Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan
November 30, 2017
Q: Talk about this week in terms of what has happened with Eli Manning.
A: Well, Tuesday obviously was a very difficult day. Eleven years – worked closely with Eli (Manning) as a member of this coaching staff, as a receiver coach, quarterback coach, the coordinator and then these past few weeks being able to call the plays for him and so many experiences that we shared together. The highest of highs – a couple Super Bowl trophies. The lowest of lows, you know, I think you could certainly say this season has had its fair share of those. And everything in between and the thing is, through it all, he has been the ultimate professional. He personifies class and humility, toughness, competitiveness. I just have great respect for Eli Manning as both a player and as a man and over that long period of time, we developed quite a bond – a strong bond – and there’s nothing that can take that away or break that bond.
Q: What was the decision-making process like for you? Did Ben McAdoo talk about this decision with you beforehand or did you find out with the rest of the team?
A: You know, I think Mr. (John) Mara and Ben have spoken at great length as far as the whole process of the decision and how it took place and when it took place and there’s really nothing that I can add. You have to go back and check on their comments.
Q: What did you tell Ben McAdoo that you thought when he told you?
A: As I mentioned, that whole process has been discussed. At this point, it’s more a matter of what are my responsibilities and the responsibility being that there is a group of players, there’s a quarterback that needs direction and we’ve had so many struggles this season. It’s been very, very difficult, so I think it’s really trying to zero in on trying to find a way that we can get this thing headed in the right direction. It’s been frustrating, obviously, for everybody. So, that’s where the focus is and trying to get this unit ready for a game in Oakland.
Q: Has Davis Webb had any offensive rep work so far this season and moving forward how is that going to change.
A: In terms of what David has done offensively, you go back in obviously the preseason and training camp and him being involved in that aspect of it. As the regular season has gone on, he’s been primarily in the scout team role and as far as what happens in the future, again, that will remain to be seen. Our situations as they come about, you know, they’ll be presented to you guys obviously by either Coach (Ben) McAdoo or Jerry (Reese), whoever comes out and we’ll go from there.
Q: Has anything changed with Davis Webb at this point or is he still a third string scout team guy?
A: As far as, again, who is on the depth chart. You got to know that, man, I can’t talk about the depth chart. I can’t talk about who plays. I want to help you out as much as I can, but that’s how I’ll have to do it.
Q: I mean, there’s been no change in Davis Webb’s prep this week. Is that correct?
A: In terms of you’re asking me whether he’s getting reps as far as playing with the Giant offense. You know, I’d love to help you out but I got to be careful about what I say, what I don’t say and how much is said and all that good stuff. I can just tell you that he has continued to work with the other quarterbacks. He’s been doing what – he’s been out at practice. But, I can’t say anything as far as how much he’s playing with the offense or how much he’s on the scout team. He’s been out at practice and he’s doing all the things we’re asking him to do.
Q: How has Geno Smith reacted this week to his increased responsibilities?
A: Geno has worked hard all year and done the things that you want someone who is the No. 2 quarterback to do in terms of preparation and really zeroing in on doing all the things necessary that if given limited reps – if he does get the opportunity, he’ll make the most of it. He’s obviously excited about the opportunity, you know, it’s a chance for him to show what he can do and he’s looking forward to what happens on Sunday.
Q: Eli Manning did some work with the scout team. How did that come about and was that jarring?
A: Well, again, the thing is that I just mentioned about Eli. Having spent a great deal of time with him, that is, as I’ve mentioned, someone that’s – he’s the ultimate professional. He’s the ultimate team player and while certainly not something -- as he shared with everybody -- a decision that he was thrilled with, you know, he’s going to do everything he can to help the team and he’s preparing himself as best he can as though if he gets an opportunity, he’ll be ready to go and keeping himself sharp and so his attitude has been one of being a good teammate and wanting to do everything he can to help the offense, help the other quarterbacks, help everybody get ready as best he can.
Q: Did you have to tweak the game plan when Geno Smith became the starter?
A: Yeah, you know, there’s a framework, a system of what we do, what we try to do and it would be foolish to not take into account some of the preferences or some of the particular skills that maybe a certain player has. We always have the quarterbacks involved. We have a framework and within that framework, there may be things that they like a little bit better than other things and the things that he brings to the table, we want to make sure we try to feature that. As with whoever the quarterback is, they’re going to have suggestions and input and then we put it all together and try to put our best foot forward. So, in terms of any drastic changes, no. We don’t foresee any of those.
Q: What do you think Geno Smith brings to the table?
A: The big thing in terms of Geno when you look at it from a specific standpoint, you know, he has arm talent. He has a very live arm and he’s got mobility to extend some plays. But, the key thing I would just want to say is that regardless of who the quarterback is, we got to do a great job finishing drives. We got to be able to, as has been said time and again, you’re tired of asking about it. Certainly, we’re tired of answering it and I know our fans and players – everybody is tired of having to deal with the fact that we’re not scoring more points. So, that means having the conversions on third down. We’re doing some good things running the ball, but we just have to find ways to continue to get more snaps. So, regardless of who’s out there. He brings those skills to the table as you asked, but regardless of who the quarterback is or what particular skills they are – if we’re stubbing our toe on third down, if we’re having foolish penalties, if we’re not completing passes, that’s going to be not good for anybody and that’s not what we want. So, look forward to Sunday.