QB Eli Manning
December 7, 2015
Q: …what was the play in particular?
A: You’re talking about the fourth down?
Q: The fourth and 2.
A: It was the play we had run earlier in the year, we’ve had great success with it and they covered it well the way they tried to pass it off, the safety came down and I would’ve had to work a second window or come back to my back on a route, but they got pressure and didn’t have that luxury. Still thought I could maybe hit Rueben just kind of running by. The defender wasn’t looking at me, he was looking at Rueben. I thought Rueben could run by him and still possibly make the catch or get an interference call. Didn’t work out that way, though.
Q: Is he the primary on that?
A: Yeah, for the most part. Yes.
Q: Did you see Will Tye there when you watched it backed? He was at the goal line with Dwayne Harris behind him. Was that a possibility?
A: Could’ve been a possibility. Could’ve come back to him, could’ve come back to him late, but just didn’t have that opportunity.
Q: You look at the league, if Dallas wins tonight, you’re back to where you were…
A: Before, yeah. We’re still very much in it, but we’ve got to win some games and just got to start now. Got to start with Miami, so we’ve got to—we can’t get discouraged, we can’t have any quit in us, we’ve got to keep fighting, continue to have a great week of preparation, practice, and then perform at a higher level on game day. Just get some energy back into the locker room, get some excitement and get that winning feeling back.
Q: Is it a play or two that’s the difference in your mind?
A: Yeah, in a lot of cases, there was, definitely. We hit it, we made a lot of big plays, lot of nice things and thought we left some big plays out there as well. Couple of great opportunities to get touchdowns or big plays, whether the run game and the pass game, you see it on film and it’s for one reason or another it’s not happening. You’ve got to give credit to the other team. Some of it’s their doing, also; them getting pressure, them doing something that takes some things away. We knew coming in with their style and some of the things they did they would have some good coverages at times and did some things that was going to make it tough on us, but we also had some opportunities to make some big plays. We hit a lot of them, but we needed a few more.
Q: You had Bobby Hart starting and then you lost Ereck Flowers, how did the offensive line in its revamped form hold up?
A: I thought the offensive line did well. It’s a good defensive front and so we knew we had to. It wasn’t a game where we wanted to come out and throw it 60 times against that front with some new offensive linemen, some new guys. I thought that they, when Dallas (Reynolds) came in and Bobby and (Justin) Pugh moved outside, guys competed and gave us an opportunity to make some plays.
Q: How’s your ankle?
A: It feels good.
Q: When did you hurt it?
A: Somewhere in the third quarter.
Q: Was that when you tried to run the ball?
A: It was not.
Q: Did it bother you throughout the game?
A: No, no, it didn’t. Felt fine. I think just always I get checked out all the time, bumps and bruises. You get the doctors on it, get on it early so you heal up quickly. They always take precaution and that’s why I got the X-ray, but no issues and it feels good.
Q: You don’t expect to miss practice time?
A: I don’t think so.
Q: Aside from the fact that you are in it, what’s the confidence level here right now?
A: Obviously guys were down today. It was a tough day today just because felt we had opportunities, felt we left a lot of plays out there and just had the lead and had some chances. We made some mistakes, we didn’t play as well as we needed to at times, but I think we’ll bounce back and look forward to us getting back to work, getting back to our preparation and making plays. I think we’ll be fine, just knowing—hey, we want to get a win. The only way to fix this feeling we have right now is to play better football and get a win and it’ll solve some issues.
Q: Lot of fingers are being pointed at your coach. You as a leader of the team, what do you sort of make of that?
A: Coach put us in a position, he trusts us to go make a play and we’ve got to do it. We’ve got to play better at some critical moments in the game. We do some good things, we get close, we do a lot of good things and it’s just kind of that final step, those last few yards and the difference between winning games and losing games. We’re just not making that crucial play to get us the win.
Q: Fourth or fifth time it’s happened. Is it a mental thing? Is it something you think is in guys’ heads at this point?
A: I hope not. I hope guys don’t expect that. I hope they don’t think it’s going to happen. I think this one was a little different, went into overtime and we had the ball with a chance to go win the game. We haven’t gotten those, that situation a whole lot. We’ve got to take advantage of it. Again, we got close, had a third down ball down the right sideline to Odell and just missed that one and it’s just little things like that. I’ve got to throw a better ball, we’ve got to make a play there, and then a chance to score a touchdown and win the game and we didn’t. We just didn’t make that play, but we’d come back with 4th and 7 and we made that play. Those are big time plays. It wasn’t easy. There are some good things, there are some great efforts and great plays being made, but there are just too many bad plays as well.
Q: What do you see in the demeanor of the huddle and on the sideline when you’re in these close games? Does it change at all? Is that just the normal reaction for teams late in games or is it sort of the same as it is throughout?
A: Yeah, I think it seems to be the same. I don’t notice a difference, I feel like we still have a confidence in ourselves that we’re going to go out there and make plays and make the drives and do what we have to do to win the game.
Q: Tom said you had an X-ray on your ankle, was it the same one you had surgery on?
Q: I’ll look it up, but which one would it be?
A: I’ll make you work (laughs).
Q: But you’re good as far as…
A: Yeah. Yeah, I feel good.
Q: Good to practice?
A: I would think so, yes.
Q: You’ve been around here during periods of time when people are questioning whether the coach is going to stick around and it seems to be happening again. Is that something you’re aware of or that motivates you?
A: I’ve got to worry about this team just like he does. We’re about getting this team playing better, winning games and everything else will take care of itself if we do our job better.
Q: He’s been good in these kinds of situations before, not every time. In the two Super Bowl years, there were definite moments of this thing doesn’t look like…What is it about him that comes out in this situation?
A: Well, I think it brings energy, it brings determination that we’ve got to keep fighting. It brings that mentality, that fighter mentality, and that’s what we need. We’ve got to have that kind of don’t—we’re not going to let this happen, we’ve got to make it work.
Q: Will you pay attention tonight to Cowboys-Redskins?
A: Yeah, of course. We always pay attention to what’s going on in the division. It affects us. I guess at this point we’ll be rooting, got to be rooting, for the Cowboys.
Q: Strange, huh?
A: Well, it happens. I guess we’ve had to root for divisional teams before, but I don’t think I’ll be wearing a Matt Cassel jersey or anything, but we’ll be hoping they can pull out a win.