QB Eli Manning
November 22, 2016
Q: Itís been a few years since youíve been in this position to make a run. How good does that feel at this time of year?
A: It feels good. Weíre winning football games and doing some things well. We just have to stay hungry and keep competing. Keep working on getting better each and every week. We just have to stay the course. Definitely room for improvement. Weíre not scoring, from an offensive standpoint we can score more points. We can finish games a little bit better. Weíre doing a lot of good things and we have to keep that going.
Q: Youíve seen two teams make a bug run late. Have you seen some similarities in this ball club the way itís coming together?
A: Weíre winning close games. Thatís what you have to do in this league. Those teams, win the close games and on the line, we tend to play our best football. Thatís a good thing. Thatís a great quality to have. You have a confidence that when you get in the fourth quarter and in these close games, weíre going to be able to pull it out.
Q: We saw weather conditions effect the game last week. There is suppose to be some iffy weather in Cleveland this week as well. How much do you keep that in the back of your mind?
A: I think you just have to go with the game plan. Weíre going to be able to do everything. Just try and have answers for all their defenses. I donít think it affected the play calling from the other day. If we get to Sunday and it is bad conditions, you just deal with it from there.
Q: Joe Hayden has been one of the better corners in this league for several years. When you see him what makes him so dangerous?
A: Heís a good player and has good ball skills. He does a good job making plays on the ball. Also, when the ball is in the air, he does a good job finding it and getting his hands on it. He can catch it also. Itís not an opponent we play a whole lot. I have to keep watching film on him. Look at all the corners. He is a good player and we have to keep an eye on him.
Q: Victor Cruz has made more important catches this season than any of your receivers. How significant is that and what does that say about you and him as a combination?
A: Heís doing a good job of making plays. Just doing somethingís, scramble drills and finding catches in zones and working second windows. Just those things that are hard to teach. He does them naturally. Itís good to have that veteran guy that you can go to in situations of the game.
Q: Is there such thing as a trap game in the NFL?
A: No. For us, we have to understand and be prepared for every game and situation. If you donít go about and you donít prepare, youíre going to lose. We have to have great preparation. Itís not a team weíve played a whole lot. We have to get familiar with the personnel, their scheme, have a great practice, go into a tough environment and win a football game.
Q: This locker room has been loose the past couple weeks. Does that alleviate any pressure that comes in November and December?
A: We just have to make sure weíre putting ourselves in a position where you can keep a locker room loose. It can be that way if you know guys are preparing and doing everything possible to get ready for the game. The locker room should be fun. You win football games, five in a row, it should be fun. Youíre enjoying that time and in contention to win a division. All of those things. Itís an exciting time. There should be a lot of good energy around the locker room.
Q: Do you know how many quarterbacks have played in your division since you started?
A: I do not.
Q: Itís pushing 35. What does that say about your tenure here? Do you feel fortunate?
A: I feel very fortunate to be with this organization that loves football and has a great fan base. Every day to play, 12 going on 13 years. I try not to take it for granted and take any game of the season or day for granted. Just appreciate that opportunity to go out there each Sunday with my teammates and try and win a football game.
Q: Some guys are calling you a running quarterback now. You put that DB for Chicago out. Were there any comments from the guys about that?
A: They like to get after it. The offensive line and receivers, they all get fired up when I run for a first down. The fans start cheering. I think I got my first chant so thatís exciting. Teams want to play certain coverages, two high and there are some running windows, I can go run for three yards and slide to get a first down.
Q: Can we expect more of it?
A: Just depends how teams are playing. It usually opens up some windows to run. You usually have one guy that can win. If itís not real clean, it depends on what the rush is up field. If I can step up and see a window, get a first down.
Q: Thanksgiving there is a big divisional game. Are you going to sit there and watch it?
A: Yeah. Iíll definitely check it out. Itís just depending on when we get our meal going and everything with the family. Iíll definitely be tuned in to see whatís going on in the division.
Q: Does it matter to you guys, who wins?
A: I donít think so. It doesnít matter. Iím not cheering or rooting for one team or the other.
Q: Fourth down plays, does the intensity ramp up on those?
A: I never thought on fourth down that the intensity has to crank up. Itís just going through your same process. Trying to see your coverage and trying to have a good starting point on what receiver and plays you want to run. Guys have done a good job. Rashad did a great job making a guy miss. Shepard did a good job of getting open and the offensive line did a good job allowing me to go through my progressions. Guys are doing a good job of winning their individual route battles and making plays.
Q: Do you like knowing ahead of time if youíre in fourth down territory?
A: I think it helps. Now, you know that if we get close thereís a good chance we might go for it. He told me before the game that with the windy conditions, the kicking game might be tough. We got into the 30-yard line and if itís a manageable situation, we might be going for it a few times.
Q: What do you think of the receiver handshakes after the warmup?
A: Yeah, I havenít figured out my handshake. I have too many plays to remember; I donít know if I can remember a full minute long handshake. I like watching their little routine. I watch a few of them. I think itís their deal. Itís fun and Iím all for it.
Q: You go straight bro hug?
A: Yes, bro hug. Just a handshake.