s harder to keep track of the tendencies. So just preparing and going through all the different options, coverages, and blitzes that a team might run is a time-consuming part of the weekly preparation.
Yo Hynocerous, which linebacker that you faced would you say is the most unique in terms of his skills? – Pete T.
Hey Pete, what’s going on? There are a lot of unique linebackers out there, but I think NaVorro Bowman from the 49ers has a unique skill set – he’s strong and will take on a block one time, and then the next time, he’ll try to avoid you, and try to slip by you to come underneath to make the tackle. He’s the kind of guy that you’re never really sure how he’s going to take on a block, so you just have to be ready for all the different options by studying his tendencies.
Hey Rhino, favorite book, movie, song, TV show, food. Thanks. — John J.
Hey John, cool questions. I’ll confess that I haven’t read an actual book since I was in high school. In college I was reading textbooks for class and my football playbook, so I really didn’t have any time for leisure reading. It was kind of the same thing my first couple of years here in the pros – I’ve been reading my playbook and trying to really get it down pat. For my birthday, though, my aunt bought me a book called The Innocent by David Baldacci, so I’m planning to read that later this off-season.
Movie? One that really stands out for me is one that I used to watch with my family while I was growing up, and one that my dad especially loves is The Natural with Robert Redford. It’s a baseball movie, but it shows how he overcame adversity to reach his lifelong goal of playing professional baseball. It is an outstanding movie in my opinion, and it goes to show you what hard work and perseverance can do.
Food? There’s nothing like a good steak in my opinion, but my favorite cuisine is probably Italian.
TV show? Right now, I love Family Guy. I think that’s an awesome show and I always try to watch it. I also like to watch re-runs of Friends, which is kind of fitting since it’s New York-based.
I don’t necessarily have a favorite song. I do listen to a variety of music. When I’m relaxing, I listen to country. If I’m getting ready for a game, I listen to a mix of rock and metal to get me in the zone. If I’m hanging out with, say, the guys on the team, we’ll listen to some hip-hop.
Hi, I was wondering what has been the best perk that comes with being a pro athlete? Thanks. — Matt. W.
Hey Matt, the first thing that comes to mind is the fans and getting to do things like this Q&A. Every day I am amazed at how loyal, dedicated, and knowledgeable Giants fans are, and I feel blessed to be a part of an organization that has such a tremendous fan base. Along those lines, I’ve had the pleasure to meet some wonderful people and form some great relationships with my teammates and, of course, people in the Giants organization.
Hey Henry, I’m stoked about training camp moving to New Jersey this summer and was wondering what your thoughts were about the move? Thanks and go Giants! – Frank V.
Hey Frank, to be perfectly honest, I enjoy training camp, no matter where it is held. This will be my third NFL training camp after having one each in Albany and in New Jersey, and both places are great to have camp at.
Who do you like for the Super Bowl? – Terrence G.
Hey Terrence, I can’t say I prefer one team over the other. Both are very good and obviously deserve to be there. So all I can hope for is that come next year, we’re in the Super Bowl. That’s really my focus, so to be honest, it doesn’t matter to me who wins the game this year.
Besides your dad, what other fullbacks did you admire growing up? – Debbie F.
Hey Debbie, I always watched tapes with my pop as I was growing up that were about the NFL’s greatest backs, so the guys that stand out in my mind are Jim Brown and Larry Csonka. Other guys I admired included Moose Johnston and Mike Alstott.
You’ve accomplished a lot in two years – a Super Bowl and your first touchdown. What are some other goals you’d like to recognize before your career is over? – Jerry W.
Hey Jerry, the number one thing is to win a few more Super Bowls! I’d also love to get into the Pro Bowl and be named All-Pro. I want to be the best at my position, but of course, I’d sacrifice that without a second thought if it meant more Super Bowl victories for our team.
Did you have any idea that there was a very famous player in our lore who also wore Number 45 and was nicknamed “Rhino”? Homer Carroll Jones, 1964-1970. Don’t let the shortness of his stay fool you. He was the MOST explosive and powerful wide receiver the league had ever seen. Averaged over 20 yards per catch for his career. Go to the stadium and ask to see some tape on him–your jaw will drop. My question: When you are lead blocking how do you decide whether to go low for the block or just take the lineman in one direction? — Mike T.
Hey Mike, wow, thanks for sharing that piece of Giants history with me. I always like to learn about the Giants’ rich history and I’m blessed to be a part of it. To answer your question, you have a play and an area where the play is designed to go, so if you’re trying to decide whether to take a guy right or left, you want to take into consideration the design. For example, if the play is designed to go outside, you want to capture the outside shoulder. Or if it’s inside play, you might want to kick block your man.
A lot of times, based on line stunts, the defensive line movement, and flow, things have to be adjusted. So it’s kind of like a feeling out process. As far as playing high or low, you always want to play lower than your opponent. To go extremely low – it’s something I usually do when I get to the second level. You don’t want to cut block someone in the hole because that just creates a pile . You want to create movement in tight spaces, but if there’s a lot of room, that’s probably when you’d want to go real low.
I would like to know more about your training schedule. Do you go to the Timex Center or work at home? How often do you go to the Stadium and how long is a workout session? Are you fed by the Giants when you are in the Center? I also am interested in what you eat and what supplements you might take. Thanks for sharing your insights and good training for a great 2013 season. — Bob R.
Hey Bob, thanks for the question. During the season, all of our workouts take place in the Timex Performance Center. We work out there, we have practice there, we have meetings there, and we have our meals there as well, so I try to maintain a balanced diet. In the off-season, you have to set things up on your own. I work out at the Giants facility and I also work out with my personal trainers, so I have a regimented schedule.
The important thing in the off-season is to set and stick to a schedule. You want to treat your off-season schedule workouts and conditioning as if you are in the season. But in the off-season, the goal is to build up so you’re strong during the season. During the season, you’re maintaining that strength.
Again awesome questions from the fans and the Big Blue Huddle community. Thanks guys!
Until next time!
Henry Hynoski, #45