Quarterback Eli Manning
September 13, 2017
Q: Whatís the message this week in terms of bouncing back and getting the offense going?
A: We just have to execute. Execute a little bit better. Just convert on some third downs, get into a rhythm early, so thatíll be the key.
Q: Are you worried about this offense?
A: No. First game. Guys were playing fast, got some good guys out there, some new bodies. So, weíll bounce back. Weíll be fine. We just have to slow down, everybody take a breath and just run the plays the way weíve been running them all spring and all summer.
Q: Do you think this offensive line can protect you the way you would like them to?
A: Yeah. Offensive line Ė theyíre going to do their job, so everybody just needs to step up their game a little bit and, again, we donít have to go recreate anything. We just have to execute, play better football.
Q: Is it harder with the rules of engagement practice-wise with the new CBA for offensive lines to get cohesive?
A: Itís tough to say. I think the good thing about our offensive line is these guys have been together for, now, three or four years Ė a majority of them. Same offense. They should be on the same page. Should be able to go out there and play fast and be positive with what weíre doing.
Q: When teams play zone against you guys and take away the top, what do you have to do to attack them?
A: People play zone. Thatís part of football. Itís just a matter of, you know, we called some shots the other day. We just didnít quite get the looks we wanted to. We didnít have the ball long enough. We didnít convert on third downs. That wasnít the problem. They were taking advantage it. We werenít stuck in third-and-10s and 12s, it was third-and-fours and fives. We have to convert on those and give us more opportunities to run our full offense.
Q: Did you think there were opportunities to take shots down field on some third downs?
A: We just didnít have enough opportunities. First two possessions were three-and-outs. You donít have many possessions in the first half. Second half, we had a good drive to start it and go down there and got a sack that kept us from getting in the endzone there. We just have to do a better job staying on the field.
Q: Did the Cowboys throw something you werenít anticipating on third down?
A: Defense is always going to change things up. We had answers. We had answers to get the first downs, to make plays. Every third down, every play Ė itís its own play. Itís its own reason why it works or doesnít work. All 11 guys have to execute. All 11 guys have to do their job. Some of it, we had to maybe get to our second, third receiver in progression and just was taking a little bit longer than we anticipated.
Q: How much are the multiple fronts that the Lions use a concern?
A: They do a good job I think defensively mixing up their coverages, mixing up the different looks. Arizona Ė theyíre pretty multiple as well. So, they showed a lot of different looks as well. So, we have to look at it, but theyíre a good defense. I think they do a good job of playing kind of every coverage you can imagine and mixing up how theyíre doing it. So, we have to be prepared and be ready for everything they throw at us.
Q: What do you have to do if you donít need to recreate anything?
A: Just execute. Just play the way that we can play, the way we know how to execute and we should be fine.
Q: Do you communicate to the younger players that you can turn a season around quickly?
A: Yes Ė turn around quickly. Again, itís not how you start. Itís how you finish in the NFL and I think thatís an important lesson. We can hopefully only get better from that first game and thatís the mindset. Just have a great week of practice, preparation, go out there, play confident in what weíre doing.
Q: You speak from experience since youíve started slow and finished strong in the past.
A: Thereís 16 other teams who are 0-1 right now, so everybody had to lose that first game. We just have to bounce back.
Q: Do you feel the need to say to the team that we have to take a deep breath?
A: Yeah. In the first game, we didnít do well. Itís part of losing a game. Youíre going to analyze and you canít get too sensitive after the first game. Youíre going to get coached up and thereís things we can clean up, for sure, but you canít get defensive, canít get sensitive. You just have to be confident in what youíre doing, understand what you need to fix and then go play fast.
Q: Are you sitting here saying it canít get any worse?
A: (smiling) It can always get worse. It can always get worse. So, I wonít say that, but hopefully it can get a lot better though.
Q: There is a string of games where you havenít scored more than 20 points. Are their commonalities in that trend?
A: Well, I think you take it season-by-season. I donít think you convert back to last year. Itís a new year, new team and we have to score more points than we did last week.
Q: What would it mean to have WR Odell Beckham Jr.?
A: Thereís no hiding the fact heís a playmaker. Our best player. Itís pretty obvious. I think everybody knows that. Itís different when heís on the field, but on there or not, we have to play better than what we did and we can and we will.
Q: How do you approach this week in regards to WR Odell Beckham Jr. playing or not?
A: Weíll see tomorrow if heís out there practicing some and just take it day by day and see whatís going on. Iím not sure.
Q: Does the film look worse than what you thought?
A: It wasnít all bad. A lot of itís just a few plays. I think the first two possessions, itís those third down plays. Itís not mistakes. Itís not guys running wrong routes. Itís just, they were able to get a little pressure and things can be cleaned up in there and in between some things. Itís just they played better than we did on those plays and we couldnít stay on the field.
Q: Did you see signs of plays were you could do better in terms of rushing?
A: Yeah. I thought we were getting positive yardage in the run game and thatís what you have to do. You have to get those four and five yards. We need more attempts, but that comes from converting on third downs and we just didnít have the ball very much. We didnít have many plays in the game, so we have to hold on to it. Got down early. I feel we should be able to run the ball better.
Q: How different does a defense play you guys when WR Odell Beckham Jr. is not available?
A: Heís only been not available only a few times, so I donít know if that was a difference in how Dallas played us or not. Besides maybe doubling him on certain third downs or certain situations, itís probably not a whole lot different than what they may normally do.
Q: Did they double team WR Brandon Marshall more?
A: It wasnít a whole lot of doubling. They played, maybe played a little bit more shell defense or two-high a little bit more on some third downs. Then, played some quarters Ė hadnít seen a Rod Marinelli coaching staff ever do. They had some new things, but again, itís not stuff thatís a Ďtake you out of running your offense.í Thatís why you have progressions and guys in your routes that can be Ė whatever they throw out there, you should have an answer.
Q: Did you see more opportunities for WR Brandon Marshall when you watched the film?
A: Yeah. We had a couple opportunities to get him the ball. Just couldnít connect on a couple of those plays.
Q: Do you have full confidence in this offense?
A: Yeah. I have confidence in the offense. Again, just have to Ė I think you convert a few third downs and get into a rhythm earlier. Itís a different game. You go three-and-out the first two possessions Ė everybody gets a little tense.
Q: Is the pressure starting to creep into your head at all?
A: No. I think you have to drop back and make your reads and I thought I did a good job moving in the pocket, buying time, not getting too quick with my reads or anything.
Q: Do you feel like this is within your ability to change things up?
A: You give credit to the team. They played well. We definitely hurt ourselves in some things as well.
Q: Talk about saying you need to lead this team better.
A: I have to play better. I think there were some opportunities to make some plays, to get some things going, get into a rhythm and I can make some better decisions on some things. So, I can do my part to help us out, get things going. You have new players. When the guys get off to a slow start, thatís when the leader has to step up and do their part.
Q: How does it feel that the franchise is celebrating a Super Bowl from 10 years ago that you played in and does that get in your head?
A: No. Obviously, I know itís going on. Iím not really going to be part of the festivities going on all week. My mindset is on Detroit and on getting a win right now and Iíll be there for the 25th anniversary. I donít think Iíll be playing for that long.
Q: Would the 2007 Super Bowl team expect any less from you not being a part of the festivities on game week?
A: Yeah. Those guys Ė they know. You get a few people, but the players, no I donít think they really expect me to be at the events going on.
Q: So, you expect to play 14 more years?
A: Maybe. Maximum. Max.
Q: Is there anything on field at half time to honor the 10th anniversary of the 2007 Super Bowl that you will take part in?
A: No. No. Iíll be getting adjustments.
Q: Do you feel the need to say anything to the offensive line and send a message since theyíre taking a public beating?
A: Youíre always talking with your offensive line. Those guys are good guys. Theyíre good players and theyíll be fine.
Q: Do you think the offensive line senses that you know theyíll be fine?
A: They know I have their back and weíll be alright.
Q: Talk about your need to step up.
A: Itís on everybody. Everybody has their job. Everybody has their responsibility. In football, you can control what you can control. There are some things that are out of your control, but you have to worry about the plays that are there to be made that you can better make the plays and you have to do it.
Q: How did you process being on the field Sunday when WR Odell Beckham Jr. is getting ready and do you separate yourself from the fact that he may not play?
A: No. In my mind, I didnít think he was playing. When you see him kind of warming up and catching passes, the guy hadnít practiced in three weeks. I never thought it was a reality of him playing and just if he would have come out there, it might have been limited in certain things. Felt good about the plan and the guys that had been practicing all week and knew where they were going to be and how it was going to go. I didnít think he was going to play in the game.
Q: Was it better to keep WR Odell Beckham Jr. out to get him better for the rest of the season?
A: Thereís definitely a part of that. You donít want him having something lingering for 16-17 weeks or longer and said, Ďhey, get it rightí and we dealt with it a little his rookie year with his hamstring and kind of make sure you get right the first time. Be at your best.
Q: Do you ever sit down and look at your linemen and point fingers because if you donít get protection youíll get hurt?
A: No. I havenít done that.