QB Eli Manning
September 5, 2016
Q: It's week one again, does it ever get old? What is it like after all these years?
A: It's always exciting. It's always exciting to start the season just because you get to start over. You don't know what the possibilities are, but everybody starts in the same spot and we've got a chance to do something special this season and it starts right here. This week, having a great week of preparation and going to Dallas and playing smart football, and we'll see if we can get a win.
Q: So much changes during the off season, can you ever really tell going into the first game what kind of expectations you could have for a team?
A: Yeah, I think you have expectations. You kind of know what the guys who've been here a number of years, what to expect from them. You always have new guys on the team and hopefully have some surprises in a good way where guys can step up and pick up things fast and make some great plays for us. So, I think we know what to expect but still, you’ve got to go play the games. It's like game planning for a team, you kind of know what you think you might expect, what they're going to do defensively, but there's always going to be something new and you have to adjust and play football.
Q: Does the lack of production in the preseason concern you or do you just throw it out?
A: No, no concerns. Feel good about where we are right now and what we can do. So we’ve just got to go and obviously do it on Sundays and do it when it counts and so, I feel good about where we are, how I feel within the offense, the players that we have and I think we'll be able to go out there and move the ball.
Q: What from the preseason is encouraging?
A: Well, just the practices that we’ve had. You have a few snaps in games but you have a lot of practice, a lot of reps. Guys are doing good things, guys are making plays and so I just feel good about what we have with the play-makers that we have and their ability to go out there and put them in a position to make plays.
Q: Have you paid attention to Dak Prescott at all?
A: I've seen a little bit. I haven't watched any game film or anything but saw he's had good numbers and had some good drives. Met Dak and saw him play at Mississippi State, he's a tremendous athlete and seems to be playing great football. Our defense will have to get prepared for him.
Q: What does it mean to have Victor Cruz back?
A: I'm excited for Victor because of everything he's gone through. Just as a friend, as a teammate, excited to have him back in the lineup and I know he'll be able to make some plays for us.
Q: You guys added another quarterback today. What do you know of Josh Johnson and your thoughts on him?
A: I've seen Josh over the years and know a little bit about him. But not tons, so obviously he's got a lot to learn, a lot to catch-up with. He seemed to pick things up fairly well today and we'll welcome him into the quarterback room and get him caught up to speed.
Q: What were your thoughts on Ryan Nassib's struggles this preseason?
A: I thought Ryan did some good things and thought he played well the other week versus the Patriots. He did some good things versus the Jets and so thought he did a good job this preseason.
Q: Compared to last year, has Dallas' defense changed much?
A: Yea, I think each year you're going to change a little bit as they grow within that defensive scheme. They have a few new faces but for the most part very similar. But each and every week they'll put a different twist on things and have some new schemes that are a little different but they will rely a lot on what they normally do and they play fast and don't do a whole lot of different things and because of that they can play very fast and know exactly what their assignments are and they play sound football.
Q: Two rookie quarterbacks are starting for Philadelphia and Dallas; does that make you feel a little old all of a sudden?
A: No, doesn't make me feel any older. So obviously that happens and you have some rookies playing quarterback. It doesn't affect me so much, I’ve got to go out there and do my job and try to play well. Obviously this week, going against a rookie quarterback in Dallas, but you're still playing against their defense and I’ve got to do my job.
Q: Do you think the jump for a rookie quarterback has changed over the span of your career?
A: Yeah, probably so. I think colleges are doing more offensively and a lot more passing and concepts, so maybe that's probably giving them a little bit of an advantage coming in. They know a lot about protections and change in protections and maybe a little more pro-style.
Q: I think you played the fewest preseason snaps of your career. Physically, do you feel that it's been enough?
A: Yeah, I’ve got 13 years of a lot of regular season games and preseason, playoff games. So I’ve got a lot of snaps under my belt and, you know, you want to get into preseason and get into a little rhythm but ultimately the goal is to get out healthy and get used to moving in the pocket, those types of things, but yeah, ready to go now.
Q: Do you think the first team offense had enough of a chance to build their rhythm?
A: Yeah, I think you build rhythm in your practices and every rep and you get there and understand we've got to improve on some things and you see those things and we improve on them. But we should be ready for Sunday.
Q: Looking back on last season, did that week one in Dallas hang with you guys a little bit more than expected?
A: I don't think so. I think we moved on and played some close games. This year, hopefully we have as many close games, we’ve just got to win them.
Q: What sticks out most from that game?
A: Just that we lost, that's the only thing that matters.
Q: You guys have missed the playoffs four years in a row, how do you approach something like that?
A: You approach it, 'hey, this is week one, and you can't make the playoffs week one,' so you’ve got to play game-by-game and at the end of the year you can see where you’re standing, what you have to do but you still have to go and play each and every week and be prepared for every situation.
Q: I know, it's just one game, but you guys haven't won an opener in five years, does that weigh on you at all?
A: No, I mean, you go out there and hopefully...we’ve got to play well, we’ve got to play our style of football and try to get the win.