Thursday, January 19, 2012
Kiwi thrilled to be on field this time around
By Kieran Darcy
When the Giants made their last run to the Super Bowl in 2007, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka was on injured reserve after breaking his left leg in a game against the Lions that November.
He didn't make the trip to Green Bay for the NFC Championship Game, but was at least on the sideline for Super Bowl XLVII in Arizona.
AP Photo/Bill KostrounMathias Kiwanuka
"It's emotional because you want to be out there so bad, but there's not a whole lot that you can do or say," Kiwanuka said Thursday, recalling his experience four years ago. "It's a tough situation to be in."
Kiwanuka also missed most of last season with a neck injury, but played in all 16 games this year. When asked what it means to him that he'll be out on the field Sunday in San Francisco, he said, "It's huge. This entire season has kind of been up and down, but there's no place I'd rather be than out here right now with these guys."
The converted defensive end had a career-high 84 tackles and 3.5 sacks during the regular season. A reporter asked him Thursday if, in his heart, he feels he is a defensive end or a linebacker.
"I'm a football player," Kiwanuka said. "I always say just put me on the field and I'll make plays.
"Going back to my college days, when I was a captain and young guys would come and ask me questions and all I would tell them is you have to make plays. If you make enough plays in practice, they will put you on the field. If you make enough plays on the field, you'll stay on the field."
If Kiwanuka and his teammates make enough plays on Sunday, they'll be headed to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis -- which just so happens to be Kiwanuka's hometown.
"It's been brought up a lot. Obviously I can't get around it, but we have to take one game at a time," Kiwanuka said. "We don't want any letdowns at all, and I don't want one. So yeah, that would be awesome -- but for right now let's just focus on getting this game and making sure we accomplish our goal."