Quarterback Eli Manning
August 21, 2018
Q: How did you feel about not playing the other night?
A: He kind of told me early on I probably wouldnít play. So, I knew I had to get the most out of the practices with Detroit, which I thought we got some good work. I always want to be out there and play, but I understand it. I look forward to this week getting out there.
Q: When you and Odell work with each other before and after practice, what is the goal youíre trying to accomplish between you and Odell?
A: Just work on some things Ė work on a route that maybe we missed, or a new route maybe we missed in practice. Or maybe I work the other side of the field, because of the coverage, we didnít get the work there. Just because we missed some time in the spring, just try to make sure you get those routes, kind of get that throw so when you get in a game, itís not the first time youíre throwing it. Just get an extra rep on a few things.
Q: How does he look to you physically in terms of breaking out of cuts, release, and speed?
A: He looks the same, he looks the same as heís always looked, and looks great, and ready to go.
Q: If you donít have any game action with Odell and Saquon until the opener, will there be any concerns heading into the opener?
A: Not concerned with Odell, just because we got years of experience and you get a lot of reps in practice, which is important and nice. Weíve had game experience together. Now Saquon, thatís different, just because heís a rookie and missing some valuable time. So, I know heís getting mental reps. Itís different than practice reps, itís different than game reps. Hopefully, he can get back soon.
Q: (Former Giants WR) Victor Cruz retired today. Do you have any thoughts about his career?
A: Yeah, obviously Victor had a terrific career and a great Giant, and a guy who kind of exploded onto the scene in this preseason game versus the Jets coming up in 2010. He kind of got injured, missed that whole year. 2011 is when he came on and really just had a great feel for the offense, for his routes in that slot, and he was tough to cover. Running down the field, breaking in, we gave him a lot of options. He mastered some of those concepts and gave him a great opportunity to get open and make big plays for us. Tremendous player, and a great guy. He was in the locker room a few weeks ago. I got to talk with him and hang out with him. Obviously, I wish him all the best going forward. I think heís gone to the dark side and has gone into the media (laughter). I wish him all the best going over there.
Q: How similar is (WR) Sterling Shepard to Victor Cruz?
A: Similar, just in the sense of quickness off the ball, getting in and out of breaks. Both of them are great when they get the ball in their hand, and thatís kind of where Victor excelled. You get the ball in his hands, making the first guys miss, throwing short passes and making big plays out of them. I think Sterling has some of that same ability. Similar style receivers.
Q: Whatís one play by Victor Cruz that stands out to you?
A: Obviously, the Jets game 2011, second to last game of the season. A 99-yarder just on a little option route. Catch it 10 yards and make the corner miss, and then outrun the safeties for a huge play at the time Ė leading to us making the playoffs in the first place. Obviously, the touchdown in the Super Bowl over the middle. Thereís too many, a lot to choose from, a bunch of huge plays.
Q: Saquon (Barkley) has a reputation of asking a lot of questions, and he has said that heís asked you a lot to the point where he thinks he probably bothers you, but is there something that he can ask you in this period when heís actually not able to practice but still staying engaged?
A: Yeah, I think itís a good way to stay engaged. It obviously shows that heís watching practice, heís listening to the game plan and so he wants to understand what his route would be on this concept or on this check and this and that. So it shows he is engaged, he is listening. He has good questions, so itís clear in his mind and thatís a great thing to have, I encourage all those rookies, Ďask questions. If you donít know, ask. Thatís what weíre here for, donít go out there not knowing what your assignment is, ask us and go do it right and play fast, we always want you to do that.í
Q: So he doesnít bother you?
A: No, not at all.
Q: Does this game mean anything to you other than being the third preseason game?
A: No, in all honesty, I look at it as the third preseason game and a chance for us to go out there and play for an extended period, against a good defense and a good team. You want to go out there and execute well and feel good about where you are.
Q: Cody Latimer told me early in camp that he promised you the first day he met you that you were going to get a better Cody Latimer than he gave Peyton (Manning) as a rookie, what have you seen?
A: I think since Cody, since heís got here, has had the right mindset. Heís worked extremely hard, been in the quarterback room drawing up plays with us, we were trying to learn the plays and he was learning it. He wanted to do the same thing. Know what every spot, what every route was, what everybody was doing, where he would be on the field and in what spot, he wanted to make sure he knew all the route combinations. I think heís worked extremely hard picking everything up and also on his routes, his technique and being sharp on that, I think heís done a good job, heís made some big plays for us.
Q: (Pat) Shurmur just made a joke about you being from a different generation than Odell (Beckham), Saquon (Barkley), (Sterling) Shepard, (Evan) Engram. What do you do away from the football field to relate to those guys who maybe have different cultural tastes than you do?
A: I do a lot of dancing. (laughter) I think I have a good relationship with all the guys, and Iím not trying to act like Iím 22, I act my age and make fun of myself a lot, and they add to it probably and so thatís fine. Iím good with that. I have a good relationship with all those guys and have some fun with them.
Q: Are you still changing languages on the phones for them? (Manningís teammates)
A: I havenít done that as much. You know, they all have pretty good, secure passwords. Odellís (Beckhamís) isnít Ď1313í anymore, so theyíre starting to change their passwords on me a little bit, I have to regroup and find a new system. (laughter)
Q: On a serious note, does that jokester, prankster personality help that you have?
A: I think so, youíve got to have fun with them and connect with them. Thereís times where it is serious and youíre talking ball, they always know by the way I approach them whether I have something serious to talk about, a route or a concept or something. Thereís (also) times where we get to goof off and kind of get to know the lighter side of them.
Q: Are there times where theyíre talking about stuff and you just have no idea what is going on?
A: Yes, again, thereís a lot of dancing going on, a lot of dancing, which, I find very curious. The music, I miss out on some of the music and social media, some of the things theyíre on. For the most part, I can figure it out.