QB Eli Manning
Postgame vs. Bengals – November 14, 2016
Q: You thought Tom (Coughlin) spoke a little too long, did you?
A: I didn’t say that. I didn’t think I would get the opportunity to see it live, so I was very fortunate that he got up there and I got to hear Coach Coughlin talk and I was just imagining what he’d be doing on the sideline if someone was up there at halftime going over the limit. He’d be going crazy on the sideline, but I guess we can’t fine him anymore for being late so we’ll give him an exception this time.
Q: Could you talk about that sequence down by the goal line when you went for it on fourth down?
A: On second down, I had a little mental collapse. We had a play call, we were looking for certain coverage and didn’t get it. I just had to check to a play and my mind and my hands weren’t on the same page, so I screwed up on second down. Coach McAdoo told me on second down ‘Hey, we’re in fourth-down territory just so you know.’ Third down, I tried a little boot to Odell and they did a good job to hit him and get him off the timing, so I knew I had to get my check down to T.K. (Tavarres King) right there, maybe he gets it, and we have a chance to go for it on fourth down. Good job by him telling me that on second down just so we know the plan and we’re not trying to force things to get touchdowns. Get it to fourth and goal from the two is a lot easier than fourth and seven.
Q: And then on the touchdown?
A: Shepard just had a shallow route, we kind of talked about it where if he needed to make a move he could, if he could just run right by the Mike (linebacker), then run right by him and I’ll hit you. That’s exactly what we did. We kind of flooded the area with the back in the backfield, took out Odell there, and he just ran right by the backer and I hit him for the touchdown.
Q: For a second consecutive week you guys have had to deal with injuries on the offensive line. How do you think guys like Marshall Newhouse and Adam Gettis responded to getting in tonight?
A: I thought the offensive line did a good job. Those guys got lots of reps. Marshall was playing some guard this week, he always was playing some tight end so a bunch of prep. Threw things off a little bit, rattled a bit, and played well. Marshall was playing tight end, saw him there, and then he was playing guard. Adam and Marshall both did a good job of guarding their assignments against a good defensive line. You know Geno Atkins and those guys are good players.
Q: How do you think Roger Lewis and Tavarres King did subbing in for Victor Cruz?
A: I thought they did some good things. Roger, early on, had a little drop down the right sideline. But you know, he’s learning and he’s going to play well for us. T.K. did a good job, got pass interference on third down, ran a nice slant and then had a third down in the red zone. Almost broke it right there, I thought he’d be able to break the tackle and get into the end zone but set up some things. I thought both those guys did well and both of them have been here long and know the system and can make plays for us.
Q: How does it feel to back in the playoff race after what’s been going on here the last few years?
A: It just feels good to be winning games. We like the position we’re in, we’ve got to keep going, though. We can’t slow down; we can’t relax for a second. Every game we’ve been playing has been tight, been close, so we’ve got to find ways to win these close games. Obviously we can play better football and that’s always the case when you look at it, but I’m proud of the winning. The team is fighting. Defense, offense, making plays in the critical moments of the game. That’s what it takes in this league.
Q: How does it feel in the fourth quarter when you can defend a one-point lead and run out the clock at the end with the offense?
A: The defense did a great job stepping up at the end of the fourth quarter getting pressure on Andy Dalton; getting a couple sacks, and then for us to get the ball and to run out the clock right there; third and six and Rashad gets the ball and a big first down. Huge play right there. We can at least get it so they get the ball back with thirty seconds or something around there and then after that run to get another first down and seal the victory; big time football right there.
Q: What are your thoughts on Coach McAdoo’s aggressiveness by the goal line there?
A: He wants to be aggressive. He tells me to be aggressive with my play, my checks and take shots when we got it, so hey, that’s what he likes and we like to get completions, but we like to get through our shots and get to some things and we got to a few of them today. We didn’t connect on all of them but a couple of them we did, and we’ve got to keep doing that.
Q: Have you ever had an offensive coordinator in the NFL say on second down and a situation like that, ‘It’s fourth down territory?’
A: I don’t know about second down. I’ve heard it on third down before. We had the quarter change, so I think he had some time to think and he just wanted me to know, wanted me to tell the offensive guys, receivers, everybody to know the circumstances that they were in four-down territory.
Q: Do you feel like you are learning coach? Does it feel like you’re growing together here a little bit with a play like that?
A: He’s been calling plays going on his third year, so I think each week we are adding different types of adjustments, different things to the game plan. The touchdown; Odell, was kind of a thought. We practiced that similar play. A thought that I kind of did and he said, ‘Hey we might as well give Odell that route also to go through it’ and sure enough it worked out and we got the touchdown off that play. Each week we’re growing within the offense and expanding and we get to different plays and all similar plays that we’re going to run.
Q: Can you describe that route that Beckham ran on the touchdown?
A: He got a little eight-yard hook route and it was double move so he stops, looks at me, and then kind-of a whirlybird; just spins out. Similar to what we did it against Baltimore down the right sideline for the big touchdown. Brought it in a little tighter, and did it in the red zone, so we just had the get the ball up and down a little faster. He did a good job selling it. The defensive back was trying to drive it, thought that I had a little hook route right there and he was driving it and it went up for the touchdown.
Q: What would you say to some of the younger guys on the squad to make sure that they don’t lose focus? How do you avoid the ‘trap’ game?
A: In the NFL, there’s no easy games and there’s no such thing as anything guaranteed or every game. You’ve got to show up and you’ve got to play great football. Not only will you lose, you’ll get embarrassed. We’re not in a position to relax one bit. We have to get better each and every week. We’ve got to get these guys a step up and playing better football. We find the ways to win but we can play better and that’s the goal right there.
Q: Have you seen Coach Coughlin?
A: I have not.
Q: Any message for him?
A: Congratulations, obviously. Coach Coughlin and really all three; Justin Tuck, Ernie Accorsi, and Coach are three great Giants. They’re very deserving of the Ring of Honor and it’s been an honor to be associated with those three guys. To play with Justin, to be coached by Coach Coughlin and to be brought to the Giants by Ernie Accorsi. I have a great relationship with all of those men and just am so happy for them; very deserving.