EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As the New York Giants prepare to face the New England Patriots in their first meaningful meeting since 2007, the coaching staff and players are leaving memories of Super Bowl XLII in the history books.
"That was four years ago," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "If we were still living in the shadow of 2007, then that's one of our greatest downfalls. We have to move on. Obviously, they have and we do, too."
Of course, it is hard to walk through the hallways of the Giants' Timex Performance Center practice facility without being reminded about the team's historic 17-14 Super Bowl XLII win over the previously undefeated Patriots.
There are wall-sized photos of moments from that game, such as Plaxico Burress' game-winning touchdown catch and Eli Manning's escape from the clutches of Patriots' linemen before completing his unbelievable heave to David Tyree on the game-winning drive.
"Those are always fond memories of just knowing that we stuck together and fought through and were able to win a championship," said Manning, who along with the majority of the starters were held out of the preseason finale earlier this year at New England. "Obviously, [the Tyree catch] is an important play in our success that year. That season, that will be one of the plays you will always remember, David making that catch and that drive going down to win a championship."
But this week, the Giants say they are not in a reminiscing mood. Not with Tom Brady and the Patriots starting a ridiculous six-game stretch for the Giants that includes four teams that are at the top of their respective divisions.
"That was a long time ago," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said, when asked if the team will reflect on Super Bowl XLII this week. "There have been many changes on both sides so we will focus on 'the now.'"
There are 14 players on the current roster who were active in Super Bowl XLII. Manning, Tuck, Corey Webster, Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Lawrence Tynes, Aaron Ross, Zak DeOssie, David Diehl, Kareem McKenzie, Dave Tollefson, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Snee and Kevin Boothe were on the active roster for the Super Bowl. Mathias Kiwanuka was on injured reserve and D.J. Ware was inactive.
"Obviously, 2007 was a great year in all of our careers, but that's not going to help us going there this year," Tuck said. "A lot of guys are back from those two teams and a lot of guys are gone. The better team this year is going to win the football game, not the better team in '07."