Quarterback Eli Manning
November 16, 2015
Q: As you finish the first part of this season 5-5, what does this team have to do to make the playoffs?
A: Well we just have to handle our business these next six games. We are in a good position --- you would obviously like to have more wins, but we still have the lead in the division and if we take care of our business and do what we have to do and win these next six games, that would guarantee us a spot in the playoffs, so we know what is ahead of us, we know what we have to do and we just have to take it one game at a time. It starts with Washington, go get a win there and take it week by week and know what it is going to take to get into the playoffs.
Q: How disappointing is the news about Victor Cruz?
A: Yeah, I heard it this morning so [it is] unfortunate. I know it is tough on him and he worked so hard to come back from the knee injury last year and was excited coming out and playing and was looking good in training camp and to have this nagging calf injury, so I know it has been tough on him, but I think our receivers have been doing some good things. Dwayne [Harris] has been playing well in the slot, so we have to worry about the guys we have here and playing at a higher level to win games.
Q: Did you know the injury [to Cruz] was this serious?
A: No, I did not think that was the case. It seemed like there was a deal that it would be a few weeks and come back --- just a calf strain, but I guess just kept reinjuring it and I just feel for him more than anything just because I know he wants to be out there playing and I know it has been frustrating to have this nagging him and now getting to this point.
Q: You have made a playoff push but some of your teammates have never been a part of that. As you take this bye and then have the six weeks left, what would your message to teammates be about resilience and what it takes?
A: Just understand that we have to be playing our best football at the end of the season and that is --- we are in a position where if we can do that, if we can start playing our best football and finding ways to win these close games, we are right where we need to be --- we can be a tough team going into the playoffs. Obviously, it is not going to be easy. It is going to be tough. We have got some tough teams to play and we play games in the division and conference leaders, division leaders and other games, but we have to put it together and find a way to [start having everyone] do their job at a higher level and that starts with me in making sure that we can make this push and win some football games.
Q: You have gotten some help in the division this year. Does it make you feel better knowing that you do not have to rely on that?
A: Yeah, I think you feel better --- yeah, exactly that, we donít have to count on someone else to lose this many or this or that. We just have to worry about us, we have to worry about fixing some things, finding some ways to play better during certain moments or situations of the game and I think there are a lot of good things. We have been close, we move the ball when we get down there [but] we have to do better in the red zone --- we have to find ways to get more touchdowns there. You look at the game and you see opportunities, you see close plays and a lot of ďalmostsĒ but almost is not cutting it, so we have to step it up down there.
Q: Have you been in touch with your brother Peyton at all and any thoughts on what is going on there?
A: No, I havenít talked to him. I know he has been dealing with some injuries and stuff, but I kind of heard about the game yesterday but havenít talked to him today but he will be fine, bounce back and hopefully get healthy. Hey, they are 7-2 and in a good spot, I would take 7-2 with one four-interception game right now, so that is the way it goes.
Q: His foot injury, they say, is similar to yours. Can you speak on playing through that?
A: Mine was a full tear; I donít know what a partial tear feels like. I talked to him a little bit about it and just kind of what it felt like. I talked to him earlier in the week last week and it was a little sore, but it sounded like he was able to practice on Friday and saw some highlights from the game, it looked like he was moving around okay, but hopefully he will figure out a way to feel as good as he can and get a plan for getting back where he is moving around, being able to push off and playing the way he knows he can play.
Q: How hard was it for you to play through it?
A: It was painful. I got fortunate the first week after we played Oakland and got up big so I only played the first half --- I think I threw 10 passes and didnít have to play much, so I really got a little bit of rest and was able to rest it the next week but it was a few weeks before --- probably almost three or four weeks before the pain was away and was able to get back to practicing at a normal rate and kind of doing all the things that Iíd like to be able to do.
Q: Was Victor around or did you hear about [the injury] through the social media announcement like we did, or was it word of mouth?
A: Yeah I just heard [it through] word of mouth so I have not seen him today and talked to him, but I will definitely reach out to him. I know it has been a tough --- I know it is tough when guys want to be out there and coming off an injury, a serious injury that [requires] surgery and fighting back and doing everything he did in the offseason and then to have this little strain that keeps popping up and you try to do everything you can to get back out there and it is just unfortunate for him because I know he wants to be playing football.
Q: Tom Coughlin has mentioned that the idea of resilience has been presented in many team meetings at this point this season, but does any part of you get concerned that this team has bounced back on a number of occasions and can it continue to do that?
A: Yeah I think we have got good character guys in here, guys who want to do the right things and are playing hard and tough and we just have to make some plays in critical moments and that is the difference. There [are] definitely opportunities and it is on both sides of the ball and special teams and everybody. There are critical plays in the game and we have to make them, but I like the way guys keep their head up and we are going to come in and work and know what is ahead of us and take advantage of the situation we are in.