EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Steve Weatherford felt right at home when he got to the Giants training camp this summer. The Timex Performance Center is adjacent to the parking lot of MetLife Stadium, where Weatherford played for two seasons as a Jet, and he was embraced by long-time friends and fellow special team players Lawrence Tynes and Zak DeOssie.
It felt right, just from the start, and as the Giants as about to play the first playoff game at the sliver arena just off the New Jersey Turnpike, Weatherford hopes this team can go all the way.
“I feel like this is our year, this is my year, to finally get a ring,” Weatherford said.
Weatherford has been to two AFC and one NFC championship, but come up short both times. He’s at a point where he almost would rather not get to the playoffs if the team can’t win it all.
And Weatherford is doing his job particularly well at MetLife, where the Giants will host the Falcons tomorrow. He averaged 48.1 gross yards, and 41.6 net yards per punt in home games, about 5 yards better than road games. That 41.6 home net average was sixth-best in the NFL, while the 36.8 on the road was second-worst.
Weatherford said Giants coach Tom Coughlin prefers a different placement than the Jets, and he has been able to put a few more balls this season out of bounds when and where he wanted.
He feels this has been a strong season, but Weatherford isn’t ready to sit and reflect on regular season numbers.
“I think we’re playing the best football of anybody in the NFL,” Weatherford said. “I mean I think our last regular season game was better than anybody else’s last regular season game. That being said, as long as we can take that momentum into the playoffs we’re going to be in great shape.”
He likes what he’s he sees, from special teams to defense to, of course, the Eli Manning-led offense.
“I think we have the best quarterback in the NFL,” Weatherford said. “He’s playing really well the whole year and if our defense played like they played last week, then we’re going to be tough to beat.”