QB Eli Manning
July 31, 2015
Q: These have to be the most explosive weapons youíve had, on paper at least, that youíve had entering a training camp?
A: Yeah, as far as I can think of. I think we have some talented guys on offense, talented receivers, talented running backs, guys that are very multiple at running back; catch the ball out of the backfield, move them around, good group of tight ends, the receivers. Yeah, I think there are a lot of weapons. We just need everybody to play up to their ability, Iíve got to do a good job and weíve got to put it on the field and make it work.
Q: What does Shane Vereen bring to the mix?
A: I think Shane brings that versatile running back. Catches the ball well in the backfield, runs good routes, you can create mismatches with him, runs the ball well. I think weíve got to keep figuring out how heís going to fit in the offense, what he can do, whatís the best way to utilize his abilities.
Q: From what you saw from Odell Beckham Jr. last year, are you a little anxious or excited to see what he can do for an encore?
A: Iím just excited to get him back on the field and continue to work with him and see how we can grow, how he can grow within the offense, how he can get better and just get more advanced within the offense. Just see howóitís not just about him, itís about all the receivers. All the receivers growing, myself growing within the offense and being able to put guys in different positions, move them around, create different matchups, different looks and get the best out of all of them.
Q: Weíve always said youíve never had Victor Cruz and Odell on the field at the same timeóI guess there was a brief periodónow it looks like itís coming to reality. Is that going to be exciting?
A: Itís good. I think having Victor and Odell and Rueben (Randle) and Larry (Donnell) and Shane (Vereen) and Rashad (Jennings), itís about having all of them and all of them playing at a high level. Seeing what the defense will do, their adjustments and how theyíll try to dart them off. Itís great to have weapons, itís great to have talent and hopefully we can keep them all out there, keep them all healthy and get the best from them.
Q: It seems almost impossible for a defense to guard them all.
A: Theyíll figure out a way. There is always a system and thereís a matter of the offensive line, being able to run the ball, offensive line playing well, myself throwing the ball accurately, making good decisions, good down and distances. Thereís a lot involved with it but Iím just excited to get out there on the field with all of them and get to work.
Q: Where do things stand with your contract?
A: Youíd have to ask the Giants or ask my agent. Thatís not my concern. I donít get too involved with that stuff.
Q: John Mara said that he thought that the deal eventually will get worked out between you and the Giants. They thought that your future was going to be here and a deal will get done eventually, is that how you feel?
A: I hope so. Right now my concern is getting on this practice field for our first practice. Iím excited about that and just let the business side of it just work itself out.
Q: Russell Wilson agreed to a deal, do you keep tabs on that stuff? Or do you at least look at it and see what other guys are getting?
A: No. No, Iím not into the comparison about how much money youíre making. Thatís not my concern.
Q: Yesterday Justin Pugh spoke about being nastier up front, do you see that now in the offensive line. Do you see them developing that attitude?
A: I hope so. I like big, mean, nasty offensive linemen. If thatís the way you could grow them, thatís the way you grow them. I think this group has a little of that in them. You have those offensive linemen that are tough and that hang together, are smart, and play well togetheróthose are the best bunch. Itís not how good each one of them [offensive lineman] is, itís how good they are with all five of them working together, and having that toughness about them.
Q: Is this offense better for you than you thought it would be?
A: I guess last year I didnít know much about the offense. You hear ĎWest Coast,í I never had been in a West Coast offense. I didnít really know exactly what that meant. But Iíve enjoyed it, Iíve enjoyed this past year. Getting to this learn this offense. Each and every day, trying to get more advanced with itóreminder and growing within it. You know, pushing the guys and pushing myself to learn it, get more familiar with it, and get perfect with it. Thatís the goal. I like it, I like where weíre going. I like the way that the offense works and the way it hits my head on how I see things and my feetóit all makes sense to me. I feel Ö
Q: Your defense is learning a new system. Do you sit there and say we have to help them out or would that be a mistake to think that way?
A: From my point of view, weíve got a job to do and thatís to control the ball, score a lot of points, and score more than the other team. It usually kind of works itself out. Sometimes you can score 10 points and win a game, you donít want to live in that world, but our goal is to get that 27-30 points a game. Itís not based because of the defense, thatís just what we expect in ourselves. We feel we have a talented group that can put points on the board, and we gotta go do it.
Q: Last year your quarterback coach put forward that 70 percent completion benchmark. Have you and Mike Sullivan talked about any benchmarks or targets for this year?
A: Yeah, I think 70 [percent completion percentage] is kind of the goal. I think for the season weóI think itís on paper at 67 percent. I think 70ósomething in that area, we want a lot of completions. Be able to find completions, high percentage throws. Weíll try to push the ball down the field and get our shots. We want guys to get open, get open quickly, and let me get the ball in their hands.
Q: Russell Wilson set a deadline for his contract, why wouldnít you do that?
A: I hadnít thought of it.
Q: Going back to the offensive line for a minute, Justin [Pugh] mentioned the 2008 line that was probably one of the best ones in your career. Are you starting to see similarities in how theyíre clicking like that 2008 line?
A: Well, I think itís a close group of guys, which I think is important. I think that offensive line we had those years in í07, í08, it was the same guys for a number of years, which you donít see a whole lot. We kind of have some guys who have been in the system for a few years now, been around, but you do see the closeness. They get along well, they work well together, they compete at practice, they like being challenged, they take it seriously. So, from that aspect, theyíve got a little toughness to them. There can be some similarities.
Q: What can Odell do for an encore?
A: Just do his job. Thatís all we can expect him to do. Go out there, have the routes that heís supposed to run and run them well. Hopefully we get him completions. He doesnít have to try to do anything more than what his responsibilities are.
Q: On the idea of staying humble and staying hungry in 2007, talk to me about the hungry side, about how much you guys want it?
A: Yeah, I think itís just the whole team coming in together with that same attitude. Thatís when you get the great teams. Itís everybody buying in, everybody understanding that they got a job to do, and we gotta go do it. You have to have great leaders, but itís not just one leader, itís kind of everybody in charge of a group. Kind of one thought that everyone believes in. I think thatís the goal. We want to get back to winning games and making playoffs and giving ourselves opportunities to win championships, and doing that this year. We havenít had one practice yet, though, so itís all determined on these practices and how much work we put in starting today, and these next few weeks. See if we can stay hungry after three weeks of training camp and still have that same attitude out at practice and that same determination.