QB Eli Manning
September 17, 2018
Q: When you look back especially at the early part of the game when you had a little more protection, were there more opportunities to push the ball further down the field than you did in hindsight, going back and watching the film?
A:†I donít think so. We kind of had some play actions and different things called, they did a good job taking away some things. I went through my progressions and saw things clearly, had to take some check downs a few times and we had some other opportunities when we didnít have some guys open, some of the pressures, and everybodyís just got to play a little bit better and weíve got to hang in there and make some plays.†
Q: With (Jon Halapio) having gone down for the season with the injury, do you do anything extra in practice this week to get up to speed with whoever is the new center, or are you confident the guys you have on the roster can just step in and not miss a beat?†
A: John Greco came in and played during the game. Heís a vet and heís been here, he knows what heís doing, so I thought he did a good job. Weíll meet this week, I always meet with the offensive line and the centers especially and just talk a bunch about how we make calls. Weíve just got to start watching Houston, but we usually meet with them just quarterbacks, offensive line at least two times a week and just go over different looks, different calls to make sure weíre prepared for whatever calls we might have to make during the game.†
Q:†There was a lot of free rushes on the sacks last night. Was that a common trend or a communication breakdown? How were guys coming in so clean?
A: A combination of stuff, we had nothing where we shouldíve been picked up on anything, nothing that we didnít have an answer for. Everybodyís got to know their assignments, enough things where a guy might mess up a little bit, and thatís a combination of everybody. Itís not just the offensive line, the offensive line gets blamed most of the time but thatís not necessarily the case. Youíve got running backs, youíve got quarterbacks, youíve got receivers, everybody plays a part in that. As a team, weíve got to be better and know the calls and know your assignments, and itís just when you have those few mess ups in critical third downs and blitzing situations, thatís when guys are coming free.†††
Q:†What would you say to people inside or outside the building who think or say this is a ďhere we go againĒ season?
A: I havenít heard that and I think guys are fighting hard, guys are competing. Everybodyís learning, every week weíre going to learn and get better and make improvements. Thatís what we have to do. When you have a new offense, new players, new guys coming in, there is a learning curve to it so weíve just got to keep grinding and keep preparing and donít get down. Have the desire to get better. If we all want that, we all have that, and weíve got to make the improvements that the coaches are giving us, and that will give us a better opportunity to win the game.
Q: Youíre a leader and a veteran on this team. Do you have to keep an eye on the morale or mindset on this team after what happened last year to make sure it doesnít spiral in that direction?†
A: Each year nowadays, youíve got a lot of new players, new guys, so I donít think thereís a concern about that. Weíve just got to just come to work and have a great attitude that weíre going to get better. This doesnít get fixed with hoping it gets fixed, itís got to happen and the mindset, the commitment and the attitude that weíre going to play at a better level is whatís going to fix it.†††
Q:† All of you have said they took away the downfield throws with zone. Whatís the answer to that? How do you beat a team thatís doing that to you?
A: Itís a combination of things. Sometimes theyíre going to rush four and then drop and try to get into zones, so in those situations, youíve got to be patient and sometimes youíve got to take check downs and get six-seven yards, and thatís fine. You can do that and get down the field and have third and manageable, but we had our shots to take down the field when they brought pressure, and thatís when youíve got to pick it up. Itís that combination. If theyíre bringing pressure, that should open up some things down the field. Then youíve got to block it up and have time to push it down there. On the times when they brought the pressure and we had some guys open, we just didnít have the amount of time to push it down there.
Q: Shouldnít a team that has Saquon Barkley at running back be able to make defenses pay for playing two high and really trying to keep everything in front of them?
A: They didnít play a ton of two high. They did every once in a while, I think they had, Iíd say before the last two drives of the fourth quarter, they maybe played four snaps of two high and one time we did have a run on it and ran for 12 or 13 yards. The other times weíre in second and long, and we had some play action or had some passes and so we didnít have runs called.
Q: Is the biggest problem with the offense now youíre not in manageable second and third downs?
A:† I think that was an issue, we just had on first down decided to get some play action and some different looks, and thatís when some of the sacks came on first down. So now youíre in second and 18 or second and 13ís, and thatís the issue. Yeah, weíve got to do a better job of† down distance. We actually converted, did a good job of second and long and got to third and manageable, converted some of those third downs. We actually did okay in those situations, but then it would happen again. We just definitely have to do a better job of not losing yards on first and second downs and not getting into third and real long, but I would say itís going to happen every once in a awhile. Youíre going to take a shot and they get a sack, or a guy gets beat, thatís part of football, but yeah maybe happening a little bit too often when we are in second and long. That takes away a lot of your game plan and a lot of your plays when youíre in that situation.†
Q: Iím curious Ė youíve taken some shots downfield and hit a lot of underneath stuff, you havenít had a lot of mid-range stuff. What do you attribute that to?††
A: I donít know if I have an exact answer to that, I think itís just we hit a couple of in breaking routes early on hitting Odell on kind of an in breaking route for maybe 13 or 14 yards. We had a couple of things where possibly things were going to come open and just couldnít quite get to him, so a lot of those cases, you have guys that are short, youíve got guys that are in mid-distance, youíve got guys that are down the field and youíre just going through the progressions to try to see where you can get it.
Q: I think the ratio was 24 passes to eight runs in the first half. How does that get so out of whack and is that something you need to do a better job of balancing out?
A: Obviously, thatís on the coach, I think some of that could be the fact we were in bad down and distance. We got into some second and longs, third and longs in throwing situations, so I think itís just a matter of being in better down and distance, a little easier to stay balanced in those situations.†