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7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour (12/10)

Posted Dec 10, 2014

Here are seven things we learned as the Giants met with the media on Wednesday

1. Eli doesn’t consider himself injured.

Quarterback Eli Manning made a rare appearance on the Giants’ injury report today and was officially listed as questionable with a back issue.

But no one on the team is concerned about his status for Sunday, including Manning himself, who said he doesn’t “really consider myself injured right now.”

“I don’t know if I really got hurt,” Manning added. “I feel good. The coach wanted to take a few reps off. It wasn’t many reps anyway, so it is not going to limit me in my practices for the week, or the game. Just kind of some of the procedures you have to go through now in the NFL.”

>> READ FULL PLAYER QUOTES

2. Kennard honored.

Rookie linebacker Devon Kennard was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Tennessee, which included six solo tackles, two sacks, two tackles for losses and a forced fumble. Kennard became the first Giants rookie to win the award on defense.

“There have been some incredible linebackers to play for this organization,” Kennard said.  “So something like that, it was definitely special, but I know that I have a long ways to go and a lot of things that I want to improve and continue to develop in my game. I’m just taking it one day at a time and am grateful for that accomplishment.”

>> LB DEVON KENNARD WINS NFC DEFENSIVE AWARD

3. Jennings came out of Sunday stronger, better. 

After suffering an ankle injury two weeks ago against Jacksonville, running back Rashad Jennings was questionable heading into Tennessee, where he eventually was able to suit up but carried the ball just twice.

“What we wanted to do when we brought him back, we felt he could play,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “I didn’t have a full confidence of what would happen if he had X-amount of carries, so as you saw, we decided to utilize him on third down to start out with and see where we were in the game and that’s basically what we continued to do throughout the game. As a result of that, I think he’s stronger and better and so on and so forth. He did play the entire game in that capacity. I don’t have any question he’s going to continue to get better this week.”

4. Jennings was excited for his “little brother.”

While Jennings was limited last week, rookie running back Andre Williams got the start and posted the first 100-yard rushing game of his professional career, earning a nomination for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week Award.

>> VOTE ANDRE WILLIAMS FOR ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

“Man, I’m so excited. You have no idea,” Jennings said. “Before the game I was telling him, ‘This is a good opportunity, it’s going to be a breakout game.’ It’s good to see him get that confidence, not necessarily to prove it to us but to prove it to himself. Obviously I’m going to be on him. He’s still on himself. He’s still got a lot, a lot, a lot of room to improve and grow but it’s good to see my little brother kind of get a taste of his first 100-yard game.”

5. No word yet on who’s under center for Washington. 

Colt McCoy has started the last two games at quarterback for the Redskins in place of Robert Griffin III but injured his neck during the team’s 24-0 loss to the Rams in Week 14. Washington coach Jay Gruden said he will determine the starter shortly.

“We cannot say that right now,” Gruden said Wednesday morning on a conference call with Giants reporters. “We are going to practice today and see where Colt McCoy stands as a far as his motion and his flexibility is concerned and hopefully we will determine that by the end of the day or tomorrow.”

6. Communication has been key to sacks.

Despite losing two veteran defensive ends to injuries last week, the Giants posted eight more sacks against the Titans, bringing their two-week total to 15. Those are big numbers given the injuries and the fact that the team had just 19 in the first 11 games.

“Communication has been better with us,” defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. “We have guys out, so we know we have to communicate way better than we were before. [Defensive line] coach [Robert] Nunn does a great job with that. We stay in and study more. We take extra time and come in during the morning to study. That is basically it. We have a lot of young guys playing, but they are doing their jobs and playing great.”

7. Kennard reminds McClain of himself.

Seven-year veteran linebacker Jameel McClain, who has taken Kennard under his wing, was asked about the rookie’s development over the course of his first season. “Kennard is a phenomenal kid,” McClain said. “Kennard is focusing on his game and he focuses on details. For him to be so young and be such a professional, it is amazing. Kennard and I are talking. It really is a linebacker thing. We all are paying attention to everything and trying to get everybody right. That is what Kennard is all about, is improving. You see the transition of Kennard.”

McClain was then asked if Kennard reminds him of anybody, to which he responded, “To be honest, he reminds me of myself.”