Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti Jr.
September 29, 2017
Q: When you guys go fast the way you did to get the tempo going, how much more gets put on Eli (Manning)?
A: Not much more.
Q: How do you think Eli has been looking?
A: You know what, Eli is doing a nice job. Heís making good, decisive decisions. Quarterbacks are never going to make every decision perfect. There are always a few plays you would like to have back. When you look at the whole body of work, heís doing a hell of a job.
Q: You guys got the ball out quick last week, what kind of challenges does that put on you and the quarterbacks?
A: Yeah you know what, every week we try to put a plan together, go out and execute the plan. Every week you would like to get the ball out as fast as possible.
Q: When you do that though, do you get in situations like the second interception when the ball is just thrown right at him?
A: That second interception Eli saw a nice throwing lane. Linebacker made a nice play, he got his hands on it. Those things happen and you move on.
Q: Does it create a margin of error? Is it sustainable to throw the ball like that every week?
A: Well you like to have balance in your offense. In that particular play, hey you got to trust what you see, be decisive. If he feels the defender, you move through the progression.
Q: What are you doing with Davis (Webb) at this point? How do you keep him busy?
A: Yeah, we are all having a lot of fun, from Eli, Geno (Smith), and Davis. Davis is in a great situation where he gets to prepare in the classroom, gets to go out and work on the field, work extra on the fundamentals. He actually works ahead on the next opponent, doing some film study things. Great experience for him.
Q: How much different is it to have a guy like that as your third quarterback? Whereas a guy like Josh Johnson you donít have to worry about developing.
A: Yeah itís fun because coaching is teaching and skill development. So for myself, I have three great guys in the room. Having a young guy like Davis, like on game day we go out early and work on the fundamentals and the skill development.
Q: Is that something that is specially designed for him?
A: Itís not designed for him. You got to look at your situation of what you have. Heís young, he was a drafted rookie. So, you want to take advantage of every opportunity possible that can continue to develop his skills in the classroom and on the field. The fundamentals, the techniques, working on his eye discipline.
Q: It seemed like the other day you guys had a workout designed for players who did not get a lot of reps on Sunday. How much of that is designed for Davis?
A: Well thatís designed for the guys that didnít get a lot of opportunities on game day because hey you got to remember now, repetition is the mother of learning. So, we just try to maximize every possible opportunity to get better.
Q: Is that new?
A: No. Coach McAdoo has done it. In college football, we always did it. When I was at Fresno State, Pat Hill called it Sunday night football. Guys who didnít play Saturday scrimmaged. The only way to get better is to play the game.
Q: Do you have a name for it here?
A: No. Itís the opportunity period.
Q: Thatís the carryover from the summer when you used to do the opportunity period?
Q: And you did it before the game, it looked like the practice squad guys were out?
A: Well what you look at throughout the league, itís not just us, usually when you have a game guys that might be down or like your third quarterback, coach Solari has done it for years with his offensive linemen wherever heís coached. You go out there early and you put the guys through a workout.
Q: How has he [Davis] picked up the offense since he wasnít in a system like this in college?
A: Oh, heís picked it up great.
Q: How has he [Davis] demonstrated that?
A: Well just working with him every day. You can see he is a quick learner, not only in the classroom, but on the field. He can see it and he reacts quickly. He makes good, decisive decisions. He works hard at it, understands the fundamentals and techniques. Heís very coachable. When you teach him something, he can apply it on the field very quickly.
Q: Eli got hit a lot the first couple weeks of the season. Did you see any apprehension from him?
A: No. Thereís never apprehension. Eli tries to play decisive.
Q: Howís Geno (Smith) been coming along?
A: Man, Geno has been great. Iíll tell you what, Iím really impressed with one, the person. He loves football, heís very passionate. He works very hard, very bright, understands football. Heís been very well coached in the past systematically. Works hard at it, talented young man. I think his best days are all ahead of him.
Q: Did you know him at all before?
A: You know I didnít. The first time I really got a chance to sit down and watch him was this past winter.
Q: What did you see?
A: Man, I saw a guy that was athletic, that can play within the pocket, extend plays with his feet. A guy that as a coach, you say, ďwow I would like to get my hands on that and see where we can take him.Ē
Q: What does Eli need to do better?
A: Itís not just Eli, we are talking about quarterback play, right?
Q: Heís your only quarterback thatís played though.
A: Yeah, but itís throughout the league, itís the game itself. Every quarterback would love to have a couple plays back after every game. So, there are always a couple decisions, there are always a couple throws. So, if you look at it that way, you would just like to maximize opportunities, minimize mistakes. Protect the ball, donít turn it over.
Q: How important is completion percentage?
A: Completion percentage in the National Football League is critical. I think we are completing around 73%, which is great right now. It keeps the ball moving forward, it keeps moving the chains. You get more first downs, you keep our defense on the side. Gives you a better chance to score points. But thereís got to be a great balance between running and throwing also.