QB Eli Manning
September 13, 2016
Q: What was it like to finally have a game with all the receivers out there for a full game?
A: It was good. It was good to have all our weapons healthy, playing fast and at a high level. It was good to see. Sterling stepped up and made plays, Odell made plays, Victor made plays, Will Tye. Running backs ran well. Offense was clicking. We were looking to get everybody involved. Not forcing the ball to certain guys, just going through my reads. Guys are winning and it makes my life and my job a lot easier.
Q: With Cruz kind of back in the swing of things, with him healthy, how good can this offense be?
A: We just have to keep working. There is still some improvements and things we have to do better. Each week will be a different test for us. The Saints, they play different coverages, different defenses and we have to be prepared for it. We have to come back, get better, have a great week of practice and make the plays again on Sunday.
Q: What did you see on tape that gives you optimism for the offense?
A: We ran the ball well, which is great. The offensive line gave me good protection. Guys are winning some one-on-one matchups. I saw a lot of good. Came out, didnít get off to a fast start. Next two drives, came down, scored, had a two-minute drive, scored which is great. In the third quarter we werenít playing really well, but when we needed a touchdown we got down, were able to come together, make some good plays and score. Scored a touchdown in the green zone and the red zone. Just have to build on all those things.
Q: Which do you think is more indicative of the personality of this offense, the three-play drive getting big chunks or the go-ahead drive there at the end?
A: Hopefully both. Being able to have those drives where we ran on first down, big play pass, pass, touchdown, that quickly where we can take a lead. Also, fourth quarter where we ran the ball a bunch, had a big play on a scramble drill to Shep and then threw it for the touchdown. Being able to mix in that run and pass, big plays, all those things, is just taking what the defense gives you. Thatís what you have to do in this league.
Q: On that last drive of the first half, were you intentionally not using timeouts?
A: We talk a lot about trying to have a tired defense out there. If you can stay on the ball and not call timeouts, not let them substitute, not let them get a fresh d-line and make them play tired, it gives you a chance. Eventually you have to call one but just trying to go fast. Not have to call timeouts until you have to.
Q: Were you surprised you were able to run the ball as well as you did after the preseason that you had?
A: Preseason, you work on certain things. We had a certain emphasis to get better at some types of runs. Youíre hoping to improve on things and try different things out. Some of them work. You might improve on them but theyíre not your bread and butter.
Q: Was it strange having Peyton waiting for you after the game?
A: No. Itís happened before. Iíve seen him after games before. I appreciate him being there, supporting his little brother.
Q: How special was the moment giving the game ball to McAdoo?
A: Obviously excited for him. First game. He was excited. Probably a lot going on in his head. Excited to get that first win in his first game. I wanted to give him the game ball to remember that first win. Itís always a special one.
Q: You said heís excited; he doesnít really show it that much to us. Do you see a different side?
A: He keeps pretty level. He can get fired up. Whoís not excited? Everyone is excited for the first game of the season. Especially the first game as a head coach.
Q: Do you think thatís why you guys mesh? You have the same sort of demeanor in being level?
A: I think we just have good communication. I think weíre just honest with each other. He tells me what ideas I have. If theyíre good or bad and if he likes them or doesnít. Iím the same with him. I think that honest communication makes things work.
Q: There was a stretch where Victor got three balls on the same drive, Odell in the second half got a bunch of balls on a drive and Will Tye. In your opinion, why did it turn out that way?
A: No reason. Itís not like we were having an emphasis to get a certain guy the ball. Itís just the way the coverages go. A lot of times Iím not going to know what side of the field Odellís going to be on or where heís going to be lined up until Iím calling the play. We need to be right, left. He can be anywhere on the field. Based on when weíre going no-huddle, he stays on the same side that we start on most of the time. Just kind of the way it works out.
Q: How would you describe the Saints secondary from what youíve seen so far?
A: They have some different schemes so we have to be prepared for that. They have some different looks. From their preseason to their first game against Oakland, they showed a lot of different looks in that first game. You have to be prepared for a lot of things. You have to be prepared for everything theyíve shown in the preseason and everything theyíve shown in the regular season. Just have to figure out what we might expect. We have to prepare for a lot and have a plan for everything. We have to make sure everyone is on their toes and ready for that.
Q: How much do you know about their corners?
A: I know they have some young guys and some new guys. Been watching some. We just have to see what their game plan is, how theyíre going to play and go from there.
Q: Did you feel any different energy around the team with all the new faces?
A: No. I thought we had good energy and guys were excited to play. You always feel that. Obviously you have some new faces and guys around which makes you feel good.
Q: Does the team feel different to you?
A: I think guys are excited about the guys we have. I think weíre trusting each other and believe that we can win some games. We work hard at it. I think you always feel good going into games.
Q: In the games against the Saints and knowing Drew Brees, do you almost expect a track meet this weekend?
A: You have to expect that theyíre going to be able to score just because they have that ability. Heís put up 40-some odd points last week. A bunch of times when weíve played them, itís been high scoring. We have to know that offensively and do our part. We have to protect the football, sustain drives and convert on third downs. We have to do our part, make sure weíre scoring touchdowns and put us in a position to win.
Q: Last yearís game to do what you did offensively statistically and to come out of there with a loss, did you ever go back to that game and think to yourself how did we score 49 and lose?
A: You try and look at it and see what youíre doing well. Theyíre all tough. All the losses. That was another one of many last year where I thought we had a great chance to win a football game and couldnít quite figure out how to win it. Hopefully if we get to that situation this year, we can try and win it.
Q: Josh Brown is back now with the team. What is your take on how the league and the Giants handled this situation?
A: It got handled. What happened had to happen. Iím glad to have Josh back. Support him and support your teammates through everything that goes on. Good to have him back on the team and kicking for us this week.
Q: What was said about that today?
Q: Did you say anything to him?
A: Just saw him and said, Ďhey, good to have you back.í Thatís about it. Move on.
Q: Going back to last yearsí game, did that game have any special meaning to you? You and Drew had to historically keep pace in that game?
A: When you go back to your hometown, you like to get a win and play well. It was a wild game. Itís fun to play in those games. When you feel offensively that you can score once you get it and you feel that you have to score. Itís fun scoring touchdowns and having a lot of excitement, but obviously I wouldíve liked to get the W. Thatís when it wouldíve meant a little bit more.
Q: Whatís the relationship like with you and Peyton now that he is not playing? I know this is a new dynamic.
A: Heís just there to support. Heís not watching film. Thereís no tips. Just there to watch a football game and watch his little brother play the opener.
Q: Do you expect to see him more? Is it different?
A: Not a whole lot different. Weíve always supported each other. When youíre watching another oneís game, itís all in support. Thereís no tips or anything like that. Weíve had that before. Heís been to my college games and NFL games on bye weeks before. Playoff games. Nothing too different.
Q: How much more do you expect to have him there?
A: Games? I think it just kind of worked out. He was south and was heading around. He wanted to make it to the game if he could. I donít know what the plan is or if he has any others heís going to make or not. Nothing on the books right now.
Q: You got to see him before the game, too, right?
A: Yes. Got to see him before the game for a second and then saw him after.
Q: Is that the rarity?
A: If we were playing, I might see him before the game. I donít know if Iíve seen him before a game. That might be the first time.
Q: Surprised he didnít show up in a robe and slippers?
A: We were penciled in to see each other today. He bailed on me. I got to see him yesterday for a little bit. Monday is our off-day now. He didnít know that at the time.
Q: So heís hanging out around here?
A: No, we had to do something yesterday in the city for charity. I saw him at that and he left.
Q: Where do you think he ends up?
A: Who knows. I think heís going to sit on it for a little bit. Weigh all his options and figure it out.
A. I dunno. I don't usually eat breakfast with him.
Q. But sometimes you do?
A. Yeah. If we have a family gathering or vacation.
Q. Do you have any of those planned?
A. Not currently.
Q. Changing topics, when you think back to the two super bowl MVP performances you turned in, do you think it was as special for Peyton to be able to watch them?
A. We've always supported each other. I was happy for him and he was happy for me.
Q. He's funny.
A. Yes. He is.
Q. What about the Saints?
A. I've seen some film, but we'll get more into that this week.
Q. But I mean, has he given you any tips from when he played against them in the Super Bowl.
A. That was like 6 years ago.
Q. Does it still make you angry that they beat him. Is there a little revenge factor there for you?
A. I don't really think about it that way.
Q. I think that about covers it. Do you like the coach's mustache?
A. <stabs himself in eye repeatedly>
pretty much that way