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Tim Ruskell on the Season Ending

Tim Ruskell reflects upon the end of the season.

We were disappointed with what happened Saturday night in Green Bay. We felt good about the game going in, and then we went up 14-0 right away and felt even better about what was happening out there.

And then the whole thing just snowballed - o pun intended. Nothing could go right after that. No matter what we tried or changed, it just wasn't going to go our way. That's part of what happens playing against Brett Favre at Lambeau Field in weather, they ran the ball ... you have to give them credit. They played a great game.

What it also tells you is how important it is to not squander games during the regular season. Every one of those close games you lose will come back to haunt you. It sure haunted us. You have to do everything you can to get the home field advantage and get that bye. They are both so important when it comes to having the extra week off to heal and have home field. Obviously any game we're going to play in front of our fans we're going to feel real good about our chances in that game.

We can't just say that's the only thing that matters when you look at how the Giants have been winning on the road, 8-1 going into this week, but it's obviously a big factor in our situation.

In the big picture, the big thing is not to get too focused on how the team or a player performed in this one game. That's why we spend an inordinate amount of time all season long rating these guys. Just because their last game may have been a bad one or not up to their standards, you have to look at the totality of the season to see what the person, group or that side of the ball have. And that's what we'll do.

I like a lot of things that happened this season. We brought in a lot of new faces, they had to incorporate themselves and I think they all did that pretty quickly. In time we'll feel good about a lot of the things that happened this season. Obviously, you go into every season wanting to get to that final game and when you don't there's disappointment that's hard to shake. And that's especially true for this team given where we are and how close we've come the past two seasons after going to Detroit (Super Bowl XL) in 2005.

But there are a lot of good things going on here and a lot of things to build on and I really feel good going into the future that will get us past the disappointment of this game.

We'll do just like we did last year with the secondary and that came along so well this year. We'll work on the running game this year and that will help us get better as a team. I have no doubt about that and we'll do the right thing. That's what the offseason is all about.

We'll first target the free agents from our team, target the free agents that we deem good fits out on the market, and then we'll do a real good job in the draft to fill out the roster.

As we progress each year, I think we'll become more dependent on the draft. We'll fill in if there's an obvious fit. When I came here in 2005, we had some serious holes on the defensive side of the ball. We really had no choice if we were going to be competitive we were going to have to dabble in free agency for a while to fill those holes. It was more than I was used to earlier in my career. And now we actually have used a real strong combination of the draft and free agency to change our defense.

But I'm more comfortable with a team that builds through the draft and uses strategic use of free agency - not wholesale use of free agency.

The good news is we're a lot closer than we were and hopefully this season will be the building block we need to get to the next level in 2008.

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