Running Back Orleans Darkwa
Conference Call, November 20, 2017
Q: Do you think there will be some carryover from yesterdayís win going into the game on Thursday?
A: Yeah, I would think so. Everybody is pretty excited, obviously, to pull out a tough victory like we did yesterday and we want to carry that same energy that we had in that game into the next game. Like you said, itís a short week. Itís difficult, but I think weíre up for the challenge as a group and it starts today. Weíre going to have a lot of intense meeting time and making sure that we know. If we do so, we can be ready for Thursday.
Q: How are you feeling after getting banged up at the end?
A: Iím fine. Iím fine. Just couple of things here and there, but overall Iím good. Ready to go.
Q: Whatís the overall vibe like around the team today?
A: Everybody is pretty positive right now. We havenít Ė especially facing a difficult team in the Chiefs, you know, they have a lot of playmakers. Nobody has given us a chance. We were confident in ourselves and we had a great game plan that we put together Ė the coaches put together for us Ė that we were able to execute. So, overall, the vibe, everybody is pretty positive. Weíre not complacent. At the end of the day, itís just one win. We want to make sure we can stack these wins together and make the best situation possible for this team.
Q: There have been a lot of variations on the offensive line. How do you think this group worked with Chad Wheeler and how cohesive of a unit was it yesterday?
A: They were extremely efficient overall. Everybody on that line did their job and they played well. They were able to open up holes for the running backs and for the most part were able to keep Eli (Manning) clean. Thatís what you want in a line, so I feel like they did a really good job with that and definitely pleased with how they played and Iím sure the coaches are as well.
Q: Rhett Ellison doesnít get a lot of mention, but I assume heís a big part of the run game. Can you talk about the effort he gives and what heís meant to the running game?
A: Oh, man, heís extremely important for us. Not only in running, but even you can tell his receiving skills as well. One of the elite blockers that we have in the league and heís definitely been really helpful for us. Something that might be a little thing to a few people, but I always recognize is when Iím on the ground, when Iím getting tackled, heís the first one out there to come and pick me up and I always tell him how much I appreciate that. Heís a team guy. He puts the team first and really glad to have him in this locker room.
Q: When the coaches pull out trick plays, is that saying theyíre going to try to win more? Whatís the vibe when they start doing that?
A: I mean, when you see trick plays, I guess, you know, you get excited. Obviously, youíd hope that the opposing team doesnít see it coming. But, I think with the talent that we have in this room, we should be able to execute in any type of way. Whatever they draw for us. Obviously, they feel that thereís a weakness in the defense that we can exploit and thatís why they call them up. The one that we had was unfortunate. The result of it might have been because of the wind or whatever, but they have complete trust in us to get it done. So, thatís why they call these plays.
Q: You have six games left and the best you can do is .500. Are you playing a spoiler at this point or what are you playing for?
A: I mean, I wouldnít say as a spoiler. I think we just want to go out there and win. At the end of the day, we play to win games. Iím not looking towards what happens in the future. Weíre just trying to go one game at a time and the next game right now is Washington and itís a big division game and theyíre always going to be riled up for a division game, especially on Thanksgiving. So, itís going to be a tough task and itís going to be a challenge, but weíre definitely up for it.
Q: Did you sense an increase in effort and energy from Coach Ben McAdoo on the sideline? He seemed more animated.
A: I mean, coach is coach. As far as the animated part, I always focus on my job more so than looking at how coach was. But, coach is going to be himself. I donít think heís going to change any type of way. So, as far as like overall animated, I didnít notice that per se. Iím really focused on the game and getting my task done. I mean, I wasnít really paying attention to that, so maybe thatís something yíall saw. But, coach is going to coach and heís focused on the game 100 percent. He was able to do a good job with us yesterday and we were able to get a good win.
Q: Does it feel any different approaching a week where youíre not being asked about lack of effort, winning, coachís job security, etc.?
A: I mean, youíre all going to ask the questions yíall want to ask. As far as different, I donít think Ė everybody played extremely well. Everybody played with a lot of effort. I think that was noticed all around and as far as the job security and all that stuff, like you said, yíall can ask those questions a million times. Itís not going to really faze me. Itís not going to really faze coach Mac (Ben McAdoo). Weíre playing a game that we love and Iím just completely focused on that.
Q: We got a chance to watch the video of the postgame celebration when Ben McAdoo called you all together and it seemed like everybody got an extra boost when he called Eli Manning to the center. Did you guys feel that and why?
A: Eli is the heartbeat of our team. I think pregame, he gave a fiery speech that got everybody riled up and to have a guy like that, that has been through so much, thatís got those two Super Bowl rings, we follow him. We follow his footsteps in everything, so to have him come up there Ė it just shows the weight that he carries on this team and heís definitely up for it. I think everybody tries to follow his footsteps because at the end of the day, heís been there, heís done that as far as reaching to the promised land and getting those two Super Bowl rings. Everybody is trying to push for that goal, so we try to follow his footsteps as much as possible.
Q: Do you need to get that more from Eli Manning?
A: Excuse me?
Q: Do you need to hear those kinds of pep talks more from Eli Manning?
A: I mean, he talks to us a lot. I would say I guess the difference yesterday was just you could sense the fire in his voice. But, at the end of the day, Eli is going to be Eli. He shouldnít change the way he commands the room. He shouldnít change the way he talks to us and thatís just how he is. Thatís how he leads us and like I said, if the Super Bowl rings donít hold any weight, then I donít know what else should. You got to be able to follow a guy like that and listen to what he says.