QB Eli Manning -- December 5, 2018
Q: Are there any changes to the Redskins defense from the previous game this year?
A: No, pretty similar. Theyíre still good on defense. They do a good job of getting a pass rush. Their front five are really strong. So, we got to handle that. We got to run the ball, and protect, and make sure we can get the ball out on time.
Q: Their run defense allows a lot of rushing yards. How do you all exploit that?
A: Just try to get some good looks, and weíll see how they play Ė whether theyíll want to get the safeties in the box, or play a little bit more two-high (coverage), and kind of protect their secondary. We just got to have a good mix of the run, the play-action. Just get completions, move the ball, and stay out of third and long.
Q: You guys have averaged 29 points over the last four games. Whatís been different from these last four games as compared to the first half of the season?
A: I think itís a combination of things. Offensively, I think weíve found the running game a little bit more. A little bit more play-action. Probably not as much of being in shotgun on first and second down, and dropping back. Thatís helped us eliminate some of those negative plays. So now, just be able to stay in good down and distance, convert on some third downs, stay on the field a little bit longer. The defense has done a great job of getting some turnovers as well.
Q: When you see whatís happening to the Redskins in terms of one injury after the other at major positions and guys being thrown into the fire, is that just the NFL?
A: Yeah, thatís just the NFL. Thatís why you play all 16 games, and you keep fighting. Things can change very quickly. Obviously, we still know theyíre a good team. They won some games, theyíve been in some games, and we got to go in there and play smart football, and make the plays that are there.
Q: Your thoughts on (S) Landon (Collins) on possibly being out for the year?
A: I donít know what the circumstances are exactly, but heís a tremendous player, a tremendous leader of the defense. Hopefully itís nothing too, too serious.
Q: You guys had quite a bit of penalties and negative plays the last time you played the Redskins. How do you guys go about cleaning that up?
A: I think that game was just Ė we moved the ball pretty well, but then had penalties, had turnovers, had drops. Just too many bad plays. I think weíve done a good job of eliminating some of those things and scoring when we get down in the red zone. I think just playing a little smarter football.
Q: Whatís your initial thought when you see (RB) Saquon (Barkley) hurdle a guy?
A: Thereís only a few of us that can do that (laughter). Iím just waiting for my opportunity. It hasnít arrived yet, but itís out there.
Q: What do you think (Redskins QB) Mark Sanchez brings?
A: Mark is a big guy. Heís a vet. Heís played in a lot of games, and played in playoff games, and won a lot of games. Heíll do a good job. Heíll know the offense. He can still make plays. For us, offensively, we got to worry about their defense and doing our part, and knowing we got to score points and play good football.
Q: Are you having more fun in this stretch right now than youíve had in a while?
A: Yeah, when you win football games, itís more fun. Thatís usually the way it works (laughter). When youíre scoring points, and making plays Ė whether itís Saquon running in, or Odell throwing touchdowns, weíre getting in the end zone, and doing some good things. We definitely enjoy these winning streaks.
Q: What are you seeing in (RB) Wayne Gallman? He had a lot of success against this defense last year before Saquon.
A: I think Wayne has done a good job. He runs hard. He gets in there, and heís really done a good job of getting positive runs. He lowers that shoulder, he gets us extra yardage. I think heís done a good job of picking up the offense. Heís stepped in there, and we donít miss a beat once heís in the game. His role is a little different, but heís handled it well. Heís prepared to go every week.
Q: Does he have time to get into a rhythm?
A: Yeah, heís got to be ready to come in. He gets some series here and there. I never question how he runs or his effort, and getting tough yardage, and heís got the speed. He can make some big plays for us.
Q: Just about a year ago, the head coach was gone, the GM was gone, and the organization was in a little turmoil. A year later, do you have a better feeling of where this organization is and where itís going?
A: Yeah, definitely. I feel good about this team and where we are. Obviously, it took a little while to get going. I feel like weíve played better football this year than last year, for sure. The record is just a little better right now, but still got some football to be played. Been right there at every game. Been close to winning some games. Had a couple heart breakers, but weíre on the right track and doing some good stuff.
Q: Is the culture around here better too?
A: Last year was tough. We lost so many players. It was a lot going on. Unfortunately, it happens in football, but I think the guys that are here are great character guys, and things are smoother. We kind of went through a tough stretch, but guys stayed together and kind of fought our way out of it.
Q: What did you learn from Pat Shurmur during that tough stretch and how he kept everyone together?
A: I think he kept a good mentality. Itís tough on everybody when youíre losing, but he kept his cool. Just told us to keep fighting. Told us that he believed in this team, and that we were close to kind of turning that corner. We kept working. Everybody made changes, everybody made adjustments to try to figure out how we can get going.
Q: Did you sense last year was kind of the end of something? This year, do you sense this is the beginning of something?
A: No, not in that sense. I like this team. I like the guys. I like how things are going and the way this team has stuck together and kind of fought through those tough stretches. We made changes, and new guys and new people. Thereís quality people in this room right now.
Q: Do you see a building block that this is the start of something great?
A: Yeah, when you have some young talent, you have some new guys, and guys that care about each other, and care about playing football.