QB Eli Manning
August 8, 2016
Q: Coach says youíre getting better as youíre getting older. Do you feel that way?
A: I hope so. Thatís the goal, to keep improving, learning, knowing limitations and what you have to improve on from year to year, enjoy the process of learning, continue to learn, continue to teach, be a teacher, be a coach to the receivers, get them up to speed but also be a student, ask tons of questions from McAdoo, coach Cignetti, Sully and try and pick their brains and know what they know so weíre all on the same page.
Q: After about a little more than a week, what do you see from the defense, do you see it gelling?
A: Yes, I think our defense has done a good job, I feel like theyíre on key, theyíre doing a good job knowing their assignments, playing fast, getting to their checks quickly and you just see them making plays. Iíve always thought the best defense is not always the scheme, the scheme is important, but itís the players. Can they make plays; can they play man coverage in crucial situations when you need a stop? Theyíre making some nice plays.
Q: What are you trying to get out of the first preseason game?
A: Just to get back out there. For me being a quarterback, itís a long time without live action where these guys are rushing for you, trying to sack you, so you have to move in the pocket, you have to feel the rush, buy some time, slide around. Obviously we have some new guys at the receiver position, so we get them in the mix and see how they adjust to things when the defense is going and itís live and see if they can adjust to things, play fast and get all their assignments.
Q: Weíve made a big deal about whoís going to call plays, whether itís Sully or McAdoo. From your perspective, how will that change things for you?
A: Iím not sure, you just have to get in there and see how itís going. I donít think itíll make a huge difference from my perspective. Itís still a play coming in and I have to run it, so I donít see it being a big difference either way.
Q: Howís training camp going for you?
A: I feel like Iím having a good camp. I feel like Iím playing fast, seeing things well and throwing the ball accurately, so we have to keep that going.
Q: Is there anywhere where you feel your age a little bit, whether itís on the field with things you can do or recovering off of it at all?
A: No, thereís really not. I feel healthy, I feel like my arm is live, I can make all the throws. I think Iíve gotten smarter over the years just with my training, my warmup, just taking care of my body, having a plan to get through practice and make sure I feel healthy. I used to just kind of roll out of bed and go practice. Now I need about an hour to get loosened up. Itís just maintenance. Iíve gotten in the routine of doing it over the years, I see the difference and have stayed with it.
Q: Whatís your impression of training camp in general, in terms of the music, timeouts, etc.? Do you feel the differences?
A: I think itís still a matter of trying to get guys to perform well and be well prepared. Iíve enjoyed the schedule. Doing the installs of practice the night before, come in the morning do a little quick meeting but really get out on the field and go practice and then hit the film and make corrections, and then at night make more corrections and then install again. I think the schedule has been good. At practice you donít have a lot of guys sitting in the meeting room for three or four hours before you get out there on the field, so I think things are going well. Now, a lot of the offense is installed, you just hope people can retain all the information and you donít forget what was installed last week, but I think the guys are doing well with that.
Q: You mentioned being a teacher and you do have really young receivers youíre working with. Whereís that line between the mistakes drive you nuts but you also enjoy the growth?
A: I think you just understand that mistakes are going to happen. Going into this, third year in the offense, I understand from their perspective, some of this stuff was new to me two years ago and I didnít realize. I try and kind of tell them things that it was tough for me to understand the first time and try and explain it in laymanís terms and to let them understand that this is the first time theyíre doing it. Itís not going to be perfect, thereís going to be a mistake and itís not a mistake, it just can be done better in a lot of ways and you just teach off that. You just talk to them, itís a lot of talking and thatís how you get better and how you learn. At this stage, if itís the first time or second time theyíre doing it, you canít expect it to be perfect. Thatís not the way it is. You just have to get a rep, get it on tape and have conversations to get it fixed and do it better the next time. Even the next time, thereís going to be adjustments, itíll be a different look. You only get so many plays, so just try and teach and get examples of it, talk them through it and see if they can get a mental rep to see if they can get through it.
Q: Jerry Reese said to us that you know this team is on your back. Do you feel that way?
A: I think as a quarterback you have a big responsibility. You have to play well, take over and I have to do my job and play at a high level. I understand that, I demand that of myself anyway, so I donít think you try and put any added pressure. You understand that youíre trying to go out there and do my best but I have to play well.
Q: Do you think JPP feels similarly on the defensive side of the ball? Iím interested in what youíve seen from him and how he seems this year.
A: I think JPP has had a good camp. Just to see him back in full speed and full action. Last year he came in and you saw the energy but there was a long break for him. Heís been through a lot this year, had the whole offseason to just understand heís got something to prove this year, and I wish for him to have a huge year.
Q: What is he like, to have something to prove?
A: Weíll see; it should be interesting and fun to watch.
Q: How are you and Odell better or different in year three?
A: I think Odell just being even more on the same page with things. Heís very in tune to details of routes and what heís doing, but just to continue to move him in different spots and just grow within the offense and be on the same page, the right timing and be that much sharper. Itís not a whole lot of different routes and different stuff, itís just doing them better and having a better understanding of what youíre trying to accomplish.
Q: Your working relationship, though? You can tangibly see that out there, that you know what heís going to do?
A: Sure, yes. I think just the timing of it. I think thereís always certain routes or certain routes for whatever reason we struggle with or weíre not as in check as we need to be, so we just look at it and see if Iím doing something wrong or youíre doing something wrong so we can get on the same page and hit it, master one, and find something else and keep working on it. You feel great about all the routes in your tree that youíre going to run a good bit of.
Q: How has Victor looked so far?
A: Victor has looked sharp, heís making plays, getting the speed. For me the biggest difference seeing him back in April to now is just adjusting to the ball, the balls in the air, itís different when youíre catching on the JUGS machine than when youíre just catching balls and now hey, you have to turn back, youíre running full speed, you have to adjust, hold a defender off a little bit, just making those tough catches and adjusting to the ball in the air are things that heís doing much better now. He just had to get some live action and is playing some football.