QB Eli Manning
October 3, 2018
Q: Coach said in our lives there is no tomorrow. Is that what you go with every week or is that because youíre 1-3?
A: I think thatís the mindset every week. All you can worry about is today getting better, learning the game plan for this week, learning about Carolinaís defense and go prepare, practice hard and get ready to play your best on Sunday.
Q: Whatís important about this game plan so that you guys can actually execute and get the touchdowns that have been missing?
A: I think itís the same every week. Obviously everybody knows their assignments, knowing the team youíre going against, what their looks are and everybody playing to their highest level so itís execution moving forward and try to eliminate the mistakes and make plays when theyíre there.
Q: What is the goal against this defense as far as the way you guys want to balance the offense with your play calls?
A: Obviously thatís up to the coach and his play calling, but obviously I think the goal is always to be balanced, itís to run the ball, mix in getting the ball out quick, taking shots down the field, but itís mostly just staying good down and distance and give yourself some chances to score touchdowns.
Q: What have you noticed in the way teams are defending certain routes that prevent you guys from going down field a little more?
A: I donít know if thatís necessarily what teams are doing. A lot of it is just timing. Sometimes when you have some stuff to take shots they may be playing some soft zones and times when theyíre playing man and you got different things called. Weíll have opportunities to make big plays and that doesnít necessarily have to be throwing down the field. There will be opportunities to throw it down the field weíll take it, but when thereís chances to hit guys Ė we have guys who can catch medium passes and catch short passes. Itís about hitting guys on the move, hitting guys on the run when thereís chances of runaway and being accurate with the ball and let them make big plays after the catch.
Q: I know that you and Pat (Shurmur) have both talked about the balance between being aggressive and reckless. At what point do you dial up the aggressiveness a little and feel like you have to give your playmakers a chance to make a play rather than maybe settling for four-five yard passes?
A: If you think you can complete the pass then you throw it. If you donít, if itís a risk, a turnover or throwing it into double coverage then thatís not what itís about so yeah you try to put your playmakers in a position to get open and thatís what weíre doing. Sometimes they take away certain things you got to check it down and try to get a first down and move the chains and live for another down, another opportunity coming up.
Q: With (Luke) Kuechly, is he an elite middle linebacker more because of his physical skills or because of his mental approach to the game?
A: Yeah both. Heís obviously extremely fast, but he prepares hard, he feels things out, he senses things and just finds a way to be around the ball, so heís just all over the place directing traffic and getting those guys lined up in the right spot.
Q: Is the biggest thing you have to do on Sunday is just stay on course, not behind the chains?
A: No doubt. Itís just having that great mix, but itís obviously staying on course and not going backwards. I think a lot of drives we were doing fine until all of a sudden you have a sack or you have a penalty and you get 2nd and 20, so it makes it tough. At that point your game plan kind of shrinks down and obviously teams are going to let you throw it underneath. We actually did a decent job a few times of overcoming some of those things, but to have it happen again on the same drive, so itís just hard to do that consistently. Itís a combination of Ė hey Iíd love to get some shots, Iíd love to throw it down the field Ė hit some long ones and thatís fine and we may get some of those, but if not, still got to run your offense and you can score points. I donít care how you do it. It doesnít matter if itís throwing it deep, throwing it short. Itís a matter of hey we have to get the ball to the end zone.
Q: What are some of the challenges that you see in the Panthers defensive line?
A: They have a good defensive line. They do a good job bringing different pressures, moving around. We just have to make sure weíre all on the same page, understanding our assignments, where weíre going and if we get everything blocked up, hereís a chance to get the ball down the field.
Q:† For 15 years weíve watched you play. Do you feel as though from year-to-year, now itís your third system that youíre in that the aggressiveness changes within the system versus maybe what youíre doing at quarterback and whatís being called for in your job?
A: Different systems have different approaches. The first system we were in was definitely a vertical passing system where guys had a lot of options. Depending on what technique they were getting, whether they would break it in or sit it down or go deep, so depending on the game plan or the defense, how many times you were throwing the ball down the field and what youíre doing. I think this offense is a vertical passing game. I think it has the option to get the ball down the field. Obviously versus certain things itís not bad to get the ball to your playmakers hands underneath. If theyíre playing soft you get the chance to get the ball in Saquonís hands. He does a good job taking little six-yard catches into 12-yard gains or couldíve broken a couple for longer. Itís still all about getting the ball to your playmakers hands and getting the opportunity to move the ball, get first downs and stay in good down and distance and good rhythm.
Q: Is there anyway that you can do separate underneath stuff to make bigger plays as far as throw and catch with the blocking, you know what I mean? Thereís one thing to throw the ball to the guy for five-six yards, but to get the long gains.
A: I think in Houston we had a bunch of those where you get pressure, you get man-to-man, you hit shallow routes and guys running away you hit them in stride and we got guys running for 30 and 40 yards. It is a matter of can you get those in the timing of those things and sometimes obviously theyíre playing soft zones and taking away some of the deeper stuff. If thereís shallow routes sometimes obviously you donít want to have them on third and long in those situations where theyíre doing that, but sometimes you got to take the best you can get is six yards. Itís not all about just throwing it deep every play, thatís not the answer to our solution. I know thatís what everybody wants to do, itís an easy thing to say yeah weíll throw it deep and all of our problems will be fixed. Itís still about finding completions and when you do throw it down the field completing it.
Q: Would you agree that two years ago you had a lot of success doing that with Odell (Beckham Jr.). Short stuff that broke. So what is the key to getting that back?
A: Just hitting guys in stride, hit guys on the move. When theyíre running slants and running in breaking routes and running deep over routes and those types of things, if you can get to those throws and hit guys on the move, they can turn those throws into big plays.
Q: Do you have a guy in this roster who can just blow past the defense and go deep? A pure speed threat?
A: Itís what Odell is, isnít he?
Q: Yeah, but most of the plays he does make are those shorter plays that he turns Ė
A: No, he can do both. We got guys who can run away from guys and so I think we have speed guys who can run away and beat man coverage and we got to do a good job getting them the ball in those situations.
Q: Can you ever truly free up Odell because it looks like heís got three guys around him as soon as he makes a catch? I canít imagine a defensive coordinator would call anything that leaves him one-on-one.
A: I mean teams do it. Teams do it, yeah. They leave guys one-on-one. Theyíre playing zone, so the safeties usually favor kind of his side. If a corner is one-on-one, a lot of times he will play off just to try not to give up the big stuff, so itís a mix. We got to mix in if theyíre playing off we got to hit the 10-yard routes and hit some things just to move the chains and then set up some things to get down the field.
Q: I think youíve been saying this, just to get the ball in his hands anywhere and trust that he does something with it?
A: Yeah I think we got to get the ball in his hands where he is on the move or some of it is just getting completions obviously as well. Itís doing it all. Itís not just him, itís Sterling, itís Saquon, itís getting the ball to all of those guys hands with room to run and the ability to turn some things into big plays.