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Transcripts

1.12 QB Eli Manning

Q:  How is it the day after?

A:  It is disappointing.  You look at the film and you see some opportunities.  We played pretty good for most of the game.  Just at times when we got down in the red zone we didn't execute our best and we didn't convert those third-downs to give us opportunities to score touchdowns.  So that is that it came down to.  The early interception obviously hurt us also.  But we didn't play our best. We had some opportunities, we did some good things; we just didn't play our best.

Q:  I know as an athlete you have to shake it off and move forward, but how long will this linger with you?

A:  I don't know.  The next week or so will be tough, with different plays going through your head and that.  You have to quickly start thinking about next year.  And right now it seems tough but you just have to get your focus.  We have a good core guys around here that will be here next year that we know.  Then we just have to say, "Hey, we have to learn how to finish better than what we did last year."  Last year, that is the way we want to do it.  We finished strong, we were playing our best at the end of the season last year; we weren't playing our best at the end of the season and that is what happened yesterday.

Q:  Will you find it instructive to watch the tapes of yesterday's games?

A:  Yes, definitely.  I have already watched it; looked at it.  And you see your tendencies.  You can always learn from every game and learn how we can get better.

Q:  On a personal level do you feel disappointed that you didn't show them your best?

A:  Yeah, I didn't play my best.  We had some opportunities.  We did some good things; we hit some throws and got down there in the red zone.  But we just didn't make our plays down there.  I definitely could have played better but that is part of football.

Q:  Does it make it even more difficult knowing that you have beaten every one of the four teams still in the playoffs?

A:  Yeah, you look at the teams in the playoffs.  We played a bunch of them and we have beaten a bunch of them so we knew we had a good shot; we were a good team.  It was a fun year.  We played really well this year for most of the season.  These last weeks and yesterday we didn't play as well as we had been. And that is what is frustrating. 

Q:  Toomer, Ward and Jacobs are all free agents.  How difficult would it be to try to replace those guys if any one of them should leave?

A:  Well, we will just have to see what happens with that.  Hopefully you have them all back.  Obviously with free agency and how things work, you never know what is going to happen.  But they are all great guys, great teammates.  And it was fun playing with them all this year and hopefully they are all back next year.

Q:  Do you need another weapon at wide receiver?

A:  I don't know.  I like our receivers.  I think some of it is just having those guys grow.  Steve Smith has turned into a good receiver.  We will see if we can use him more.  Hixon is a good receiver.  Get Mario Manningham back in the action – Sinorice.  We have weapons, it is just a matter of getting those guys – getting them ready and getting them prepared and seeing how we can use their skills.

RE:  Plaxico and next year.

A:  I just don't know.  I don't know the circumstances or what is going to happen.  So hopefully he is back.  But we will just have to see.

Q:  Would you want him back?

A:  Sure, sure.  Plaxico is a tremendous player and we will just have to see what happens there.

Q:  How big a factor do you think Burress' absence was in your performance and the team's performance down the stretch?

A: I don't look back on it.  Things happen and you have play with the guys that you have.  We have weapons.  Our receivers did a great job for us.  They made plays when they had opportunities.  So it is football and you have to play with the guys out there.  And I have total confidence in those guys.

RE:  Today's schedule.

A:  Yeah.  We had to come in a little bit earlier.  We just got here to look at the film and look at a few plays and what went wrong. 

Q:  If Burress is available legally, will you go in as a leader of this team to management and coaches and say that you want him back.  Do you think people in here want him back?

A:  I just don't know what is going to happen.  And a lot of it is just kind of waiting to see.  It is just kind of a sit and wait and see what happens.

Q:  Despite everything that has happened, you would personally welcome him back?

A:  Yeah, I think hopefully you learn from your mistakes.  And again, I don't know what the circumstances are or what the upper management thinks or what is Plaxico's situation.  So a lot is going on there.
Q:  The Eagles seem to think that you guys are an easier team to defend without him.  Do you feel like it was a more difficult job not having a number one type receiver like Plaxicoout here?

A:  No, I think we had some opportunities.  It wasn't that – if he was out there, I don't know if it would have made a difference on a lot of the plays or how they played us.  We did a pretty good job of moving the ball.  We just didn't finish.

Q:  A lot of the problems that happened down the stretch of the season really manifested themself yesterday, like not scoring touchdowns in the red zone. Do you see a trend that developed there?

A:  I know we have to get better in the red zone.  And that is something – we were down there a bunch this year.  I would say top of the League at getting down there.  We just didn't score that many touchdowns – as many touchdowns as we should have.  That is something that we have to improve on – on getting seven points.  And obviously sometimes they are going to stop you, but we have to score more points when we get down there.

Q:  You haven't spoken to Plax at all since the incident?

A:  I have not.  I have sent him some text messages and called.  You can't leave messages on his phone – it is filled.  So I have called a few times and sent text messages.  That is it.

Q:  Have you heard back from him?

A:  I have not.

Q:  Would you welcome him back?

A:  Yeah.

Q:  Do you think this team peaked too early in the season?

A:  No, I don't know that we peaked too early.  For whatever reason -- because we were playing well; we played well against Carolina and moved the ball …end of the season; a big game that we needed to win.  .............we brought our A game there.  Yesterday we did some good things; we just didn't play our best.  And that is what happened.  It is not like we just came and we played awful and we couldn't move the ball.  We moved the ball, we ran the ball, and we hit some throws.  …….. field position.  We had some opportunities.  We got close.  We just didn't – like I said, we just didn't finish.

Q:  Is there any one thing that you look back at?

A:  No, there are a couple of throws that were close; a missed protection here – little things that happened.  It is a game of inches.  There were a few plays when we could have gotten touchdowns; we could have gotten a first down.  I hit Derrick Ward on a little screen that was close to getting a first down there.  We could have made those into first downs and kept the drive going and gave us chances to score.

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