Quarterback Eli Manning
November 21, 2017
Q: What is it like to be out here after a win and have a practice. What is the energy like? What is the attitude like?
A: Yeah, everybody is excited. Everybody is excited about this opportunity to go play on Thanksgiving. Itís a short week, but you got to have great preparation. Youíre not going to get a lot of opportunities to run the plays, but jog through them, just make sure everybody is on the same page. Understand their personnel, their schemes. But you saw a lot of energy, guys excited to get back on the field again on a short week.
Q: What was your message to the team when you spoke to them and will you be doing it again this week?
A: Coach (Ben McAdoo) asked me to talk before the game and I canít tell you what I said. So I donít think a pregame talk has ever won a football game before. So if he asks me to do it again, I will, but he usually switches that up.
Q: Would you describe yourself as more trusting of your pass protection lately?
A: I think you always trust your pass protection. Thatís what you got to do. I got to make sure I have my eyes down the field, let receivers get open. So I think weíve done a great job. The first and second reads have been getting open, getting the ball out and making some good plays.
Q: Does playing on Thanksgiving hold any special meaning to you?
A: Yeah I mean I think for a lot of these guys, I donít know what it was like for them, but growing up we used to always watch football on Thanksgiving. Being around family and friends, eat a big meal and watch football. So it is special to be a part of that knowing that a lot of people will have eaten a big meal, maybe taken a little nap here and there, but watching the game and to be a part of that tradition is special.
Q: What can we expect from follow through coming off of a win?
A: Well, we got to go back out there and we have to play good football. We have to play smart like weíve been doing, we got to protect the ball, donít give up turnovers and we got to make some plays when we get the opportunities to.
Q: What is the biggest difference in the Redskins defense compared to last year?
A: Yeah, tough to say. Theyíre still 3-4 personnel, some similar coverages so there is not a ton different. But as any new defensive coordinator, (he) will have a few new wrinkles in some of their blitzes and disguises and coverages.
Q: Does a short week help carry over the momentum of a win?
A: I think when you have a short week, it can be easier after a win just because guys come in here Monday with a little energy already. Whereas you come in after a loss and it can be tough to get everything going and be excited about the opportunities. Either way we got a job to do thatís to get prepared and I think weíve done a good job so far, but this is one of those weeks that come Wednesday, come Thursday morning, youíre still doing some preparation just to try and catch up.
Q: During a season of turmoil, how have you been able to stay even-keeled throughout?
A: Well I think you just understand you got a job to do and thatís to prepare every week and try to get a win the next week. There is going to be ups and downs. There are going to be tough times and just make sure that your preparation, your dedication never waver and just try to go out there and improve from the week before.
Q: Is this the hardest season you have ever gone through?
A: Iím not sure. Itís tough going through some losing streaks and losing players and not feeling like youíre playing your best football, but thatís just part of it. You just got to keep grinding, keep working and try to get better.
Q: What are you thankful for this year?
A: So many things. Thatís a great reminder around Thanksgiving. There are so many blessings in my life from my family and friends and health and being able to play this great game of football. My teammates and this organization and fans. So there are too many things to count to be thankful for and Iím thankful to be playing on Thanksgiving Day.
Q: What did you think of (Chad) Wheelerís game?
A: Yeah, I thought Chad did well. I thought he competed and did a good job. He knew his assignments, knew what he was doing. Going up against a good player a bunch of the day in Justin Houston. Justin got him a few times, thatís going to happen in football and going up against a good player, but they were on plays we got the ball out fairly quickly. But I thought he competed and did a good job.
Q: Because this week it could be two new guys if D.J (Fluker) canít go.
A: Sure, yeah. And Chad would be going up against another good player. They got a couple good defensive ends so next guy up and I trust all of those guys to do the job.
Q: Did you feel like you had a little bit of a breakthrough with some of these young wide receivers?
A: Yeah, I thought Roger (Lewis) and TK (Tavarres King) both stepped up and made some nice catches, some nice plays so I think theyíre getting more confident. We were getting on the same page with each other, knowing just how guys are going to get out of breaks and do certain things so obviously the more practice you get, the more game experience you get, the better off weíll be.
Q: What are your thoughts on Thursday Night Football?
A: We got a game, we got to go play. I understand it is tough on the players especially late in the year. Linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, guys who are hitting. For me, the recovery process is not as tough as the other guys, but it is tough on the players.
Q: How do you keep this thing going so this isnít a four-day reprieve?
A: Yeah, I think thatís always the goal, to stack wins, to keep this going, keep the spirits high, the enthusiasm. I think our preparation has been good. I think that has not wavered this whole time, but now itís just find ways to win. Each game is going to be different, each situation is going to be different, but just having that toughness and that belief youíre going to find a way to win the game.
Q: Can you talk about Ereck Flowersí development?
A: Yeah, I think Ereck has done a good job. Heís a guy that stayed healthy, he competes, he fights and heís handled his own. Heís been called out by the media, but heís hung in there tough and heís a mentally strong kid and playing good football.
Q: Is that a situation with a young guy like that and where you would take some time on your own to boost his spirits when things werenít going well?
A: I think there are always little things you can do just to make sure guys are doing okay. Just talking to them, making sure my energy is good around them and high and that I have total faith and confidence in him.
Q: Heís very quiet, do you get to him a bit?
A: Yeah, Ereck and I have a good relationship and there are a few things I can get him laughing and get him to show a little emotion so itís good.