QB Eli Manning
Postgame vs. San Francisco, October 11, 2015
Q: Talk about that last drive, especially after the disputed timeout?
A: The last drive had some new faces out there in receiver going in, but hit Shane Vereen on a couple early ones on the scramble and then had a big screen to Shane. Yeah the timeout, we have a signal that kind of looks like a timeout, I guess, so we may have to—never had an issue with it before, but Walt Coleman kind of saw from behind that maybe I was giving the timeout signal. It ended up not hurting us too bad but a couple big plays, guys stepped up, Shane a number of catches, Odell getting the interference coming back at the end and then Larry for the touchdown. Just a play we worked a lot on and I tell him I’m going to throw you open if your guy’s back is turned to me and sure enough, made a good catch.
Q: Did you know that Odell might be coming back at the end of the game?
A: No. I figured if he wasn’t going to start that drive that he probably wouldn’t have come back at the end but obviously we got down there close, he came in and had a great opportunity to get him the touchdown, the guy held him and he was going to beat him and the guy held him, smart move. He knew he was going to get beat and gave us great field position, gave the guys a little closer where we can get the ball in the end zone next play.
Q: Eli, what happened with the pick in the first half and how much do you feel like that gave them a little fuel?
A: Yeah, just a bad throw. I got rushed out of the pocket a little bit and I thought I could still get out there, hadn’t really had a double move on the outside and Odell must’ve been a little quicker than I thought so I was a little late probably on the throw trying to get it in there before it went out of bounds and just underthrew it. It was a bad decision, got to throw it away a lot quicker.
Q: You come out for the start of the last drive, you’br got 80 some odd yards to go, Odell and Randle are not in the game, Cruz is not in uniform, you’re looking in a huddle of all new guys, what was going through your mind?
A: Well just trying to make sure everybody knew what their assignments were and had some guys there that I knew they probably would play a lot of man, so we had some opportunities to hit Shane on some things, hit maybe the tight ends on some [things] and maybe get some outs. Yeah it felt good. We’ve been throwing the ball well, we’d been protecting well, probably had some opportunities to hit some big plays and we did.
Q: Eli, I think you’ve had 27 fourth quarter comebacks in your career in the regular season, is this about as satisfying from those that you can remember?
A: Well, there were a couple in the Super Bowl, obviously (laughs). This one was special just because we hadn’t been as good in the two-minute drives as we once were and we should, come in there and had great confidence and we would ride down and win a lot of games that way. We had one early versus Atlanta, we didn’t make the plays, had a couple games we had leads in the fourth quarter and we lost it and it was a big confidence for this offense, for this team that we can win that way. Hey, we can get the ball back, we can drive right down. I’ve got the confident we could do it but sometimes you need that reinforcement, you need to do it, you need to have that success and get that attitude, get that feeling. It’s big for this team. It was a big win today. It was special.
Q: Eli, you’ve never had a player like Shane on your team before. How much has he helped you?
A: Yeah, Shane’s great out of the backfield. Catching balls and moving around. They tried to have a linebacker on him a few times and couldn’t stop him; they put a DB on him and he was still making some big plays. Outstanding job making some big time plays for us. We needed it.
Q: Given the circumstances with the receivers off the field, have you ever played a better regular season game than this?
A: I don’t know. It felt like we were in a good rhythm all day, the ball was coming out quick, we were seeing things well and guys were making some plays for us, so it was fun. It was one of those days where you just felt good throwing it, things were happening well, we were seeing things, we were picking things up and Coach McAdoo called a great game --- it was aggressive, we were going after it, we were pushing the ball down the field, we were getting completions and the offensive line did a great job protecting, so I thought it was a great offensive effort and I thought we had great rhythm all game.
Q: It would have been an incredible waste, wouldn’t it have been? Like a pitcher having his best stuff and not winning.
A: It would have, but hey, you’ve got to --- especially when you have those two-minute drives also. We had the opportunity and that is what they expect from me, what my teammates expect and coaches and fans and myself, and it is good that we could come out there and do our job in the end and finish the game strong and get the win.
Q: How much did Odell coming back on the field just help with the confidence and excitement?
A: Well, I don’t know if he made a --- I mean I guess he was on there for two plays. Obviously we came back and went to him right away and got the penalty that moved us --- I guess it gave us 15 yards or so and then it is just helpful having that opportunity. It is no touchdown but it is still a huge play getting that penalty and getting us close to take some legitimate shots at the end zone.
Q: You had a player who had some trouble in the first half --- Dwayne Harris -- but he came back and contributed. What kind of confidence do you feel with him?
A: I feel confident with Dwayne. He is doing some good things, making some plays for us. He is getting more comfortable moving around different spots --- he made some nice catches so he is going to have to play well for us. We’re just going to keep working him and keep getting him reps and opportunities to work in practice but I am excited about him and he made some great plays for us, had a lot of catches and I think he can do some good things when you get the ball in his hands. He can do some run after the catch and kind of use those punt return skills that he has.
Q: You also lost Justin Pugh on that last drive, is that something you notice as a quarterback?
A: I saw him coming out after the screen but John Jerry came in --- John has played well for us, knows what he is doing and we just went right about our business.
Q: From being in last place at 0-2, three weeks later you are alone in first place at 3-2; what kind of a turnaround has this been for this team?
A: I am proud of the way that we fought. I am proud of the way that we didn’t get down, didn’t get frustrated and we wanted to change it. We were committed to fixing it, we knew what we had to do --- we were playing well, we were doing good things, we were getting games in the fourth quarter, we had to play better in the fourth quarter. We had to play our best football at those times and these last three weeks we have been able to do that. We have been able to finish games and that is what you have to do in this league --- you have to be able to finish games and play your best football at the end.
Q: On a lighter note, in that last drive you tried to run out of bounds on the scramble, did you think you were going to get there?
A: Yeah, I thought, I thought wrong. I took a nice shot on that one. I was thinking of sliding and I thought maybe I could get out of bounds and I got stuck between a bad spot, luckily it was a defensive back and not a linebacker but a nice little shot to the chest, but hey, [I] popped up and got a completion the next play and went on our way.
Q: The range of emotions on the interception that came off the board on the overturn, how quickly did you know it bounced on the last drive?
A: As soon as I saw the replay --- obviously very fortunate there to get another opportunity