QB Eli Manning
October 18, 2016
Q: Eli, how excited are you about going to London?
A: I am excited. I am excited to go over there. It has been a while. It has been almost 10 years since I last went over there, but I had a great experience the first time, so I am looking forward to going back and playing against a good Rams team. It is a work week. We are not over there for too long, so get over there and get ready to play a football game.
Q: Offensively, can you build on what you did last game?
A: Yeah, we have to. We did some good things, but there are still some things to clean up. We have to make sure that we are getting better, but we made some good plays, made some clutch plays and some moments of the game, so that is good. A lot of guys stepped up and did some good things, so we have to continue to do that and just clean up a few things as well.
Q: The Rams were the first team to get under Odellís skin. How important is it for him to not let that happen again this week?
A: I think he did a good job last time. They were a little chippy hitting him late and we had another player ejected that game, it wasnít him. So we have to understand that they have had a few players ejected this season, understand that we have to control ourselves, play smart, be the more disciplined team, hold our composure and just play football.
Q: Do you expect them to go to those methods again?
A: I expect them to play football. I donít know what to expect, so go out there and do our job and expect our guys to be smart and to just worry about playing football and playing the right way.
Q: Eli, what is your overall message to Odell going forward?
A: Just play football, keep making plays and doing your thing.
Q: What are the challenges that the Rams pass rush and defense present?
A: Yeah, they have a good pass rush. They have guys that get to the quarterback, get a lot of hits on the quarterback, cause fumbles and so it leads to some issues. So we have to do a good job of protecting those guys, getting the run game going, not sitting there and holding the ball forever, so I have to be conscience of that and just play smart and donít give them the big plays.
Q: What are the specific issues that a guy like Aaron Donald can cause you?
A: He is getting pressure up the middle and he can get some push back and get into your lap a bit, so we have to make sure that we are firm in the middle and make sure that our interior linemen are doing a good job. If we can get two guys on him at certain times, we will try and do that.
Q: This division is tough this year and you are still in the bottom trying to get out. What is the focus here?
A: Hey, we have to win the second half of the season. We are getting there to the mid-point; we need our young guys to step up. The rookies arenít really rookies anymore, they have played a lot of football, we need the vets to play their part, so we have to make sure that we are getting better. We canít be content with where we stand and just doing things ok, we need to make progress and so that is the mindset. We have to raise our level of play and keep finding ways to win game.
Q: How can you get more production out of the running game?
A: Well, you have to run it. Just try to be balanced, the pass, throwing the ball well should help out the run. Get the safeties back, get more of a shell defense should help the run. We went against a couple good defensive linemen these last few weeks and so again, going up against another good front this week, but we will get those guys going. We will get that run game, that is just the way that football goes. Sometimes they want to take away the run and you should be able to throw it and if they want to take away the pass you should be able to run the ball.
Q: You made some comments about Odellís antics on the radio yesterday. Are you tired of it being an issue week after week?
A: No. Iím not tired of it. I thought you might be tired of it. That was my comment. Talking about you. Iím fine with it. Heís doing a lot of good things and playing the game the right way. He just has to make sure the celebrations and whatís going on arenít hurting the team in any way.
Q: It seems like you made a few comments publically that maybe people havenít heard in the past. Whatís the message going about it publically?
A: Iím not trying to make comments publically. I get asked about him a lot so I have to comment. Odell and I have a great relationship. We talk about a lot of things. Weíre on the same page. He knows that Iím always looking out for him and understands that you can say things that can get taken one way. Odell and I are on the same page. I get asked multiple questions about him every week.
Q: Isnít the bottom line all about winning to you?
A: Yes. I want him to play well and make plays. I want him to have celebrations and dance. Iím fine with that. I want the team to go out there and win games. Itís fun. That was a fun locker room after the game. Exciting locker room. It should be all positive stuff. For him to go out there and have his best game, maybe of his career, 200 yards in receptions and then afterwards, to be kind of a bad spin on things. You donít want that. He should be happy about that and celebrating. Not have to deal with the side drama of it.
Q: Youíve been in New York a long time. Have you ever seen a teammate get the level of scrutiny that he has?
A: I donít know. Iím not sure. Maybe not. This might be the most.
Q: How much does he have to expect the attention. Heís going and doing this thing with the net on the sideline. You know that the cameras are looking at you right? He has to expect the attention, right?
A: Yes. Probably so. The net stuff doesnít bother me. You can do whatever you want in that sense. If itís not getting penalized, not looking bad for the organization or the team. I think the net has played its part. Itís done its deal. We can move on from the net. Iím more worried about taking the helmet off, getting the penalties, those types of things. We have to make sure those are the things you have to avoid because you donít want to hurt the team in any way.
Q: When the net is done, what do you think is next?
A: Youíd have to ask him. I donít know. Iím not in that business. Iím not creative enough to propose to a net.
Q: Because of the opponent, the Rams have had there share of ejections, is it important for Odell to really keep his cool this week?
A: Thatís everyone. We have to understand that we have to be smart and play football. We donít need the extracurricular activities. We just have to go out there and do our job. Keep it about football. Shouldnít be that hard.
Q: Do you have to talk to Odell?
A: No, I donít plan on having a conversation about it.
Q: This week presents different challenges, whatís your preparation like?
A: The way the week is set up with our practices, a lot of our prep is done by the end of Thursdayís practice. Thereís still a little bit more to do but the game plan is really in by then. By the time we get on the plane and go to London, weíll have the whole game plan in. Thatís the way it is every week. It really shouldnít change much in that sense. Friday and Saturday will be different. Just get your sleep and get back to some of your studying. Should keep basically the same schedule as we have all year from a preparation standpoint.
Q: How about your body clock?
A: Yes, you can only do so much for that. We get there and get to work. Iím sure theyíll be some naps and different things going on. Just try to talk with the trainers and the staff. Figure out the best way to do it.