December 20, 2017
You’re always happy to get a win, but not quite the way we wanted it to go, back and forth. I wanted to have more of a convincing win. Like I said, I’m always happy with a ‘W.’ We probably played sloppy on both sides. There were correctable things, things we can work out heading into this week. It’s things that we allowed to happen that we did here and there. That’s all.
Do you think you guys didn’t get up for the Giants?
That wasn’t the case at all. For us, it’s been this way the whole season. It’s about what we’re doing and what we can control. We came around, just like we did every other week, we made different mistakes here and there. Going into the playoffs, we just can’t make those kinds of mistakes.
What did you think of the job Nick Foles did?
I thought Foles was unbelievable. The last time he played here I wasn’t here, but I know he went to the Pro Bowl. He had a hell of a year. He was 10-6 when he was here. There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that he can go out there and ball out. I had complete confidence and faith in him. He went out there and he was himself. He went with the game plan and we were all behind him.
It’s no shock to us. Foles went out there and was Foles. I’m happy to see that.
I liked Foles’ poise and his command in the pocket. You would be able to tell us about his command in the huddle.
First, Foles is a super cool dude on all levels, on the field and off the field. He’s a super, great guy. He talks about anything. He puts God first in his life. He really lives that every day. He’s with [Carson] Wentz with an Audience of One. Bottom line, first and foremost, Foles is just an awesome guy. As far as his command in the huddle, once he steps in and he takes control and calls the play. He’ll tell guys what he liked and what he didn’t like, and what he’s trying to do.
He really has everybody on the same page. Foles has complete control of the huddle when he’s in there.
I cover boxing as you know and it takes months to get in shape for a heavyweight title fight. As an NFL lineman, you’re in a title fight 16 times a year over a five-month span. As an NFL player, how difficult is this time of year?
First off, we actually have 20 games a year, including the preseason. The hits you take during preseason, even though the games don’t count for anything, the hits and the injuries are real. It’s really a 20-game season. On top of that, you have training camp, OTAs, things like that going on throughout the year. By the time you get here, it’s kind of like a war of attrition, because injuries happen. They’re part of the game.
Things happen quickly. By this time of the year, you’re definitely worn down from the pounding. Every team has injuries. It’s just when you’re worn down, you have to take care of yourself mentally and how you push through that wall and the fatigue to keep moving forward. You can’t feel sorry for yourself, because other teams and other guys are in your same shoes. They’re just as tired. You have to think of different ways to separate yourself.
Whether it’s putting in extra time in the film room, or outing in extra time in the cold tub, or putting in extra time in the weight room. Doing those extra reps when you are tired, because you know that they’re going to pay off on Sundays, Mondays or Thursdays.
Any extra hours of sleep?
I stick to doing what I do all year. I’m good.
You’ll be facing a four-man front in the Raiders in Mario Edwards, Eddie Vanderdoes, Justin Ellis and one of the NFL’s best defensive ends in Khalil Mack. What do they do that’s you’ll have to watch out for?
Let’s start first with Khalil Mack. I think he was All-Pro at two different positions one year [In 2015, when he became the first first-team All-Pro in NFL history to be elected in two different positions in the same year, as a defensive end and outside linebacker]. He does everything. He can cover. He can rush. He’s strong, he’s fast. He’s the total package.
Then you have Bruce Irvin who’s fast and gets off the edge quick. He’s good with his quick change in direction. He can really get after the quarterback, but he can cover as well. Mario Edwards can rotate inside and he’s a great pass rusher. They have NaVorro Bowman who came over from San Francisco who is a very physical linebacker. They have guys up front that rush, and they’re big guys inside.
They run some games, but every team runs stunts.
If you guys clinch the NFC home field this Monday night, do you expect to play in the season finale (I’m not risking Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson in a game that doesn’t mean anything)?
Honestly, I’m not looking that far forward [against Dallas]. But at this point of the year, there’s no point in risking injury. So if [Doug Pederson] decides to rest us, I’m okay with that decision.
What’s the best Christmas present you ever received, going back to when you were a little kid?
The first thing that pops into my head was when I was like seven, I got a PlayStation ... that was my first video game. I remember popping it open, the top pops up, put the disk in and put the top down, putting on the TV and the Sony thing comes on. It was craziest thing to me. It blew my mind, so I remember that from when I was a little kid.
What’s the best Christmas present you ever gave out?
Probably when I was coming out of high school telling my mom around Christmas that she wouldn’t have to pay for college because I had a scholarship. That is pretty high on my list. I was able to give her that.
Brandon Brooks’ best Christmas movie?
I like the old-school clay animation, like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and all of that kind of stuff. I watch that every year.
What’s on your mind?
We have the Raiders this week and we’re looking to try and clinch and get everything we want moving forward into the playoffs. That’s what’s on my mind. We’re trying to win this game, and this game sets us up and gets us exactly where we wanted to be when we were talking about getting to the playoffs back in training camp.
You’ll spend Christmas with the family that day or Christmas with the guys?
For me, I have a game that day and it’s just another day for me. That’s life. It is what it is.
In addition to reading Brandon's comments, each week we'll post audio of the full interview so you'll have a chance to hear Brandon's words in his own voice.