QB Eli Manning
Conference Call with Philadelphia Media, October 14, 2015
Q: What do you see out of the Eagles defensive line? Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan and that group, what have you seen out of them?
A: Theyíre playing good football. I think the defensive line did a good job getting pressure on the quarterback. Quarterbacks donít have a whole lot of time back there to let some of the routes unfold and guys getting open, and second windows and stuff. A lot of times just bringing four guys and still getting to the quarterback can make it tough on opposing offenses.
Q: At a position where there are a lot of injuries, youíve had an incredible streak of starts and I know Peyton [Manning] did for years, too, until he hurt his neck. Is it good genes or what is it?
A: Iím not entirely sure. I think a lot of it is just your workout, your preparation during the offseason, and during the season just trying to do everything you can to avoid the preventable injuries, hamstrings, and pulls, and strains, and that kind of stuff. Your stretching, your maintenance work that you do, I think some of it is just trying not to take hit, knowing your protection, not taking free hits off a blitzer when you think youíre protected and youíre really not, just knowing the assignment of what your protection rules are, and then I guess the other part is just being a little fortunate and not getting hit the right way or just getting rolled up on.
Q: Eli, statistically, this is your best start to a season. Whatís going well right now?
A: I think the entire offense, all of the players have a better understanding and a better feel for this offense than we did last year. Weíre protecting the football, weíre not turning the ball over much, weíre staying in good down and distance, weíre getting much more positive yards, weíre not taking sacks, and weíre not having runs for negative yards. Guys are playing fast and making plays and so we have to keep doing that. We have to keep finding completions and finding positive yards, staying in good down and distance, and convert on third down.
Q: On that topic, whatís gone into reducing the interception total?
A: I think just trying to make smart decisions. I think just having a good feel for the offense, knowing where the ball is going, and being able to get to your second and third reads if you have to. Weíve had leads, a lot of it is youíre not behind trying to force things and make plays because you feel you have to get something going, or youíre trying to get the ball downfield and get chunks. Weíve been in good situations in games, you donít have to force things to try and get back into it, and just being smart. I think our offensive line has done a good job protecting so you donít have a lot of throws where Iím getting hit or trying to throw it before the play has time to develop, and weíve been in good position to play smart.
Q: You had a big game against the Eagles in the season finale last year and obviously after that they went and changed three of their starting four defensive backs. What have you seen thatís different in the way theyíre playing in the secondary this year?
A: It looks like there secondary is playing well. They play a good bit of man coverage, they trust their defensive backs outside on the corners, at the corner position, to play man, and I think obviously they went out in the offseason and signed some guys to help that and put a lot of confidence in them, so we have to do a good job beating press coverage, beating man coverage, and winning our individual matchups.
Q: How much of a boost is it to have one of the gameís truly elite receivers like you have in [Odell] Beckham [Jr]?
A: I think itís good to have good players around you. Heís a good kid, heís a good player, he works really hard, he wants to be really good, so itís fun having that enthusiasm and the way practices and plays the game, that effort on the team is contagious. It transfers over to other players and they see the way that he conducts his business and the way he plays hard and practices hard. I think having him, obviously you have to use your opportunities to get him the ball and have him make plays and also if teams want to focus on him, it opens opportunities for other guys to make plays for us.
Q: It seems like almost every year you have a big game here against the Eagles at night, in primetime. Youíve had so many of these, are you kind of use to dealing with the atmosphere that you get coming here at this point?
A: Well, you know what to expect. Itís going to be loud, theyíre going to be fired up and yeah primetime on Monday night and it should be a great atmosphere. We have a couple of new guys who may have been in this atmosphere last year. I think guys experienced it so itís good just knowing thatís itís going to be loud and our communication has to be great. We have to be good with our snap count, everybody on the same page, and getting in and out the huddle quickly, just because it will be loud. We will get some interesting looks on defense and we have to make sure weíre all on the same page.
Q: What did it mean for the team to be able to speak to Daniel Fells on Monday?
A: That was emotional for, I think, the whole team, just knowing what he was going through that week before. There is still a lot of uncertainty kind of once we got to Saturday night before the game. Coach [Coughlin] had told us he had a couple good days in a row, so that was good news to hear. Since then, a lot of us have been in touch with him and heís going on four and five good days in a row, which is outstanding. Danny is a good guy in the locker room, and great personality, and everybody enjoys him being around, and it was tough to lose a veteran guy, lose him and knowing it was scary what he was going through. It was great to get the whole team seeing him and seeing coach present him the game ball on Monday.
Q: When Victor Cruz got hurt here last year, Chip Kelly made a point to go to the hospital to visit him. Are you guys aware of that and whatís your reaction to that?
A: I was not aware of that, but thatís a classy move. Obviously, in this league, I think everybody has great respect for players and coaches and you never want to see a player or anybody get hurt. I was not aware of that, but a classy move by the coach to go visit an opposing player when they get an injury.
Q: Do you know Sam Bradford at all? Is he someone that you have crossed paths with at all?
A: Yeah, Iíve known Sam. When he was in college he came down to our passing academy in Louisiana. I talked to him a few times after he had a shoulder injury in college, I had a similar one. Iíve been in touch with him a little bit over the years and know him a little bit. He seems to be getting the feel of a new offense and new things going on and playing good football.
Q: Speaking of Louisiana, Larry Donnell played at Grambling, seems to be coming on for you. Can you talk a little bit about his development?
A: Larry is a guy who has kind of come up the ranks, as they say. Practice squad, then making the team, getting a few catches here and there, and then all of a sudden last year becoming a starter and really the first time getting extensive play. [He] made some plays, did some good things, had some things he needed to improve on and I think heís made those adjustments, and been conscious of building off the things he does well and fixing the things he needed to learn. He just hasnít had a whole lot of playing experience. Even in college he didnít have a whole lot of catches, and so I think everything is still growing, but I think he is a talent, big target, he works hard, has a good feel for this offense and the timing of it. Iím proud of the way heís been playing, and making some plays, and obviously making the catch last week.