Quarterback Geno Smith
November 28, 2017
Q: Talk about the decision that youíre starting on Sunday.
A: I mean, you know, youíre excited. Iím always excited to have an opportunity to play, but thereís no major reaction Ė didnít throw a party or anything. Just went to work. Got into the classroom, started watching Oakland and just preparing.
Q: What kind of conversation did you have with Eli Manning after the decision was made?
A: Well, you know, I told him I support him. I told him I have a ton of respect for him. When I came here, Iíve said that all along. This guy has done a tremendous job in this league, done a bunch of things for this organization. None of that can ever be taken away or forgotten and this is a business, man. Itís tough and my number is up, so itís my time to go out there and do what Iím supposed to do and make sure that I get the job done.
Q: What makes you think youíre ready?
A: I know Iím ready.
Q: Did you know this move was coming or did it take you by surprise?
A: Man, Iíve been in this situation before, honestly. Just last year. I went through the same things, so you kind of have to expect everything. You can never be too sure. As we all know, this is a business. Itís a tough business. Anything can happen and no oneís job is 100 percent secure. Injuries happen. Things happen and you got to just continue to roll with the punches and for me, itís a great opportunity. Great opportunity to go out there. Had a year to get healthy. Iíve had time to learn the system and learn the guys, so itís a great opportunity. I look forward to it.
Q: Do you think thereís additional pressure on you being the first person other than Eli to start a game for the Giants since 2004?
A: You know, Iím not sure. But, I donít really view it that way. I donít really look at any outside pressure. It canít be applied to me. I want to go out there and I want to win for these guys. I want to play hard for my teammates and I want to play hard for the organization. I think itís important for us to kind of get some things going and I think itís going to be a great opportunity. So, I look forward to it.
Q: What do you respect about Eli?
A: His leadership. Iíve seen the work that heís put in. Iíve seen the amount of time that he spends in the classroom and making sure that the guys are prepared, not only himself. So, Iíve learned a lot in that regard. Iíve learned a lot from the guy in just the short time Iíve been here and itís a tough deal because I have a lot of respect for him and I do understand what he means to this organization. But, like I said, itís a business and every man has to do what it takes to feed his family. So, thatís my goal.
Q: Can you appreciate how tough it is for him to say go ahead and let Geno play?
A: I know heís hurting. Like I said, Iíve been through it and I wasnít a 10-year starter. It hurt me the same way, so I know what itís like and I know itís tough and I just always continue to reiterate to him that Iím in his corner and Iíve said that from day one and he said the same thing to me. That means a lot.
Q: How did you find out?
A: Coach (Ben McAdoo) told me.
Q: When was that?
Q: How shocked or surprised were you?
A: I wasnít shocked or surprised. I understand that things happen in this business. You just got to be ready for whatever happens and Iíve been working hard. Iíve been working hard behind the scenes, you know, doing all the little things. So, I expect them to pay off.
Q: Did Ben McAdoo tell you how much you should expect to play over the next five games?
A: He told me to go out there and play my game. Iím not looking too far ahead or behind. I look forward to this week. I think itís going to be a great matchup with Oakland. Theyíre a pretty good team. Theyíre down a couple guys, but theyíre still playing tough defense. So, we just got to go out there and execute.
Q: What do you think about Eliís future?
A: Iím not here to talk about anyone elseís future. Thatís not my place. Like I said, Eli has done a lot of great things for this organization. I think he deserves the utmost respect because of that and thatís the standard, man. Just in my short time here just being here, I see the way that they treat guys here and itís one of the better places that Iíve been, that Iíve seen or heard of. So, with Eli, man, like I said, we love him. Heís our guy. But, we just got to continue to go out there and fight.
Q: What did the other players talk to you about?
A: Guys were kind of fired up. Guys are giving me hugs, handshakes and I think guys have witnessed my story from afar just seeing how things have kind of played out. So, I think theyíre looking forward to that part of it. Theyíve seen me practice. Theyíve seen me get better throughout the year and I think theyíre really eager to get to work during the week and try and go out there and get a victory.
Q: What does this opportunity mean for your future?
A: Well, you know, weíll see. You can only prove it on the field. Thereís no talk that can be said. Thereís nothing I can say in the media that will change things. The only way that I can improve my current situation or any situation towards the future is to play well.