QB Eli Manning
January 3, 2017
Q: How excited are you about the challenge this week?
A: Yeah, it is going to be a great opportunity. They are a good team and they are playing good football. Defensively they are getting a lot of turnovers. Offensively they are scoring a lot of points, Aaron is playing great football, so they are coming in hot and we know that we have to play smart and find ways to win. We have to keep it close and make some plays in the fourth quarter and win the football game kind of like the way we have been winning all year.
Q: What is the biggest difference that you can see on film from this team when you played them in Week 5 to now?
A: I thought that they did a good job against us getting some pressure, so we have to find ways to get the ball out on time. I thought we had some missed opportunities. We had some opportunities to hit some big plays that we didnít capitalize on. But I think they did a good job trying to take away Odell and getting pretty good pressure, a lot of times just bringing four guys, so we have to handle that.
Q: Was that the first game that the cover 2 was used so extensively that you had to adjust to it?
A: No, teams have been playing that, but I canít recall. I remember going in thinking that we were going to get a good bit. I thought that we were going to get a little more single high and they didnít play it much. It might have been that they were having success with it, so they stayed with it, so I think it is one of those deals where if teams want to play two high, you have to make them get out of it. You have to run the ball, find completions, move the ball and kind of force them to be a little more aggressive and come after you.
Q: What do you think of the story about your receivers going down to Miami?
A: I think as a team we kind of always pride ourselves on being well prepared, so when I saw some of the pictures I was a little disappointed, just because obviously they didnít pack accordingly. They didnít have any shirts obviously, all long pants, no shorts, no flip flops or anything. So I am just disappointed on their packing and not being prepared for that situation.
Q: Were you disappointed at all from a football perspective?
A: No, I donít really get into what guys do on their off days. It is their off day and they can do what they want and it is about coming here today, being prepared and really getting ready for tomorrowís practice and being able to go out there and perform at a high level.
Q: Do you have any off days like that?
A: I havenít had many of those. But hey, it is different. On my off day I am always in here getting prepared, talking with the coaches a little bit about schemes and different things we can do. But that is kind of what a quarterback has to do. If guys want to get away for a day, I think they were a little low on their Vitamin D and went to get some sunshine to get the Vitamin D up to make sure that they are staying healthy for the cold weather in Green Bay.
Q: Was there a good amount of chop busting about that with the players today?
A: Yeah, I got on them, not got on them, but had some, I thought they were pretty funny jokes about it. They thought they werenít as good. It is all good. Those guys come out to practice and are prepared for everything that we do, so nothing has changed.
Q: How unusual is it though that guys will get away for a day of partying?
A: You would have to ask them. I am not positive. I guess the fact that they are in Miami, but hey, I am sure you can have just as much fun or stay out just as late or do the same thing in New York City, so I donít think it is a big deal.
Q: Today is your 36th birthday. Have you ever thought about how many chances you might have left to make a run in the postseason?
A: Yeah, definitely. You know how these last couple years have been a great reminder of how difficult it is to make the playoffs and you want to take advantage of every opportunity that you get to make them because you donít know if, when you get another chance. I guess early on in your career you think you kind of know that, but until you get into your later years and you just donít know if you will get that opportunity again, so you want to give it your all, give it your best like you always do, but just understand that it is special to get here and you want to try and make a run when you can.
Q: What are the things that stand out the most to you in the 2011 game there. What are some of your memories of that game?
A: Yeah, they were playing good football, they were a good team. Their offense was playing great, their defense was doing a good job of getting pressure and getting sacks on the quarterback. So we did a great job of protection, we hit some big plays, hit a Hail Mary before halftime, the defense got four or five turnovers for us. Things went our way that night, so that is football and hopefully we just go out there and play smart, protect the football. The defense has been playing great and hopefully they continue to do that, but we have to help them in controlling the clock, run the ball, get first downs and do our part to slow down their offense as well.
Q: Does being an underdog help you in any way?
A: I think so. I think that you like to prove people wrong. That is always kind of an exciting thing to do. I try not to read too much into it or read the headlines or buy into it too much. But I think that it is not about that Ė I think the most important thing is just going out there and being there for your teammates and wanting to step up for your teammates and for the organization and everybody who is working their tail off every week to go win and you want to go out and do your part to help them get that victory.
Q: You guys had a season high in rushing yards this week. What can you do in practice to make sure that you have a repeat performance this week?
A: Well, obviously the guys up front did a great job blocking, the running backs ran tough and made guys miss, the receivers blocking downfield. So we have to continue to do that, just be really sound on our assignments, make sure that guys are doing the right thing and also it is a combination. In order to run the ball then you have to throw the ball successfully. When you get to third downs you have to be able to convert on third downs, give yourself more opportunities to run a lot of plays, so that you can mix in the run and pass.
Q: There has been a lot of talk about who is going to get more carries, Perkins or Jennings. Does that effect your game planning at all?
A: No, it doesnít affect me. I have great confidence in both of those guys. They have been running well for us. Each of them will get their share of getting the ball.
Q: Are you aware that you have as many playoff victories in Lambeau as Aaron Rodgers?
A: I am not aware of that.
Q: What do you think of that?
A: Each year is a new year, new team, different players. It is its own deal, so we have to go out there and play well, I have to play well and I am looking forward to that opportunity.
Q: We havenít seen the best of the Giants offense yet. Is it possible that we can still see that in the postseason?
A: Yeah, I think you need the best to come out in critical moments and these are the critical moments. We have to play our game, we have to play smart and just figure out a way to get a win.
Q: What is realistic for you? How many years do you have left?
A: I am not worried about that. I think that right now the concern is getting a game plan for Green Bay and going out there and trying to get a win. All that other stuff will take care of itself.
Q: People think that you are a better quarterback in the postseason. Do you feel that way?
A: I think I am the same quarterback. You get opportunities and you make plays and I took advantage of the opportunities and the timing of the plays, so I have to go out there and just do my job.
Q: You always talk about the offense as a Ďweí. What is that internal monologue like as a challenge to yourself in a playoff game?
A: Just have great preparation, go in there with a great game plan of what are our plays? What do we like? What are some checks? What is my decision making and what are my reads going to be? Be prepared to obviously have a great plan and then be prepared for that plan to change really quickly. You have to extend plays and ad live and just go out there and just play smart football and make the plays that are there.
Q: I am sure that you have no doubt that you can show the world what ĎPlayoff Elií looks like.
A: Well, I always expect to go out there and play well and play at a high level and make plays and run an efficient offense.
Q: What is the vibe in the locker room right now? A lot of players havenít been to the playoffs before. Are they leaning on you and what have you shared with them so far?
A: I havenít had the opportunity to talk to them a whole lot this week. Obviously we just came in today, so I donít want to kind of overdo it for them and kind of make it seem so big that they are tight or nervous. You want them to be relaxed this week and have a great week of preparation and make sure that they are loose for the game. But I think that they all know that it is important. I donít think that you want to stress that any more than what is stressed already. You are going to see the difference in the media, the difference in the crowd and the play, so you just want them to be loose and go out there and be ready to play their best game.
Q: Do you think there is a ĎPlayoff Elií?
A: I donít know. I donít know what that means exactly, so we will see. If there is one, then hopefully he comes out.
Q: Is there a kind of leader that you want to be in terms of the whole Miami incident and setting a good example?
A: I think that what guys do on their off day it isnít a big deal. I saw it and kind of laughed and knew that I would have to answer a question about it, I knew it would be a story and that is all that I thought about it.
Q: Did you see the memes of people adding you to the picture?
A: No, I was telling people that I was the one who took the picture because they wouldnít let me in with my shirt off, so they made me take it.