Q: When you come into a situation where you’re on a quick turnaround situation, how do you guys respond?
A: You just come in, and get ready. You put the last game behind you, and try to get ready for this defense. Get ready for Carolina, start our preparation with yesterday’s walkthrough. Some of their looks, some of their base things. You talk about things a lot more. You have time out there, where you can discuss and go over things. It is a short week, you’re not getting as many live reps as you normally do, guys are still sore and trying to recover. We had some live action, just with the receivers running around. We thought that was good. Get some guys moving around and running, one more day of preparation tomorrow, and off we go.
Q: Can you build off the momentum of the fourth quarter of last game?
A: Well, guys stepped up. We’ve been good over the past couple of years at playing our best in the fourth quarter. That’s important, but we need to play better during the first three quarters. If we can finish those games strong, and make big plays in the clutch, that’s always nice.
Q: Eli, how can you guys as a passing game adjust to all of the clutching and grabbing of the receivers that’s going on, given the state of the officials?
A: You just have to keep fighting through it. Sometimes they’ll call it. If they don’t call it, you just have to make sure that you’re always just fighting until the very end. Still try to make the catch, make the play. That’s all you can do, keep working on your routes, getting open, and you can’t rely on anyone ever throwing the flag. If they’re not, you have to fight through it, and always try to make the play. If they’re truly being interfered with, hopefully, it gets called.
Q: Eli, how happy are you for a guy like
A: Andre stepped up big when we needed him last week. He’s gotten limited reps, but he came in, ran the ball well, great in pass protection, understanding all of his assignments. That was big for him to come in, and obviously we need him to continue to play well for us this week.
Q: How much did that really open up the passing game? Did it make a difference?
A: Yeah. I think so. He came in, had some good runs, bringing safeties down into the box, so we could throw over the top. We can run the ball well, and definitely prevent them from keeping those safeties up high.
Q: Six new starters for those guys, and they’re an improved defense. How do you look at the Carolina group?
A: They’re talented. Defensively, they played well over the last two weeks. Last week, controlling the Saints, had a touchdown on defense. The week before against Tampa, they lost the game, but only gave up 16 points. They show lots of different looks, they’re aggressive, they have talent, and they’re making plays.
Q: What other factors do you have to keep in mind when you do have this short turnaround? I mean, it’s three days between games.
A: You know, I think Coach Coughlin has done a good job. Today felt kind of like a regular day. Whether it’s a Thursday or Friday, I guess it’s like a Friday by now. I thought we had a good tempo. He said some things were going to be jog-through, we’re still going fast, receivers are running routes, and we worked on our timing. So, I think that was good. The most important thing is that everyone has everything down mentally. Know their assignments, they know all the plays, know where to get lined up, and you don’t have any mistakes like that.
Q: What did you do out of your routine? In terms of fitting things in that you normally have five or six days to fit in, but you’ve got three. When did you do the extra stuff?
A: A lot of it was yesterday morning. We didn’t have to be here until one o’ clock. We try to get in here early, a lot of preparation and film study. Staying up late last night, stay a little longer today. I think we’ll get everything in, but some stuff might not be until tomorrow, before the game. Normally, everything would be done by tomorrow. We’ll have more meetings tomorrow, and even then, the day of the game, have some more meetings to make sure we get all of our preparation in.
Q: Did you have the chance to see the Denver game last night? Your brother Peyton had a similar game to yours on Sunday. Did you think he’d pull it out at the end?
A: They were close. They were close. They didn’t get the opportunity, and didn’t get the ball back. They fought back hard, they had a good second half, and just didn’t have quite enough time.
Q: How do you guys deal with that? You had three interceptions in the first half, he had three in the first quarter. How do you guys overcome that, and are able to battle back?
A: You just keep competing. Keep going out there and know that you can make plays where there are opportunities. You can’t get gun-shy, be scared to throw an interception, you know you have to make better decisions, you still have to be confident in your own ability.
Q: Football is a game of routine, when you have the same routine, week, after week, after week. You guys really haven’t had the chance to have that routine. Last pre-season game was on a Wednesday, first regular season game was on a Wednesday, then you had a Sunday, and now you have a Thursday, only four days. How tough is it, to be able to handle not having that regular routine that you’re able to go, Sunday, after Sunday, after Sunday?
A: It’s been different. I thought the guys have adjusted well so far, and Coach Coughlin makes everything feel… Today felt like a Thursday, it felt like a normal day, I guess it really should feel like a Friday. I thought we had a good practice, good preparation. Tomorrow will be a little bit mixed, like a Friday and a Saturday combined, and off we go. I think guys had good preparation, good understanding of what we need to do to get extra work in, to get prepared.
Q: Did you allow yourself any time to enjoy Sunday? Your performance, your team’s performance?
A: Yeah. Sunday, after the game, I enjoyed it. Had family and friends, and celebrate the win. Always good to get the first win of the season. Obviously, Monday morning was in early, getting ready for this next game.
Q: Martellus had a couple of drops, but you still went to him late. Why the confidence to go to him late?
A: I have confidence in all of the guys. Drops happen sometimes, it’s part of football. Some were close, I could’ve put the ball better. So, he’s a talented player, he’s going to play well for us, and he made some good plays.
Q: What has he shown you in these first two weeks?
A: He’s getting open, he has a good understanding of what’s going on, he’s athletic, and running the wheel route on the sideline, jumping over the corner and making a play. That’s always nice to have. He’s learning and improving, he has a better understanding, but he’s done a great job.
Q: Can the team enjoy an offensive carryover from last week? Is it possible?
A: You still have to go out there and perform this week. It’s a different defense, they have different styles, they do different things. Everybody just has to know their assignments, and hopefully, the guys can continue to get open, and I’ll try and hit them.
Q: How can you convince yourself to not be worried about the level of officiating? That’s been the topic of discussion all day.
A: There’s no point in worrying about it. It’s not going to help it out. It’s not going to make any difference, because it can only hurt you. Just like anything you do, you have to have confidence that I’m going to do my job well and worry about doing everything that I can control, and the people who are officiating the game, and the receivers running the routes, you have confidence that they can do their jobs.
Q: Do you have any concerns that their inability to keep up involves problems like player safety, like calls that could decide the outcome of the game? Which does affect your ability to do your job.
A: It’s still what you do on the field. I have to worry about making my calls, and perform well. Hope if there is a foul, it’s going to get called, and they’re going to make the right calls on the field. So, you can’t get wrapped up in it, because it’s not going to help the situation.
Q: Do you feel like these guys have the game under control?
A: You know, the two games that we’ve played, I thought everything has been very smooth. I thought that the pace of the game has gone well. There have been calls, reviews, different things have gone smoothly, and I haven’t seen any major difference in our two games.
Q: How much concern, getting inside the five, having to settle for field goals three times?
A: We were close on a couple. We’ve got to finish some situations, have more production, and make sure we’re not going backwards. A penalty down there, losing yardage, obviously makes it difficult to score, but we’ve just got to keep working on it, and hopefully, we keep getting down there, and next time, we’ll be able to score.