QB Eli Manning
October 5, 2016
Q: McAdoo says the offense is ready to break out. Any comment?
A: I hope so. I think we've done good things. Last week we didn't do as well against a good defense. We knew it was going to be tough. You're hoping to be able to hit a couple big shots, which we weren't able to connect on, and that was kind of different. I think we have good players; a lot of guys are doing good things. We just got to put it all together and I think we'll be okay.
Q: Do you feel like the offense is finally in a rhythm or with the penalties and turnovers, do you think it's stalled a little bit?
A: I think we've done a lot of good things from an offensive standpoint. The last week wasn't as smooth and we went against a good defense. They had good scheme and slowed us down a little. I still think we are close. I don't think we have to go and change up everything. A lot of guys are doing a lot of good things, we just have to connect on a few more plays here and there and we'll be in good shape.
Q: Monday was the first full game without Shane Vereen or Rashad Jennings. How do you think your trio of running backs responded?
A: I thought the running backs played well. All of them ran the ball pretty well. Just got behind so it had to throw it a bunch in the second half. We had some nice runs early on. Guys caught the ball well, new to protections. I think all three of them got some good playing time and did well.
Q: What it's like for you to look at the stats? You guys are 6th in league in yards and 20-something in scoring. Is it hard to rectify that?
A: I don't really look at the stats but now that you say that, it's just turnovers. That's just turnovers and obviously had a few games where we got in the red zone and weren't able to get enough touchdowns and turned the ball over down there. Weíve got to hold on to the ball and we just have to finish the drives.
Q: When Odell Beckham Jr. says he's not having fun, what does that mean to you?
A: You have to ask him. It's his words. No one likes losing and we just lost two in a row. It's not fun to lose games. Last week, offensively, we didn't play as well as we needed to, so it was a tough game and it's not exactly fun playing a tough game.
Q: Are you concerned teams are going to try and start baiting him and get in his head?
A: No. I think he'll be fine. It was one play that he got hit a little late on the sidelines. One play out of many; I don't think we have to make a big deal about it.
Q: You understand that there's a history there. That's why people do make a big deal about it. This is not an isolated event.
A: Again, I don't know if he should have been called for it. He thought he was hit late; he didn't hit anybody late. He just seemed to be complaining more to the referee about it more than anything. He obviously got called for taunting. I don't know if that was taunting necessarily. Again, he had one incident last year that I kind of feel was inappropriate with Norman. Since that, I don't think he's done anything that's been harmful to another player so I don't think it's a big deal.
Q: What do you think about the leagues rules on taunting. Do you think it's confusing and not well defined?
A: You just got to know that you can't do anything that looks like it. So youíve just got to be smart. Make plays, donít show up anybody else. I've seen a couple of calls that were questionable. Even Cleveland, coach showed us one where the Cleveland receiver looked like he was trying to flip a ball to the ref and fell a little short and hit the player and he got called for taunting. So you just have to be careful. You just have to very careful knowing that the refs are looking for it.
Q: Have you talked to Odell to try and see where he's at with everything?
A: Yeah. I talk to Odell every day. He seems good; ready to go.
Q: Did you talk specifically about his...
A: We just talk. He's a buddy of mine, we talk. I think it's just about trying to get on the same page and trying to help each other out.
Q: Moving on to Green Bay now. You've had some great quarterback battles with Aaron Rodgers. What are your thoughts going into the game and what are your thoughts on the matchup?
A: Thank you (laughs). We understand that Aaron is a great quarterback. They got a good offense; they can score a lot of points. We understand that we have to protect the football. Can't turn them over, can't make it easy for them. Weíve got to control the time of possession. Score some points ourselves, and move the ball. They're a good defense. They're a team we don't play all that often. A lot of guys here probably haven't played them. Just got to understand what they're doing, what their scheme is and how we have to play to attack.
Q: Back to last week. Was the problem with 3rd down the distance and the lengths or you just weren't executing?
A: Just a combination. Yeah, third down, we weren't very good on. Again, I can't tell you all the stats or anything. They were very good on third down. Had a couple of third and very longs after some penalties that put us in a bad position. We tried to hit some shots down the field, tried to hit some stuff that's just tough. When youíre third down, third and long, it means your first and second downs were not very productive. We didn't have as many completions, positive completions that kept us on a good rhythm, good down and distance.
Q: There has been a lot made of the coverages that you have been seeing. Having more two back and limiting the big plays. Is that different from what you saw last year?
A: Yeah, we have seen a little bit more of it, so that is what teams are going to do. We have to understand that teams are going to try to take away the passing game and you should be able to run the ball, you should be able to run that. You just have to have a combination. You have to run the ball and you also have to have some pass plays that will attack those coverages and so it is a little bit different. Sometimes your quick passing game isnít as efficient against those types of defenses and so we might have to push the ball down the field a little bit more, have some things that let us hold the ball a little bit longer, so we just have to mix it up, but they are also playing some single high, so it is a combination of mixing up some things, but we will be fine.
Q: Do you think defenses are willing to make you guys go down the field in 10 or 12 plays as opposed to getting beat deep?
A: Well, I think that is the way a lot of defenses play, bend donít break. See if a team can go 12 plays and then they can finally get an incompletion, a sack, something that will get them out of their comfort zone, get them into a third and long. So you have to be able to do that. You have to be able to run the ball, you have to be able to hit the play action, find your completions, hit your check downs and I thought that Minnesota did a good job of taking away our check downs as well Ė taking out the short passing game. Each team is different, though. Each team has a different philosophy, different coverages and some teams will try to change and play some different things that other teams have had success with. That doesnít always lead to success because they may be trying to play coverages that they are not used to playing. With Minnesota, it was kind of part of their base and what they do a lot and so they didnít have to change up a lot.
Q: Do you find sometimes that maybe all it takes is one big play and it loosens things up a bit?
A: Yeah, definitely. If a team kind of has Ė early on they have a plan to play a certain coverage and you can either run them out of it or hit a big passing play out of it, so you can definitely do things to get back out of it and get them back to their base stuff.
Q: Are you guys aware of how much this game means to Ben McAdoo?
A: Anytime a player, coach, anybody, goes back to an organization that they have been associated with, you want to go out there and put up a good performance, so we understand that and we definitely want to go out there and play well.
Q: It seemed that the big plays in the last game were to guys that you normally wouldnít expect. Are those things that you are finding with other teams concentrating on your big three?
A: Sure. Definitely, definitely. If teams want to double certain guys, it is going to leave other guys one on one and guys have to win those matchups and so, yeah definitely. The offense isnít designed just to get certain guys the ball. You have plays where everybody has an option based on the coverage, your progressions are going to change and your first guys, so it gives us an opportunity to get some other guys the chance to make some big plays
Q: Have you ever had to go to Lambeau without your ski parka?
A: Yeah, most times I have played there it has been late. My rookie year we played there pretty early. I didnít play, but it was nice and warm on the sideline. But, yeah it should be nice. It should be a nice night.
Q: You go from the newest stadium to the oldest one.
A: Yeah. Obviously I have some good memories of playing at Lambeau, though. It is great history, great tradition, so it is a fun place to play.
Q: Will it be just as loud?
A: We will see. I am sure it will be loud.
Q: How have the Packers evolved since you first faced them?
A: Since I first faced them? I donít know how to answer that. Brett Favre was there and now they have Aaron Rodgers. But as long as I can remember, Dom Capers has been their defensive coordinator, so their defense has been somewhat similar. They have different players. This year they are a little younger at corner, it seems like, so maybe doing a few little different things, but each year they have different players and he is a very smart defensive coordinator and does things to put his players in the best position.