With the G-Men on a rapid incline through the AFC rankings, fans are talking not only a playoff berth but Super Bowl contention.
Recently, the Giants improved to 10-4 after they defeated the Detroit Lions 17-6 in a must win game to catch up with the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys. Other than Odell Beckham Jr‘s amazing one hand grab, the Giants defense did an outstanding job with containing the Lions offensive scoring combo of quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Golden Tate. Amongst the star defensive players of the game was linebacker Jonathan Casillas who had 3 crucial tackles in the game. Casillas is no stranger of making big plays on the gridiron as he is a 2-time Super Bowl Champion with the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots. Jonathan is well known in the league for his speed, tenacity and energy he brings on every yard on the pigskin.
An undrafted linebacker out of the University of Wisconsin, Casillas was thrilled to come home and play for the Giants as he signed an 3 year, $10.5 million dollar contract with big blue. When he’s not making plays on the field, he’s too busy making sure he’s helping his daughter deflect and sack obstacles out the way en route to greatness. The Source Sports was able to catch up with the New Brunswick native.
The Source Sports: Can you give us your state of how America is treating the racial inequality in sports along with politics after witnessing the aftermath of the Colin Kaepernick protest, Donald Trump being elected and recent killings of black Americans by police officials?
Jonathan Casillas: With everything that is going on right now, with the media attention it’s getting, I hate it. I think it’s terrible. It’s not like we are in a bad place right now, it’s just all of the bad things being brought to light especially with the protesting through social media with hashtags, along with displays of civilians not backing down so easily. It shows that we came a long way but it’s still issues that has to be discussed, and explained in addition with changes that has to be made. I’m not one to come out into the public to protest but I fully support individuals like Kaepernick because of his reasons. Some people do it just to do it because they see other people do it. There’s no significant voice behind that. I feel like he’s doing it right by using a platform such as athletics to raise money for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, thanks to his jersey being one of the top selling jerseys in the league. Something has to be done. The public needs to know if proper protocols are being followed or if things we need to know are getting swept under the rug. Change needs to occur including with us human beings.We need to stop hating each other.
The Source: Now being that you are a single father who plays in the NFL, how was the effects of the recent events of this racial inequalities plays a role in your household?
Jonathan Casillas: Well my daughter is only 5. She hasn’t grasp the concept of what is currently going on yet. You know, she’s a spoiled girl and I wasn’t spoiled too when I grew up, I didn’t have too much stuff. I’m trying to teach her the things such as being blessed with the things you have now because some people aren’t fortunate enough to have them. You have the right to get those things. I tell her that she’s blessed that her father and her mother does well for each other because of the work we have done and not reticule other people because they don’t have what you have. I want to apply that logic to her life now because since she’s only 5, it’s not much you can do but to start teaching her the basics such as caring for other people and loving her classmates; just people in general.
The Source Sports: Jumping into football, how has the team chemistry been in the locker room the entire season? How was the process in bouncing back from tough losses to the Redskins, Cowboys earlier in the season?
Jonathan Casillas: You know, losing to the Redskins at home was tough. They are one of our division rivals and it could’ve been a crucial one because every game counts in the NFC East as you can see how competitive it is in there. You never want to give up a lost like that. Us being an discipline team, there were times were we didn’t play New York Giant football. There were times were we got a lot of penalties between offense, defense and special teams which it can hurt us. But once we went back to the game plan and watch footage, we was able to cut back on penalties and yards being lost from that. In addition, we was able to remain focus, play Giants football which led to the success we having right now.
The Source Sports: Who is one of the most competitive players you ever faced in the NFL?
Jonathan Casillas: Hmmmm. I wanna say Peyton Manning. I faced Peyton Manning twice. Very fierce competitive. I’ve seen him at the highest level in which its the Super Bowl back in 2009 when I was a Saint. But he’s tough not on an physical stand point but in a mental stand point which he knows how to provide stress and confusion on a defense.
The Source Sports: Whether they are retired or currently playing, who would be your dream matchup?
Jonathan Casillas: I would probably say Barry Sanders. I say that because when you watch highlights of him, people couldn’t catch him. I feel like if I was able to play when he was playing and I made a tackle on him, that would be consider the biggest feat of my career. I know we got elusive, strong backs now but we talking top 3 all time when you mention Barry. So that would have to be my number one guy.
You can catch Casillas making monster tackles for the Giants tomorrow night as his Giants faces the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. If the Giants win, they will clinch a berth into the playoffs. So expect Casillas to leave it all out on the field.