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Conference call (11/10): Eli Manning, Jameel McClain

QB Eli Manning

Q: Can you talk about Odell [Beckham Jr.'s] performance yesterday and what it did for the offense?
A: I thought Odell played well. I thought all the receivers played well and made plays for us. I thought we did a much better job staying in better down and distance. We ran the ball better where we were getting three to four yards a pop. We got into better third down situations and made plays. Odell, Preston Parker and even Rueben [Randle] made plays for us. They made some of the tough catches and [had] no drops and hit a couple big plays.

Q: If you can get Rashad Jennings back, how much of a help can he be?
A: Rashad is a tremendous player and a guy we brought in this offseason to be the starting running back and he was playing well for us early in the year. He runs the ball well. [He] has a great feel and does a good job in protection. [He] catches the ball well out of the backfield on screens and on pass plays. I think Andre [Williams] has done a heck of a job filling in and running hard, but it would be good to have that 1-2 punch.

Q: How do you think the locker room stays up knowing how difficult the road ahead is given where you guys are?
A: We understand the position we are in and we understand what we need to do. Everybody knows we need to get a win. Let's get that positive feeling back in the locker room and I think we know we can do it, we just have to put it together. We have flashes of playing really good football and we are just a few plays and a few mistakes from doing some really good things.

Q: How much does it weigh on you since you have been around for so long that the team can't seem to get out of this losing cycle?
A: It is tough. It is not as fun. You work hard every week and you prepare and compete. You want to have something to show for it. You want to have those wins and the feeling of celebrating in the locker room after the game or a fun plane ride back home or on Monday night feeling good about what you are able to do. We are not getting that kind of reinforcement of all the hard work we are doing. We are all working hard and doing the right things in preparation in getting ready to play the game. We have to stay on it and keep doing that and hopefully that will lead to some more victories.

Q: Do you feel like you are a better team than you were at 3-6 last year as opposed to 3-6 this year?
A: Yes. I feel like we are a better team. I feel like we are doing some good things. We are just not, for whatever reason, we are not able to put four quarters together. It is not like we come out and totally don't do anything. I thought we had chances in the second half yesterday to do some good things. We had some decent drives going and it almost felt like the Cowboys game in a sense where we got to the 40-yard line on a couple times in the third quarter and then all of sudden go backwards. [We] got a penalty or we did something like have a turnover, which prevents us from taking the lead or getting some momentum or put us in a better position to end the game. We just have to find ways to keep competing and keep putting pressure on the opposing team and making the plays that are out there.

Q: Jason Pierre-Paul questioned the heart this team was showing… Despite the loss, do you feel that you guys did show a lot of heart?
A: Yes, I have been happy with the effort all year. I do not think that has been an issue. Guys have worked hard in practice. They have [worked hard] in games and were very prepared and competing hard to try to get a win. I think everyone wants to win and do their job and has great pride in what we are trying to do. It is just a matter of doing it better.

Q: Coach Coughlin said he feels this team is close to turning it around… Was that the message today?
A: Yes. I think we feel the same thing. I think we feel from the offensive standpoint we can do some good things. We can make plays. We have some explosive playmakers and we can play at a high level. We are close. We are a few plays away. We still hurt ourselves sometimes. We can be dynamic. We can make some big plays and can take short passes and run our offense efficiently. We just have to do it for four quarters. We can't let one bad series or one bad play dictate the rest of the game.

LB Jameel McClain

Q: Can you give us a sense of what the mood of the team is right now?
A: Obviously everyone is disappointed about the performance that we put out on the field. That is kind of going to be the initial feeling of it after the game, but everybody believes in the journey. Everybody believes in the destination. We know that we still have games to fight and go out there and play. That is what I get from the team. Right now people are disappointed with the performance that we put out there, and we should be.

Q: What are the biggest obstacles that still need to be overcome?
A: I just wish it was one simple obstacle that I could point at. We need to just play football. Play assignments. When you have to do something, do that. Sometime when you have to do your assignment, go a little bit above that. Make the play. We were in a positon where we got [Seattle] to put the ball on the ground a bunch of times, and I think about three of those times we didn't even get the ball back. We get that back and it changes momentum. We make the tackle. This person is in that gap and that person is in that gap. We do that and we play a solid game and we leave the game victorious. Not doing those things, we end up in that situation. More importantly now, we didn't finish. I think the third quarter with, I think, 39 seconds the score was even. We have to finish the fourth quarter. This game is all about finishing and we did not do that.

Q: Yesterday after the game you didn't really want to speak about the performance… Was that because you were just upset about your own play and your teammates' play?
A: I actually was in rush to get out. I apologize. I apologize to all of you. I shouldn't handle myself that way, regardless if I have to go somewhere or not. I know this is my responsibility and I should own up to that every time. I was 100 percent disappointed. I was kind of raised in a household where if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. In this profession, that really doesn't work. I apologize to you all for doing that.

Q: As the starting middle linebacker for a team that just gave up 350 yards rushing, what was your take on what went wrong?
A: We just didn't play sound football. People weren't where they were supposed to be, myself included. I always look at myself first. There was a time or two where I wasn't in the position that I was supposed to be in to help the defense. We really didn't play solid football. That is it in a nutshell. As a starting linebacker or as any linebacker, it is anybody on this defense, even someone who was watching the game, no one likes that feeling. No one wants records to be set on them, no one.

Q: Do you feel like you guys can straighten it out, though? You are facing another read-option quarterback in [Colin] Kaepernick…Do you feel like it is fixable that quickly?
A: Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely, it is fixable. It is more communication. It is more attention to detail. It is more [if someone doesn't know], ask a question. It is more of that. Everything can be fixed. We are blessed. We are in the NFL. Each week we get another opportunity to prove ourselves all over again. In these past weeks, we haven't done well, so this is the time the iron strikes and it is hot. We get it rolling the way it is supposed to be going and like you said, we do face the same offense over again. People really have to look at themselves. Starting with me, I have to look at myself harder and see what I can do better.

Q: Did you feel that you guys were prepared for everything you saw… Were there any surprises out there to give up that kind of yardage?
A: We were prepared. We were definitely prepared. Coach had a great game plan. The game changes. There always will be a few surprises. We can't predict exactly what they are going to do. They did have a few wrinkles that we did not know of. Within those wrinkles, they got some plays off of it. All in all, it is just a player thing. It is not about being surprised. It is not about the game plan. It is not about being bad. It is not about anything. It is about coaches coach and players play. Us players, myself as a player, we need to play better.

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