QB Eli Manning
August 26, 2015
Q: With the Giants-Jets game— even a preseason game— is there still something to it in your mind?
A: Well, I think so. I think the fact that it’s usually the third preseason game, which is the one where the starters are going to play the most. Kind of your final, because your last preseason game you don’t get much playing time, so fine-tuning. So you want to go out there and play well, and the fact that it’s both New York teams and sharing the stadium, it’s always important.
Q: Osi [Umenyiora] is having a very special day today. How comforting was it for you as a quarterback to have him and know that he’s on your team during those Super Bowl runs?
A: Yeah, Osi was a tremendous teammate and player for the Giants, and a guy who made so many great plays— sacks, sack-fumble, sack-fumble touchdowns, you know I remember so many big plays that he made. I think it’s great that he’s retiring a Giant and I’m excited for him. He had an unbelievable career.
Q: What’s your top memory of Osi? Obviously there’s a bunch when you guys were here, but does any one stick out to you in particular?
A: Yeah, man. I think San Francisco at home— he had the sack, fumble, recovery, scooped and ran it about 75 yards for a touchdown. At Green Bay in the playoffs where he had a strip-fumble of Aaron Rodgers, who was probably about to throw a touchdown on a little slant and go, and he [Osi] got a hand on the ball so… you know, those were a couple of the big ones.
Q: Victor [Cruz] said the other day he thinks teams are gunning for Odell [Beckham Jr.]. Odell had some small altercations on the field the other day against Jacksonville. What’s your sense of that and what does a young guy like that have to do to play through this?
A: Well, if you’re making plays, guys are going to be eyeing you. That’s what safeties and those guys do— they’re looking to make hits down the sideline or if they have to put a hit on a guy to break up a pass, that’s what they’ll do. I didn’t see anything too bad. It didn’t seem like somebody was trying to attack him or hurt him, but you know, it’s part of playing football— you’re going to take some shots and you just have to learn how to handle that and don’t let that affect your play the rest of the game.
Q: Nobody could’ve had a better freshman season than he [Odell Beckham Jr.] could’ve, so this whole sophomore season and doing it again, guys are going to circle him obviously now.
A: Sure. And that’s going to happen, and we’ll be creative and move him around, but there’s still going to be opportunities— opportunities to make plays and it’s just what you do with those opportunities.
Q: In the game the other day, Victor [Cruz] and Rueben [Randle] were not out there. So I guess you figure in a real game with everyone out there it’s going to be a little more difficult to circle Odell [Beckham Jr.], no?
A: We’ll see. We’ll see how guys want to play and what we should have an answer for.
Q: Coach was saying that the Jets have a really good pressure package and that they should be a good test for you guys on the offense. When you look at them… can you just shed a little bit more on that? What kind of challenges they pose?
A: Yeah, they like to bring pressure. They do a good job of mixing up their coverages— showing pressure and backing out or disguising coverage and bringing some blitzes. So we’ll have to be on our game, from my standpoint, from the offensive line, running backs, receivers, everybody understanding what their responsibilities are. It’s a good scheme that their coaches brought in from Arizona, and they have good players, good corners, and so it’ll be a good test for us. Looking forward to it.
Q: How important is it just for this offense going into the regular season here to generate some points and get some drives together?
A: Yeah, yeah. I think we made some improvements last week but still have a ways to go, so hopefully we’ll be able to get into a rhythm and get in synch and hit the open guys, move the ball, and get some points on the board.
Q: Does this [game with the Jets] feel any different without Rex [Ryan]? He’s always kind of a spark plug…
A: Well, he brought a little entertainment, so… You know, it seems a little quieter this week in our preparation. Not as much chit chat on both sides probably, but I think he was probably generating a lot of that.
Q: With Weston [Richburg] out a couple of days, how big of an adjustment is it with you and Dallas [Reynolds]?
A: I thought Dallas knows what he’s doing, and I don’t think we missed a beat yesterday— didn’t have any problems with the snaps, which is always a good sign. We had a new center but he [Dallas Reynolds] has gotten a decent amount of work over the years. And he knows what he’s doing, has [good] communication, so I thought it was a smooth practice yesterday with him in there.
Q: We kind of laughed about the notion that it is a little quieter now that [Rex] Ryan isn’t with the Jets anymore— does it make you reflect for a minute on the comparison with Coach Coughlin and all the things he’s outlasted or withstood or longevity with this team… what does it say about that?
A: Well, obviously he does things a certain way, and we’ve had success. And I think we can get back to having more success, so he’s been a terrific coach and I think he kind of acts the way this organization wants our head coach to act.