QB Eli Manning
September 28, 2016
Q: Has it reached the point that Odell has become a distraction on the sideline?
A: No. I donít think it has reached that point. We donít want to create it. Heís an emotional player. He plays hard, he wants to win. He wants to go out there. There are times where guys can get fried up on the sidelines when stuff happens. Itís all, hey, can we get back poise, go out there, produce and make the plays. Again, Iím not worried about it. I think heís making plays and doing a lot of good things. Heíll continue to do that.
Q: How important is it now to focus on the task at hand, a big game in Minnesota coming off the loss?
A: Definitely. Theyíre a good team. Theyíre 3-0 and playing great football. Defense is playing outstanding. Theyíre getting turnovers and getting sacks. Teams arenít moving the ball much on them and they arenít scoring. We have to have a great game plan. We have to understand that we have to protect the football. We canít give them a short field. We have to play smart. Smarter than what weíve been doing. Hopefully we can still go out there and execute. Hit some big plays and be explosive. We have to continue to do some of the good things that weíve been doing.
Q: Against this type of defense, protection for you is very important. What do you expect from your line?
A: I think our offensive line has been doing a great job so far. Theyíll have their biggest test this week against a good front. A couple of really special players. Itís going to be a test. Our receivers have to get open at times. We have to run the ball well and get in good down and distance. Itís a combination of a lot of things. They have a good third down blitz package. We have to be prepared for a lot of things.
Q: How different are they from a year ago?
A: Not a whole lot. They were a good defense last year. A lot of similar guys and similar schemes. We have to go out there and have a good plan. Just understand what theyíre doing, play smart football.
Q: How can you protect the ball better?
A: We have to hold onto the ball. Sometimes, obviously, turnovers occur. Youíre being aggressive and giving guys shots. You canít be too risky with the ball. You can still be aggressive and push the ball down the field, but if things arenít there, you have to take sacks and throw the ball away. You can still play aggressive and not be risky with the football.
Q: Have you found out what Odell was so upset about?
A: No. I havenít talked about it. Havenít made an issue of it. Itís not always to find out what the problem is. We just have to get him calmed. He was ready to go.
Q: How do you mitigate the noise in the building as an offense? You know that place is going to be loud. What can you guys do to limit that?
A: I think not giving them the big plays. Just try and stay in good down and distance. There will be some times where itís loud but weíve practiced with noise and have played in loud environments before. Itís just everyone being on the same page. Great communication. Getting up to the line of scrimmage quickly. Making sure everyone has a lot of time to digest what the play is and see what theyíre doing. Just make sure we are sound in our assignments.
Q: How much of a balance is it to spread the ball around but to try and feed your top playmakers?
A: For me, itís about getting everyone involved and going through progressions. Certain teams might have plays where you might try and get it to certain guys and put guys in a position to get the ball. Depending on the defense, the ball could go a different way. You have to check it down. Maybe someone else is getting single coverage. Itís just about going through my progressions and reads. Not forcing the ball to one person. Itís just about playing the game and not trying to overthink it.
Q: How do you guys plan to make up for the loss of Shane Vereen and do you think the corps of running backs is capable of replacing the production he brings?
A: Yes. We have a few guys. I thought Orleans came in and played well, hopefully get Rashad back quickly. Bobby Rainey does a good job. Perkins, a rookie whoís going to get in the mix some. We have a number of guys that can go out there and play well. I feel good about the group of running backs we have.
Q: How do you channel your frustrations when a game doesnít go well?
A: Just try and go out there the next series and get something going. Thereís times you get frustrated. Thatís part of football and life. Itís just about trying to figure out a way of not giving the defense or the people on the opposing team the satisfaction of seeing you frustrated.
Q: What can you say about the play of Sam Bradford thus far?
A: Been impressed. I havenít seen all the games heís played, but to go in there a week before the season starts and come out and win these last two games, he seems to be playing well. Iíve been impressed with him just picking up that offense really quickly. Heís a tremendous talent and you have to give him a lot of credit for being able to handle that. Step right into that situation.
Q: Is Linval Joseph one of the best guys in the middle?
A: He's a good player in the middle. He's disruptive, he's big, strong. He's good against the run but also can get to the quarterback. So we have to have a plan for him.
Q: You are averaging maybe seven points in the second half, what do you think is the problem there as far as getting to the end zone?
A: I can't put it on a certain half. I think, obviously, we're getting down there, we just have to find a way to...the turnovers hurt, the penalties hurt. So we have to find ways to stay in a good rhythm and good down distance and not have the negative plays.
Q: Are you involved in any discussions about anthem protests or shows of unity with coach McAdoo?
A: No, we haven't had any conversations about it. Before the season, before any of this was occurring, we did have a meeting saying that we were all going to stand on the sideline, helmet in right hand, had a little meeting about how we were going to deal with the anthem. But since that and that was before the first preseason game, there's been no other talks.
Q: Do you think defenses are scheming to take away the big plays from you guys?
A: Last week, we had 15 explosive plays. So I think that's one of every four plays was explosive. Meaning either a run of 12 yards or a pass of 16. So that's the most we've ever had in the last couple of years. We may not be throwing go-routes or and post-routes, but we're still hitting big plays and that's good.
Q: What's the first thing that sticks out when you see a team that's coming off an eight-sack performance against a mobile player like Cam Newton?
A: Just trying to look at their scheme, trying to see who their playmakers are. Who are getting some of the pressures, who are getting the sacks. A lot of it is obviously on their defensive line. But, the linebackers do a good job blitzing and with coverages. They're doing a good job taking away the first and second read. So it's a combination. They're playing good defense; they have a good scheme. They don't give you many easy completions, you're getting stuck in a lot of 3rd and longs and that's usually the recipe for sacks and playing good defense.
Q: You have back-to-back night games coming. What's the best part of playing these night games and to be on the national stage?
A: Well, it's obviously exciting knowing it is a prime- time game and itís Monday night. You grow up watching games, and you hope your parents let you stay up for Monday night and Sunday night games when you're little. To be in that situation is exciting and the crowd is always a little bit more amped-up for those games. So, you can feel it and knowing we're going to be on the road, weíve got to get excited about going into a tough environment and trying to get a win.
Q: What's the loudest place you've ever played in?
A: Seattle's been loud, New Orleans has been loud. It's our job and we understand it's going to be loud at times but we'll be prepared for that. I think we can help control that with our tempo and not giving them big plays or too much to be excited about.
Q: Any theories as to why the Vikings have posed a problem for you?
A: No. Look forward to this one and go out there and try to play well.
Q: You know your numbers against them?
A: I do.
Q: But you know you've had some struggles against them over the years?
A: I did not know that.
Q: Do you believe...can a team have someoneís numbers? Can you have someoneís number or they have your number? That kind of thing?
A: I don't think anybody has my phone number on the Vikings (laughs). Maybe Linval...I'm trying to think if I have anybody's number, I'm not sure. Maybe Bradford's number, he's got my number (laughs). I can't think of anybody else's off hand. Iíll look at my phone and get back to you on that one though.
Q: Did you use Sam Bradford's number after he got traded to wish him good luck or anything?
A: I didn't text him after that one. But, just over the years.
Q: Do you pride yourself on your bounce back ability?
A: Youíve got to come back and, hey, each week, whether you had your best game or your worst game or whatever, you come back, have a great week of preparation and go out there and try to play well.
Q: But, you've had a pretty good history of that.
A: Just because one game wasn't your best or the year before or whatever, you can't worry about it. Just have a great prep and get a good game plan. Get on the same page as coaches and receivers and be confident in your ability and what you have to do and go out there and do it.