Quotes (8/25): Manning, Donnell, Coughlin

Posted Aug 25, 2014

Read full transcriptions from Monday's media hour

> RB Peyton Hillis returns to practice
> Corey Washington's breakout preseason
> Best photos from Giants practice
> Sights and Sounds from Giants-Jets
> Watch: Giants Meet the Media
QB Eli Manning

Q: Tom said the ones would probably play 15-18 snaps? The last game?
A: Sounds right. I don’t know, I haven’t heard a number. Just preparing for them and however much he wants to keep us in, but expect to go out there and try to move the ball and see if we can do something.

Q: You would like that to be what, two drives, I guess?
A: Yeah, hopefully. Just take it one at a time. Go out there and just try to move the ball, see if we can get into a good rhythm early in the game instead of having to wait until later.

Q: How much has that final drive the other night been something that you guys have been able to keep in your mind and build on moving forward as you’ve been out here the last couple days?
A: It’s good to put something together, especially a two-minute drive right before the end of the half. To go down and get a touchdown, that was nice to see. We’ve got to look at all of them and understand that we’ve still got room for improvement. We’ve got to get better on some things and make some better decisions and be a little bit more consistent.

Q: Over the years you’ve always been efficient in the two-minute drill situation, which makes people wonder why you don’t run the no-huddle more often. In this offense, can you translate that a little bit more to a regular situation in a game?
A: We’ll see. We’ve been doing some no-huddle, practicing that. But still, the two-minute is a little different than no-huddle. I think we had one run in that two-minute drill, so we need to run the ball more than that in a normal circumstance. Hopefully we can be fast-paced and find ways to get completions and move the ball but still be able to run the ball to keep the defense not knowing what we’re going to do.

Q: … the way they ask you to time routes with your receivers in this offense. It seems like they might be going off maybe your footwork a little bit more than they have in the past.
A: You know, some of the routes are different depths than we used to do things. Some of the footwork is a little bit different and the drop out of the gun is a little bit different with some of the steps, so it all times up with the depths of the routes based off where my feet are and what my progression is.

Q: There was a point in practice when Ben McAdoo said something like, ‘Can somebody make a play?’ And he had more colorful language. Are you comfortable, is everybody comfortable in this offense yet, or do you think it’s going to take time?
A: Well, we’re still just… I think everybody knows what to do but just the pace it needs to be done. You want everything done precisely, so we’re still, every day we’re trying to get better at that. We need to be corrected on some things and do things more efficiently, so we’re getting there, we’re making smalls steps, but we’re probably not all the way where we need to be. I think there will always be things that we can improve on. It’s not something you’re going to master in four weeks. As the season goes on, we’ll know what we do well, we’ll progress, we’ll put new plays in, different things in, to attack certain defenses.

Q: To be fair, realistically speaking, what can you expect from the starters given that your offensive line seems to change every hour? It’s constantly on the change. There’s no sense of continuity, so what can you truly gain in those 15, 18 snaps with all new guys up front all the time?
A: Those might be the guys who are playing for us. The more reps we can get together, the better we’ll be making calls, guys communicating. So we don’t know who is going to be there that first game, so we’ve got to be ready and get a lot of guys ready to play. It’ll be good to work with this group. The more options you have on the offensive line to step into different roles… because you never know who is going to have to miss a game here or there or have to play for us, so the more guys we can get going, the better off we’ll be.

Q: Was it nice to at least have J.D. Walton for the entire offseason? You made a lot of switches at center last year, which I’m sure might be a little bit tougher than other positions.
A: Yeah, it’s been good to have J.D. out there every day and working with him, getting on the same page, communicating. You always want to make sure you’re comfortable with your center and the snap. As a quarterback, you’ve got a lot of things going on and the last thing you want to be worried about is when the ball is going to be snapped.

Q: How much do you think it helped in that two-minute drive that you guys were doing less thinking and more reacting, probably due to the urgency of the situation?
A: I think that’s the good thing about the two-minute – you’re usually running your base plays that you’ve run over and over and over again. Sometimes they’ll simplify the defense a little bit where you huddle up, you get into, especially versus the Jets, third down and you’re going to get a crazy defense and you’re going to have to make adjustments and slow things down or you can just play fast, get up to the line quickly and call plays and just make your adjustments.

Q: There were a few plays from the other night, and Tom said this as well, that were similar to what you used to run. Does that tell you that there is a give and take with Ben McAdoo, that he’s willing to kind of let you use some of the offense from what you’re comfortable with?
A: Well yeah, we talked a lot – what plays I like in two-minute, what plays I like on third down. He works with me on that. There’s always plays in every offense that everybody has. A team’s playing a lot of 2-man, this is one of the plays you run. It’s probably in, I would think, in a lot of people’s offense. Those are some of the things we like. You’re always going to have routes that guys run well, that Victor’s run a bunch over the years. They’re going to try to put him in those positions to run those routes and he can win. That’s part about just putting guys in positions to do well.

Q: What does the loss of Geoff Schwartz mean to you guys?
A: Geoff is a veteran guy and a good guy in the meeting rooms. Been around, a smart player. They don’t know how long he’s out for, but it seems that it will be at least for a couple games. But hopefully we can get him back quickly. Some young guys are going to have to step up; Weston’s going to have to step up and fill that role and a couple other new guys might have to step up as well.

Coach Tom Coughlin

Q: Looks like you had to separate some guys at the end?
A: A little tired, a little irritated. Not much to it.

Q: Is [Brandon] Mosley’s back a bigger concern?
A: I hope not, but I don’t know anything. I know he was at the doctor today.

Q: Do you have any idea about how long [Mosley] is looking at?
A: No.

Q: What about James Brewer?
A: I thought he would be back this week, but he’s at the doctor as well.

Q: Do you need more bodies going forward on the offensive line?
A: I don’t know if it’s bodies. We need the guys that we have back. We are not going to find any new people anywhere, I don’t think.

Q: How much of a load can John Jerry take right now?
A: He can go a good half. Maybe more. This was a nice day to be out here working. He seemed to do okay today.

Q: Have you finalized whether Eli and the starters are going to play a series or two?
A: They are going to play. They are going to play a little bit, 15-18 [snaps] something like that.

Q: Do you find any correlation between preseason success and then what carries over to the regular season?
A: The only thing that matters is the regular season. What is important about preseason is improvement, production and feeling like people are in the right spots. That is the only thing I can attest to.

Q: Has this summer seemed very long, given the five preseason games?
A: Coming in, I thought maybe it was, but when you look at the number of practices, I don’t think so. We needed the work. We needed to be out here together, too.

Q: Any update on Odell [Beckham Jr.]?
A: No, nothing on that. I am afraid to speculate because whenever you do that, it doesn’t seem like it works out. I just wait to be told.

Q: [Jerrel] Jernigan had a couple nice catches out here today and in the final drive against the Jets. I know you were upset the week before about the one he didn’t catch… Is it a Ying Yang with him kind of thing?
A: We would like for him to be exactly what he was at the end of [last] season at the beginning of the season and get better from there. That is what we are hoping.

Q: Is playing on the outside something [Jernigan] had to get used to?
A: You have to start out on the outside. It depends on the formation obviously and what the personnel is, but that position has always started on the outside and gone to the slot when it is called for.

Q: Do you think [Jernigan’s] skills fit best for one of those spots better than the other?
A: He is very fast. He is very quick. His skill set has shown both on the outside and on the inside. He ran by somebody today on the outside.

Q: How much does physicality play into the outside role and how important is that for an outside receiver?
A: It can be beneficial, but again, you have to be able to pick and choose what you are asking him to do, whether he is outside or inside. Some people that play outside are not as quick as he is.

Q: You mentioned [Jernigan] ran by somebody… Was that the one on the left sideline?
A: Yes

Q: But [Jernigan] didn’t catch that ball, did he?
A: No, but he was in position.

Q: What sense do you get of how frustrated Odell Beckham is?
A: I think he is very frustrated. His whole personality is held in check because he is not able to do the things that he wants to do.

Q: How frustrating is it for you?
A: He and I, both our personalities are held in check.

Q: Are you assuming Odell is not going to play on Thursday?
A: He is not going to play on Thursday. Have you seen him practice? How about practicing before you play.

Q: Are you any closer to establishing a pecking order with the tight ends?
A: I really think that there will be a group of guys that will play and that will help us in different situations, and try to be matched up according to the circumstance. I think that is the way it is going to go. I think there are a lot of roles for that spot.

Q: Is the gap between one and six close [for the tight ends]?
A: I think it is very close. I think it is very difficult to see who has done what better than someone else.

Q: How much is that what you expected out of [the tight ends]?
A: The expectations were that the two young guys would develop and grow and that the two veteran players would be stabilizers and do the things that they have done well.

Q: Was the plan all along to use a tight end by committee?
A: That is not necessarily what the plan was, but the plan has evolved to that, where people can be utilized for their skills in different ways.

Q: Is there a chance that there can be a little bit of melding between what [Eli Manning] has been successful at doing in the old offense with what he is doing now in the west coast offense?
A: Certainly. No question about that. When it is all said and done, it is football. Whatever you call, if it is the three-step game, whatever you call it is one thing, but someone on the outside identifying it would look at it and say, ‘Gee, I have seen that play before,’ so that is basically where you are. There is a lot of detail involved, which you are not going to know what it is about and recognize adjustments and so on and so forth. Much of what you see could be easily attributed to. That is to be expected.

Q: When you have a player in camp, such as [Daniel] Fells and [Preston] Parker, who were out of football completely for a year… Do you see that in them?
A: You may have seen that in the spring. Not so much now. They have been at it for a while.

Q: It comes back pretty quickly, generally?
A: It better. They wouldn’t be this far in camp.

Q: What did you think of Fells in that last game?
A: He’s a pretty steady guy. That is the best I can say. He knows what to do. He was effective on some of the plays you are describing or reaching for. I think he did a pretty good job.

Q: Is [Geoff] Schwartz down in Carolina?
A: He is, yes.

Q: Are you hoping for some clarity tomorrow?
A: Just waiting to hear. I am hoping for the best.

TE Larry Donnell

Re: fact that various players will function in various roles at tight end position
A: That’s a good thing, to have a group of guys that can do different things. My focus is to help the team in any way I can and you know I am not too worried about that. We have a good group of guys that are capable of helping the team in many different ways and are a plus.

Q: When you guys started in the spring, they said it would be an open competition. When you look from then until now, is it surprising that the competition still really hasn’t sorted itself out and that all you guys are still in the mix?
A: No, you can see the guys we have. We’ve got a good group of guys. The group that we have brings something to the table. Size, speed, strength, so it’s a good group to have and a good group to work with and a group to help this team.

Q: What do you view as your strength?
A: I never want to say what I do well, but I do everything as good as I can. I just try to become a better blocker in the running game, move guys around a little better….running game and I just want to get better in that area.

Q: What did you see in your blocking in the last game?
A: I’ve got a ways to go still. Just trying to make improvements on those and look at the film and make corrections on it. Like I said, I am going to get better at it and get better as we go.

Q: When you talk about your blocking, what kinds of things do you concentrate on?
A: It’s just the small things that make a big difference in blocking. The footwork, hand placement, you know, little things like that that help you out. Little small steps I am trying to take every day to get better doing that so I can move guys around a little better and open up bigger holes and stuff like that.

Q: You have been in this position before with the roster cut downs and probably wondered if you had done enough to make the team. Do you have that same feeling now? Are you confident that you don’t have to worry about tomorrow and Saturday?
A: You never get too confident. You just hope that the work you’ve been putting in has brought you to a place where you can stick around and help this team. Right now I am just focused on this game right now and after that we will worry about that.

Q: If you look at the last three games, the first team offense has scored two touchdowns. Does this offense not fit Eli Manning? Or is it still a work in progress?
A: Eli Manning is a Super Bowl champ. So there is nothing he can’t do. He has two rings and the guy is a Pro Bowler, a great player, a great athlete, and Eli Manning is going to get the job done. so that won’t be a problem.

Q: It’s still a work in progress?
A: Yeah, it’s a work in progress. Like I said, we will come into it, we are getting better and we will be where we need to be.

Q: What is your confidence level of one day becoming what they want to see in a complete tight end?
A: To have that in your mind, it is a great feeling. It gives you something to smile about and gives you something to get up and go to work about, feel good about. When I first came here, I was trying to make a name for myself but that is what I am still trying to do. I just come to work every day, enjoy my job, love it, and do what I can.