QB Eli Manning
September 20, 2017
Q: How do you look at this week’s game against Philadelphia, is it a must-win?
A: I think you look at all games as must-win. Obviously, it’s an important game in the situation, the little hole we’ve dug ourselves in. But, you can’t put more pressure on yourself than what’s needed. So, we’ve got to have a great week of preparation and go out there, play hard on offense, we’ve got to make more plays and play better, score more points.
Q: How much confidence do you have in the offensive line to protect you?
A: I’ve got great confidence in these guys. They work their tails off and they’re prepared. They know they’ve got a great test in front of them, Eagles defensive line [is] one of the best in the league. But I’ve got great confidence in them, they’ll do their job, they’ll give us enough time to make the plays.
Q: Do you expect to continue to get sacked this year?
A: I will get sacked another time this year, that’s part of football. I’ve played in NFC Championship games where I’ve got sacked six times. So, that’s just part of it. You’re playing against a good defensive line, they’re going to be times – obviously, some of it’s coverage, some of it’s the play that you have called, some of it’s what the defense it doing. So, hey, that’s just part of it. These guys, the offensive line, I’m not worried about them, they’ll do their jobs and they’ll give us enough time and we’ve got to make sure we’re smart and we’re calling plays that give us a great opportunity to get the ball out on time.
Q: When you look back at last week’s game against Detroit, do you see things that you could have done to help out the offensive line?
A: Yeah, there’s always things that you can do. You can always look back and say, ‘Oh I could’ve maybe moved a little bit here, or I could’ve gotten through this progression a little bit faster.’ So, there’s things you can always do, looking back. But, sometimes you’re looking down field, or sometimes you feel the rush, sometimes you don’t, that’s just football. So, yeah, there’s always stuff you can look at to improve on to try to help those guys out.
Q: What lesson can you take from the 2007 Super Bowl team that started 0-2 and bring to this team?
A: Well, I think you’ve just got to believe that going through tough times will make you stronger, will make you stronger as a team. But you’ve got to get through them. That’s kind of the situation we’re in. There’s always going to be ups and downs of a season, hopefully we’ve kind of hit the rough patch and we’ll work ourselves out of it. But it’s just going to come through our hard work, our dedication, our commitment to fix things.
Q: How good would a quick start against Philadelphia feel for the offense?
A: Yeah, I mean you always want a quick start. That’s always the goal. The first two games, the first series, had a sack in the first series. So, we’ve got to try to get the ball out on time, be smart about things. But obviously, we’ve got to see what the defense is doing, what they’re playing and sometimes you can get the ball right on time, sometimes depending on the coverage or what they’re doing, you’ve got to hold it a little bit. So, whatever we’ve got to do, guys are going to play hard, we’ll be ready.
Q: Can a change in who is calling the plays be a spark to an offense?
A: You know, I don’t think besides me [or the other quarterbacks], I don’t know if anybody would notice who’s calling the other plays. I don’t think it’s the play calling that’s been the problem, I think it’s the execution.
Q: How much has Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan called the plays since he’s been here?
A: He’s done it in preseason; he calls in practice a bunch, so he’s called before.
Q: Is it different for you when Sullivan calls the plays?
A: I don’t know if he did any of the preseason games I was in or not, but in practice he’s usually the one in my helmet in practice. Just so [Head Coach Ben] McAdoo can kind of coach and see what’s going on. So, no, I can understand what he’s saying.
Q: Is there anything about McAdoo’s public criticism of you that disturbed you or makes you feel a need to talk to him?
A: No. It’s part of being in the NFL. You can’t be sensitive and I think everyone’s gotten very sensitive – players and everybody. If someone says anything negative about you, or you did something wrong, then you’ve got a problem. Coach McAdoo and I have a great relationship. I think he understands that – I told him when he first got here, I enjoy being coached, if I screw something up, let me know. I want to be coached, so we talked about things and there’s some things I’ve got to do that I’ve got to be better at.
Q: Is being publically criticized not something you were used to under former head coach Tom Coughlin?
A: Well, [Coach McAdoo] is talking about the interception and the delay of the game. Those are the two plays, those are on the quarterback and those always will be. So, that’s just part of it.
Q: Do you think McAdoo criticizes you and not other players because he thinks you can take it?
A: Well, he knows I can take it. If you’ve played 14 years in New York, you’ve been criticized. You can take pretty much whatever they throw at you. So, Coach McAdoo and I are on the same page and anything he says – whether it’s to the media, to me, to the team – it’s all for the better of the team and I’m okay with it.
Q: What personnel groupings do you think the offense has been best with?
A: Well, you’ve still got to mix up your personnel. You don’t want to get into that world of being in one personnel. I think we’ve done some good things in the two tight end sets. We hit a big play last week down the sideline to [tight end] Jerell [Adams]. So, we’ve just got to figure out how much of different type of plays we’re going to run. Do we just want to stick with what we know or what we’re good at, or get too adventurous where we’re running things that may not put us in the best situation.
Q: Is there added pressure this week, trying to avoid an 0-3 start?
A: Hey, again, there’s pressure to win every week. That’s part of being in the NFL. You want to go out there and you’ve got to be careful making something bigger than what it is and I think you always want to be relaxed and be ready. But I understand, hey, it’s a game in the division and we dug ourselves in a hole, we’ve got to get out of it.
Q: How important is it for the offense moving forward to get substantial yards on first and second down, especially on the ground?
A: Yeah, well I think some of it – especially last week, it was more just having some sacks on first and second down, which kind of throws off your whole routine. So, we’ve got to eliminate those things and just have got to keep going forward and find completions and get ourselves in third and manageable.
Q: What has running back Orleans Darkwa added to the offense and what do you think he needs to do to get more carries?
A: Orleans runs the ball well, he’s had some catches. So I think he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He knows the offense, he knows what to do. So, I don’t know what the coach’s plan is to how they rotate in those guys, but he’s done a good job.
Q: When you look at the Philadelphia defensive line, do you panic, or look at it and try to figure out how to counteract what they do best?
A: Yeah, you look at their front, their front’s very talented. They’ve got three or four guys who can get to the quarterback and do a good job – whether it’s getting there or just causing you to move, making problems in the pocket. That’s why we’ve got to look at [film], see their coverages, see their tendencies and find the best plays that will help us move the ball and get in good situations.
Q: If a play call does not call for extra help for a tackle, do you have the power at the line to change that?
A: I mean, yes, I guess you could. There’s ways you can try to help out your tackles. Sometimes you can do it, sometimes depending on what the defense is doing, you can’t if they’re bringing certain pressures, or they’re bringing certain looks. You’ve also got to get guys out in the route, so there’s a combination of a lot of things that you can do. You’ve just got to mix it up, you can’t do one thing over and over again.
Q: How much do you think needs to be changed to the offense?
A: I think we’ve got to execute better, we’ve got to just find way to stay in good down and distance, stay in good rhythm and get a little confidence going in the offense. So, we’ve talked about some things we can do and hopefully we can play better this week.
Q: Does it feel like the hits you’ve been taking this season have been harder than in the past?
A: No. I took one good one last week, but bad situation, kind of a screen that they covered up well and I ended up rolling left and tried to throw and got hit, but that’s not really the lineman’s fault. They played it well and I kind of took a risk trying to throw something else on a screen. But I think that’s just part of it. You can go several weeks without taking big hit and then sometimes you’ll get a bunch in a game. So, it’s just about hanging in there and being tough.
Q: Was the screen pass you’re alluding to the play with wide receiver Sterling Shepard’s catch?
Q: So the biggest hit the other night was on a pass you completed?
A: Exactly. Usually it’s the ones when you’re throwing that end up being the biggest hits. When you haven’t thrown yet, or you see it coming, those are the ones that aren’t as bad. Usually when you’re in the throwing motion, then that’s when you’re most vulnerable to get a good shot.