Quarterback Eli Manning
July 25, 2018
Q: Eli, youíve got a new teammate back there with Saquon Barkley. In your mind, whatís jumped out to you about him?
A: Well, Iíve been impressed with Saquon just with his professionalism right off the get-go. I think heís done a good job coming in, studying the playbook, knowing his stuff, having questions, being dialed in to everything that heís supposed to be doing. Iíve been impressed with him in that situation, and also just obviously his on-the-field stuff is impressive. Heís made plays, and no pads on or anything yet, but just catching the football, being an athlete, and then excited to get some pads on and see what he can do.
Q: How unusual was it to be around a bunch of rookies for a couple days? Was it a strange experience to go home and come back, and that kind of thing?
A: It was good. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed coming in, especially with the new offense, and just getting a little jumpstart, getting some reminders on some of the calls and different things, and just to come in and get in the meeting rooms, getting to come in a few days early. Pretty light work on the field, so I enjoyed coming in and doing that for a few days and look forward to getting started up for real tomorrow.†
Q: Are you excited about what this offense and what the personnel in it could do?
A: Yeah, you know, I am. Iím excited about this team and the opportunities we have ahead of us, excited about the guys who are on this offense and the receivers, the offensive line, the playmakers that we have, the running backs. So I look forward to getting to work and making sure we got Ė you know, there are some good names on paper, that looks good, but weíve got to make sure weíre doing what we need to be doing on the field.
Q: Do you feel any added sense of pressure given where you are in your career and what has been added to this team for what seems to be a ďwin-nowĒ situation?
A: No, I think there is always, the quarterback, there is always expectations and no one has higher expectations than I do for myself and this team and what we want to do. So, hey, I see the talent there. You never know whenís going to be that opportunity or whatís that special team where you can make it a special season, and so you donít know when that opportunity is going to come and how many more you have, so you try to make the most of it each and every year. So, I donít think ďpressureĒ is the right word to use, but I think I want to go out there and make something special this year.†
Q: What do you expect to be the biggest difference here in this training camp compared to maybe some of your past ones and past experiences?
A: I donít think there should be too many differences in training camp. I think itís still a matter of trying to get better every day. All of us this year when you have a new offense, you donít always come into a training camp where you have a new offensive coordinator, a new scheme that youíre trying to learn. Only the third time doing that in my career, so I think there is still a lot to learn, a lot to get everybody caught up to speed and make sure just the timing of things are right, so every day there is something weíre going to learn. There is going to be mistakes made, but weíre going to get better every day and just the faster we can get everybody on the same timing, the same rhythm, the better weíll be to start the season.
Q: Pat [Shurmur] talked about putting the focus on football during this camp and to start out. Did that get away from you guys in the past, do you think, and how easy/hard is that to do at this time of year?
A: I think thatís always the focus, is to keep it on football. No, thatís not hard to do, I just think there is obviously in every training camp or each year, there is going to be different distractions and different things going on that the media want to talk about or get asked about. I think we have to do a good job as a team and certain individuals just keeping it and keeping our focus on football and getting better, making improvements, and what we have to do individually to help out the team this upcoming year.
Q: What does a healthy Odell do for you and this team?
A: Obviously heís a talent. Heís unbelievably talented, heís great in practice and in games, so just having him back, he brings an energy and excitement to the offense and that ability. You never know when he can make a big play, and turn a short pass into a big gain or a touchdown, so itíll be great. We missed a lot of time in the spring and a new offense is getting him back just running all the plays, running the new routes, the new schemes, and getting him up to speed, but obviously to throw him into the mix with the other athletes and playmakers we have, itís exciting.
Q: What would be your advice or perspective overall on how one should handle not jeopardizing their economic or financial future, speaking of Odell obviously with the contract not being done, while trying to get on the same page with yourself and the rest of the offense in a new offense and a new scheme, because thatís somewhat of a quandary at this point?
A: Yeah, I mean kind of what we said - just, hey, keep the focus on football. Thatís, I think, everybodyís mindset and I think Odell knows heís got to do what he has to do to get ready for this upcoming season, for him to play well, for our offense to be where it needs to be for us to be successful. So, you know, hopefully he can do a good job of doing everything he needs to do to get right for this upcoming season.
Q: Is it fair to say that because you were able to get an early jump on learning Coach Shurmurís tendencies, his philosophies, do you feel that this offense has come to you a lot quicker, a lot easier than maybe your two prior times?
A: You know, I feel like itís a combination of just having been through three, in my third offense now, just a lot of it is similar plays, itís just maybe called something different or the coach might want to read it differently, but a lot of it is just kind of learning the terminology, learning the protections, protection rules, how to make the adjustments and what protections he likes to get to versus certain looks, so thatís probably where the biggest learning curve comes. But I think Coach Shurmur does a great job, Coach Shula, both do a great job of kind of having rules and not swaying on those, and expressing what they like to get to, what they like, and for us to easily get to those things and feel like we have a chance to have successful plays. I think he does a good job of not overcomplicating things, keeping things as simple as possible, but giving you an opportunity to be successful and be complex enough to attack the defense.
Q: How much did you feel the pressure last year behind the O line, and what difference to that end do you feel like Solder is going to be able make there?
A: Well, I think Iíve been impressed with Nate and what heís been able to do, also his professionalism just coming in and knowing what he has to do to learn the offense, asking questions, getting that whole offensive line together and on the same page, and just his leadership role for that whole offensive line room I think will make a difference. So, I feel good about the group we have in front of us right now, the way theyíve worked together, the way theyíve kind of accepted the challenge of being better and playing at a high level, and taking pride in that room, so Iím excited about what they can do and the opportunities that will give us in the run game and the passing game.
Q: Youíve been with Pat for a few months now. Just curious how you would describe the tone he sets on a daily basis, you spend a lot of time with him, and now going forward Ė how does that sync up with how you approach the game?
A: Yeah, I mean I think weíve both been around a lot of football. I think we see things very similar. I think when he talks about concepts he wants to get to or things he likes for certain coverages for defenses, it makes sense. Heís also willing to listen to ideas and talk football and kind of talk about things weíve had success with in the past, and kind of be willing to try those things. So, I think heís been very open but also has his way of doing things and his philosophies that again make sense to me, and things weíve done in the past as well, so I think weíve been on the same page and look forward to just keep talking to him, keep being around him, and Coach Shula. You know, every day for practice going against our defense, there will be things you can learn from, different ideas we can get to prepare us for the season.†
Q: Whatís the expectation for [Evan] Engram in his second year, and just kind of how he gets into this offense?
A: Yeah, I think Evan had a good first year, but I think there is definitely room for him to grow and that second year just having, coming in, being comfortable with everything that heís expected to do and just schemes, the competition and what teams are doing, but I think weíll be able to move him around in different spots, try to get him matched up, and I think he gives you a mismatch opportunity that you have to take advantage of and try to put him in different spots where he can be successful. I think heís excited about whatís ahead of him, and I think heís primed for a good year.
Q: Did you change anything training-wise in this offseason, and how does your arm feel now?†
A: Yeah, arm feels great. You know, I donít think thereís ever major changes that you do during the offseason. I think over the years there have been little tweaks, and you kind of get to where you are now, but nothing drastic in that sense. But I feel healthy, feel strong, and feel as good as I have felt going into any camp.
Q: What kind of strides has Sterling Shepard made going into his third year, and what do you expect from him this year?†
A: Yeah, same. I thought Sterling had a great spring. He obviously the last couple years has been primarily in the slot. I thought this spring it was great for him just to get some work on the outside, I think thatís kind of one of the advantages and good things about not having Odell here for the spring is that Sterling got to work a lot more on the outside and get some reps there. I think that will be helpful for him just to kind of learn that outside position. He didnít do much of that in college either, so some of it is new, but made some good plays out there and I think feels more comfortable out there and so, same thing, I think weíll be able to move him in different spots, move Odell in different spots, move Evan in different spots, you can get a lot of information and the more of those guys that can line up in different places, the more strength you put on defenses and the better we can be. I think Sterling, again, has great work ethic, heís a playmaker, itís exciting, heís fast-twitch, and he can make some big plays for us.