NYG Postgame (vs. Dolphins) Transcripts: QB Eli Manning -- December 15, 2019
Q: How important was it for you guys to get this win?
A: I think it was huge. The way the season is going, the way these last 10 or 11 weeks have gone, the team obviously needed a win just for morale and to keep things going. Itís tough to go every week, be close, to compete and practice hard. Guys are giving great effort and doing a lot of good things, weíre just falling a little short. But today, we obviously were able to put it all together. The defense played great. Offensively, we ran the ball well, hit up big plays in the passing game and did enough good things to get the win. Just proud of the guys. I know they all wanted to get me a win, and I wanted to get them a win as well.
Q: What was going through your mind when you were walking off to the ovation?
A: Obviously, I donít know what the future is. I donít know what lies next week, let alone down the road. Obviously, the support and the fans, their ovation, chanting my name from the first snap to the end, I appreciate that. I appreciate them always and all my teammates coming up to me. Itís a special day, a special win and one Iíll remember.
Q: Was it hard to block all of that out until the final seconds?
A: Yeah, I think I did a good job of blocking that out. Just because I donít know whatís going to happen going forward. Whether Iím playing next week or not, or in two weeks when we play again at home. I think my focus is just getting this win. Thatís all I cared about. I was just trying to go out there and play well, get into a rhythm and put the team in a situation to have this feeling. Itís still the feeling of winning, in the locker room with your teammates, after a hard-earned game. To get the W is still the best feeling of all.
Q: A bunch of your teammates credited you with a rousing speech before the game. There might have even been some kind of expletive said to send them out on the field. They said it was really emotional and it helped them. Thatís not usually your style, is it?
A: You know, I donít think a pregame speech has ever won a football game before. I still donít think it has. I just said a little something to get them ready. I appreciate the hard work theyíve been putting in all year. Offense, defense, everybody, theyíve been competing and they work hard. You see it in practice, and youíre just excited to give them this feeling afterwards.
Q: What did your daughters say to you when they hugged you on the field?
A: They didnít say much. I think they were a little overwhelmed. A lot of cameras, a lot of people. I wanted to get a little family picture after the game. I got one last year. We have a new addition with the little guy, so I thought we could do it kind of quietly and low key. Obviously, that wasnít quite the case. But itíll still be a good one to have.
Q: How special was that moment to you?
A: Itís special. I think itís special that my kids get to come and watch some games. I donít remember my dad playing at all. He retired when I was four years old. My brothers have memories. They always kind of talked about it, in the locker room, around games and I donít remember. So, I try to bring my kids around as much as possible, bring them to some games. I know my youngest son wonít remember any of it, but weíll at least have a picture to show him one day.
Q: Would you like to start next week and the following week?
A: Yeah, of course. Of course Iíd like to. I know Danielís (Jones) getting close to getting ready and getting better. Weíll see what his status is. I get it either way. I know they want to get him back and get him more experience and more reps and everything. Whatever Iím asked to do, Iíll do it.
Q: Did you feel honored when the fan ran on the field with your jersey on?
A: I donít want to support that and encourage that for anyone. I felt honored from all the fans today and their support coming out. They were here early, cheering from the get-go and a bunch of chants. I appreciate their support these last 16 years.
Q: What were your emotions as you were leaving the field for the curtain call so to speak?
A: I tried not to get too emotional just because we still have a couple football games left. I know Iíll still be back in the stadium. I donít know if Iíll play that day, but I know Iíll get to run out one more time at least. But still excited. Excited for the win and an honor if it is the last one playing here where Iím starting and getting a win. Try to enjoy it and take it in for a moment.
Q: Did you know they were going to take you out of the huddle like that?
A: I kind of heard them talking a little bit. I saw some of the coaches kind of gathering up and discussing something. Itís not my first rodeo, so I had a feeling that something might be happening. It just kind of depended on the circumstances of the game.
Q: Peyton (Manning) was able to walk off the field for his last game. Obviously, special winning a Super Bowl. You wonít have that opportunity, but if this turns out to be your last game that you walk off the field winning, what does that mean to you?
A: Again, I donít know what the circumstances are. We still have some football games left. Iíll have time to reflect on all of that when itís all done. But itís still a special win no matter what.
Q: What will you remember the most about today?
A: I donít know. Probably just the fans, the chants, the awkward feeling of standing there on the sideline, kind of a circle around me. Everyone looking at me and staring at me, a camera on me and not feeling real comfortable in that circumstance. But getting taken out there in the fourth (quarter) and just having all my teammates come up to me and say something, little hugs. You appreciate all of those guys and everything theyíve done to get this win today.
Q: What was the big difference between the first half, the interceptions, and the second half, 11 out of 13?
A: I think we kind of just settled down. We had some good thoughts of what we wanted to get to, stayed out of some third downs, just kind of played a little smarter football. I had some clean throws and guys did a good job. The offensive line protected well, and I just made the plays that were there.
Q: How important was it for you guys to get Saquon (Barkley) involved in the offense with the running game?
A: Yeah, I think thatís always the idea to get him going and get him involved. When heís running well, and he had a bunch of five, six, seven yard runs, that puts you in good down and distance. Staying out of third downs. A lot of first down, second down, back to first down, or third and short where we could run it again and get the first. That sets up the play action and the bootlegs and nakeds and stuff. When he gets going and weíre running and controlling the line of scrimmage, it helps out a lot.
Q: Did John Mara have anything to say to you personally afterward?
A: Yeah. I thanked him. He said just thank you and congrats. Nothing too long from either of us. But I saw some of his grandkids and gave them a high-five. I shook a lot of hands and had a lot of hugs today.
Q: Were you near tears there at the end on the sideline?
A: Maybe, maybe.
The only thing missing was Eli wearing an ascot.
God bless you and your family.