QB Eli Manning
September 4, 2017
Q: When will the nerves start leading into Week 1?
A: Well, I think thereís obviously going to be some guys excited and a little nervous. Thatís normal going into the first game. So, as you get closer to the game, those tend to come up a little bit. But, I think itís more excited to get things going, excited about the upcoming season and get out there and play a game that counts and going in on an away game Ė the opening game, Sunday night Ė should be a great environment for us.
Q: How much are you wondering about where the team may still need some work since a lot of starters didnít play too much in the preseason?
A: I think youíre always looking to improve from week to week. Thatís part of football Ė never being satisfied. I think we have a great understanding of what weíre trying to do, what our assignments are and the style of football that we need to play. We just have to do a great job preparing for Dallas, understanding their tendencies and go out there and execute and make plays when we get the opportunities to.
Q: Head Coach Ben McAdoo said you looked Ďlocked iní at practice today. Did you feel that way and what does that mean?
A: Well, Iíve had a lot of time to prepare for Dallas. Really all of last week, they told me donít even look at New England and start prepping for Dallas. So, watched a lot of film and had some ideas. Coach McAdoo has told me some ideas, so I knew a decent amount of the plays that might be going in today. So, had a good feel for it and made some good plays. We have to keep that going.
Q: Did you feel locked in at practice?
A: I felt good with the plays we ran today. It was a short practice, but itís good to get back out there and get things going a little bit. Tomorrow Ė have another big preparation day and then get back to the practice field on Wednesday.
Q: Whatís the biggest difference between this yearís Dallas team and those youíve seen in the past?
A: Tough to tell just from, obviously, youíre watching preseason games and their starters didnít play a whole lot, but I think theyíre a very fast team. They run to the ball. They know their assignments. Theyíre very disciplined and they do a good job just flocking to the ball and keeping everything out in front Ė not giving up too many big plays. So, we have to just be able to be patient, have long drives and try to find some ways to hit some big plays on them.
Q: How concerned are you about WR Odell Beckham Jr.ís status?
A: Hopefully, we just have to Ė I donít really know much about it. My job is to prepare for the upcoming game and have all the guys who are playing prepared to go and hopefully heís one of them.
Q: Will you have to prepare differently if WR Odell Beckham Jr. isnít in Sunday nightís lineup?
A: I donít think the preparation is different. I think guys know what their assignments are. Just go about our business and still run the same plays and guys have to know how to execute and we have the guys that can do that.
Q: Do you feel that youíre on the same page as WR Brandon Marshall at this point on the field?
A: Yeah. Brandon and I will be on the same page. But, again, thereís always a learning curve. Weíre on the same page. It doesnít mean weíll complete every pass that I throw to him, but weíve gotten a lot of work and communicate all the time about the different things. So, I expect us to go out there and make the plays that we need to make.
Q: What does it mean to you to start another season-opener?
A: Well, itís exciting. Excited about this upcoming season. Itís always an honor. You donít take it for granted being able to play in this league and be a starting quarterback. So, a lot of hard work went into it, but looking forward to going out there on the game days and making plays and winning some football games.
Q: Do you look at this game as one step along the journey to playoffs?
A: Whether you call it a step or just one game, itís the next game. Itís the first game of the season. You want to go out there and play well. But, you canít win a Super Bowl in the first game also. So, we have to just play smart and find out our style and figure out ways to win football games and give ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter.
Q: How do you feel about having a fullback and four tight ends on the roster and how much that can enhance the offense?
A: I think the fullback and multiple tight ends will help us out just in keeping us in different formations, different personnel, and I think thatíll help us out so teams will have to prepare for more things.
Q: Where do you feel the offensive line is?
A: I think the offensive line has done a good job. I feel very confident. They know their assignments. Theyíve been together for a number of years now. I thought they had a good spring and theyíll do a great job.
Q: Do you expect the offensive line to be better this season since theyíve played together in the past?
A: Yeah. I expect everybody. I think you have to grow and have to get better from year to year. I think all the guys have shown that commitment, that desire, that mentality that they want to get better and itíll show on game day.
Q: What was this offseason like for you off the field?
A: I think I do a good job separating everything. When Iím here in the building, my focus is on football and when Iím at home Ė my family. So, I think Iíve done a good job separating everything and staying focused on what I need to do to get ready.
Q: Are the expectations higher for this team now that youíve gotten back to the playoffs?
A: I donít think you can get too overly concerned with the expectations from the outside. I think we have expectations of ourselves, the style of football we want to play, what we want to do and need to do to be successful. So, I think from that standpoint, weíre going to try and hit those goals. That should be our concern, not worried about what the outside expectations are.