QB Eli Manning
Q: What areas do you think need to be cleaned up for you guys to be successful or to be a more consistent offense?
A: I think we just have to make the plays that are out there. Each player kind of went through a phase where they kind of made a mistake or missed a play, or missed a throw, or missed a dropped pass, or didn't execute something quite as well. We just got to make plays that are there and execute at a high level
Q: When you looked at the tape of Monday's game, you saw enough plays that were there that could have been made?
A: I saw a number of throws I could have made better. A couple of passes that you need guys to make, some were easy and, definitely, some were tougher catches, but that's what you have to do to win in this league. You have to step up and make some tough catches; we've got to run the ball better, block better, a lot of areas where I think everybody can improve. It starts with me making great decisions, better reads, and better throws.
Q: How concerning or frustrating is it that you are eight games into the season and you guys are still kind of out of sync?
A: We've got to keep working. We have some different guys in there than we did at the start of the season. We've got some new receivers playing and we can do some good things. I think we can make some plays. We are not executing every play like we need to. Sometimes the defense has a great call, sometimes they win, but we are letting them win too many times.
Q: Some of the scores of games this year and last year have been lopsided. What do you attribute that to?
A: I don't know if I have an exact answer. I think all I can really talk about is this season. Had the game last night, had the Philadelphia game where we didn't execute, we didn't have enough long drives…better defense. All we can worry about now is trying to figure out how to get better. We can't worry about these past games; we've got to learn from the previous game, and try to make corrections there to see what we have to do to get better. That is going to be our approach to this week, we've got to practice. I feel like in practice we are doing a lot of good things and making plays. Having good practices, we have to take it over to the game, to the game field.
Q: Is it alarming that those games are pretty lopsided, the losses?
A: The only two I can think of, we had two, we had Philadelphia, and the one this past week. I think all we can do is try to find ways just to move the ball, and take them as losses. Sometimes you have to look at the individual plays and try to fix the individual plays. Fix the things that need to be fixed and move on.
Q: Do you find yourself guarding against forcing the issue and maybe forcing a mistake by trying to do too much?
A: I think you can only control so much at quarterback, you have to handle your business. You have to go through your reads and it doesn't help anything to start forcing things, or trying to fit things into double coverage, or fit things in tight spots. It can only make things worse. You have to play the game, we have to find completions, we have to play smart, we've got to expect everybody to do their jobs. We can bounce back, we can get back to playing at a higher level, we have playmakers, we have good players, we have guys that can do good things. Sometimes for a good number of them, it is their first time being in this position where we rely on them every game and every play to do their job. We are figuring out how to do that.
Q: As you study Seattle, what do you see defensively? Do you see similarities from what you saw last year? How are they different?
A: Definitely see similarities, same style defense. They mix up their zone, they mix up their man, they like to have their corners in press. They have good players, they get a great pass rush, so they are able to….they don't have to blitz a lot to get a good pass rush and they rely on their front four to get pressure on the quarterback, and their secondary to mix up coverages. They are a talented defense and they have a lot of good players, and they play well.
Q: Odell Beckham Jr. has come on strong since he has been back. Is he ready for the challenge of facing this Seattle Seahawks defense and a guy like Richard Sherman?
A: Yeah, I think Odell Beckham has done some really good things. He has shown he can make a lot of plays for us, learning the offense, and moving around in a lot of different spots. I think he is up for whatever challenge is thrown at him and he is still growing as a player, but I think he definitely does some good things and we need him to keep getting better and keep making plays for us.
Q: Do you take anything out of the Seattle game last year?
A: No. I think new offense, new scheme. Last year we did not play well against them, but they have good players, and we know that. We've got to play smart….can't turn the ball over versus this team.
Q: With the new rules emphasis, have you seen a difference in their secondary and how it plays?
A: I don't think it has affected them. I don't see them getting a whole lot of calls. They still play press, but I haven't seen them change what they are doing defensively.
Q: You played a number of games with that target on your back as the defending champs. What does it mean to play the defending Super Bowl champs?
A: I think it should bring out the best of you. See where you stand; see how you stand against a team that has won the Super Bowl a year before. We know they are a talented team, and we know we've got to go in there and play our best. So we are looking forward to that challenge and that opportunity to see if we find a way to get a win.
Q: Do all the injuries that you guys have sustained, does that ever change the way you approach a game? In terms of thinking about developing young guys, and thinking ahead to 2015?
A: No, we are focused on this season, and focused on trying to get wins. We have a number of young guys playing anyway offensively. Everybody deals with injuries; everybody has to deal with them. You just have to move on, and you've got young guys, new guys, that have to step up and fill roles. You have to find out what they do well. It could change what you are doing a little bit to protect some of the new guys that might be playing. No, you have to keep working and keeping finding ways to get wins.**
WR Odell Beckham Jr.**
Q: Did you get the sense that there was a lot of frustration in the wide receivers room after Monday night with all the dropped passes?
A: Definitely. We haven't got [a chance] to meet up as a corps yet, but you can just tell after the game that there was frustration. We feel as if we should catch every single ball. I know there were a couple that I feel that I should have caught. I know Rueben [Randle] feels the same and I know Preston [Parker] feels the same. It just comes to a point in time where we have to eliminate those mistakes and eliminate those drops. I think once we do that, we will be fine.
Q: Can you talk about the challenges of facing Richard Sherman and that Seattle defense?
A: It is definitely a challenge. They're a great defense and have been a great defense for a while. It is nothing that you are not willing to face. These are the games you live to play for, the moments you live to play for, to go against the best of the best, to go against Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks and the L.O.B [Legion of Boom]. To go against all those guys, why not? Why not embrace that opportunity? Why not take the challenge, accept it and face it?
Q: Do you know [Sherman] at all and what do expect when you go up against him?
A: I don't know him. I have never talked to him or anything like that. He is one the best in the league, hands down, so I expect nothing but the best. That means we all have to be on our 'A' game. It is a challenge we are all up for.
Q: What is the specific challenge when you face a guy like [Sherman] who's a big athletic guy who wants to press you at the line of scrimmage?
A: Keep attacking. I am never going to back down from anyone. He has some experience. He is a big, athletic guy that wants to press at the line. Those are all things he does well, so you have to try to find, as few as there are, you have to try and find those weaknesses that he has. At the end of the day, it is football. You have to go out and play football and give it your best. Whatever happens, happens.
Q: You talked the other day about still being a work in progress… What kind of things are you talking about when you are looking at getting to the point, physically or mentally, of where you would like to be?
A: It is all those little things. The smaller details. Cleaning up the top-end of your routes. Cleaning up your releases. Knowing what number you are on the play and knowing if you are the first look, second look or the third look and knowing how to work your technique. It is all things that come with experience. Being a young guy, I try to learn as much as I can as fast as I can to incorporate it into my game as fast as I can. Those are things that take time and it comes with experience.
Q: You played a little more in the slot [Monday night] than you did in some previous games… What is that like for you and do you expect to do that more if Preston Parker is unable to play?
A: It is whatever the team needs. If the team needs me to play in the slot, then that is where I will be. There is no selfishness on our end. We are all out here to make the pieces of the puzzle come together and make it work as one. [If] they need me to go into the slot and Corey [Washington] and Kevin [Ogletree] to be on the outside, then that is what we are going to have to do. At the end of the day, what has to be done is what has to be done. Whatever is necessary or whatever it takes is the approach I am looking at.
Q: With the running game really struggling to get going, you were largely one-dimensional Monday night. Do you feel that added pressure as a passing unit to really carry the offense?
A: No, no more pressure than has been the past couple weeks. I think we need to pass more efficiently and run more efficiently. I think we need to eliminate a lot of the mistakes. I feel as if a lot of games that we lost, not to take away from any other team, but a lot of it has to do with our own inability to function as one unit. The little mistakes that we have made are things that with a team like this you can't make them. They have to be corrected and things have to get done right. I am looking forward to practice today and tomorrow and the rest of this week and getting prepared to play Seattle.
Q: On this short week and coming off the performance you guys just had, what gives you the confidence that you guys will be able to correct those mistakes going into a hostile environment and facing [Seattle's] defense?
A: It is the nature of the game. No one goes into a week saying, 'We are playing such and such and we are going to lose.' No, that is never the case. That is never the mentality. I think the mentality is one step at a time. Let's get better today and let's get better tomorrow. Let's keep preparing. When we get up there Sunday, let's put it all together and let's get rolling.
Q: Last couple of weeks you guys have struggled collectively as an offense… What has impressed you about the way that Eli [Manning] has handled himself? Do you watch the way he has handled these games and gain anything from that?
A: He has a lot of heart. I have never seen any give-up. He comes into the huddle and is like, 'Let's get going.' It is one of those things that the other ten people on the field have to be behind him and support the movement he is doing and support the emotion and the pride that he plays with. It is just one of those thing where other guys, myself included, we all need to step up and come together as a team and decide – at the end of the day, you determine your own destiny. We need to decide how we want to finish these last couple games and I think there is no other reason but to finish them all with wins.
DE Robert Ayers Jr.
Q: Do you think that was your best performance Monday night? What exactly did you see in the offensive front of the Colts that you could take advantage of?
A: I don't know. I will leave that up to you guys to judge as far as best performance. Every week I try to study guys and I try to game plan. I try to have a plan of attack and every week I think of things I can take advantage of. I was able to get some pressure and help my team a little more than I have before. Coach Nunn has built confidence in me and helping me come along, helping me to get in the position to use my ability. Indianapolis, they throw a lot. Coach Nunn put me in some situations to do good and I studied those guys and I watched them, and I was able to do some good things. I feel that way every week. I feel like I can do that every week. That is not always the case, now I just want to keep building on what I am doing, keep learning, and keep improving.
Q: You obviously played a mobile quarterback in Andrew Luck Monday night, now facing Russell Wilson and that Seattle Seahawks offense. Does the mentality change? Do you have to be more cognizant about your rushing lanes so you don't let him outside of the pocket?
A: Definitely, when you have a quarterback that can move. You definitely have to be worried about that. I personally gave up a first down, I got too high on my rush lane, kind of selfishly I thought I could beat the guy around and I didn't quite get there and allowed Andrew Luck to step up and run for a first down. That was a big play in the beginning of the game and if we get off the field, who knows how that could have changed the tempo. Things like that are things that I have to keep improving on. Not just….got to stay within the scheme and situation like that. With Russell Wilson, he can turn those into six, and put points on the board if he does that. That is one thing I have to keep improving on and being more disciplined and working with other guys, and them working with me, and us collectively doing a good job. It is definitely an issue when you have quarterbacks like that.
Q: Was it a little deflating for you guys? You said you were able to create pressure on Andrew Luck and he had a couple would-be interceptions that slipped in and out of guys' hands. Was that a little deflating?
A: I wouldn't say deflating. It is just that you have to put that play in the past and move on. I feel like that is one thing that we have to do. Sometimes the other team is going to do good things and we have to put that in the past, you know. I missed tackles, I missed interceptions, I missed opportunities. It is what it is and you've got to keep moving forward and keep working. I don't think we were ever deflated, we kept fighting, we kept battling. When those opportunities come, you have to make them and you have to keep going forward, keep fighting, and play for 60 minutes.
Q: What are some of the positives you saw?
A: We just have to continue to compete in practice. We've got to continue to battle, got to continue to drive to be a good defensive line, and, collectively, when we blitz, we have to be on the same page. If we have pressure from one side, we can't lose contain or we have to understand how we affect the play. Not every play is drawn up for you, or not every play is drawn up for me, sometimes I am just a decoy. We just have to be on the same page and understand the scheme of the defense and try to execute whatever play call is called. Whatever situation coach puts us in, we have to be able to capitalize on it.
Q: Antrel Rolle talked about how he thought the sideline has been quiet and the need for more passion. Where do you stand on that and what do you see?
A: It is what it is. This is a game of passion, this is a game of intensity, this is a game of want-to and will. We definitely have to display some of that, we have to play with a lot of that, we have to want to win, we have to want to be dominant, we've got to expect to be dominant, we've got to expect to win. Antrel Rolle is a great guy and I am with him, I am going to ride with him, regardless, and I do feel like we can play with more intensity. To add on to that, I feel we can play with more intensity within our….it is easy to be intense when things are good, but when things are bad, we still have to keep it going. It starts with the players, it starts with the coaches and we just have to keep fighting and keep wanting it, it will come. When you lose, it is tough, but we have to keep working at it, and it will all come.
LB Jameel McClain
Q: Can you talk about Marshawn Lynch. Has he got better in your opinion? Are they doing things differently with him?
A: I have always respected Marshawn Lynch as a running back and what he stood for in his game. To me, he is another great running back that we are getting an opportunity to play against. How are they using him differently? To me, they are using him the same. He is getting the ball out of the backfield, but he has been getting that in the passing game, too, and in the run game. So when you have a player of that caliber, you have to get him the ball. That is what they are doing.
Q: What goes into playing at the defending Super Bowl champs? How do you approach that?
A: I think the same thing goes as the team that didn't make the playoffs. It is football, you've got to come into the game with the ultimate respect of your opponent, knowing it is going to be a battle. If this team had won the Super Bowl or not won the Super Bowl, it is still a football game and we have to come in prepared.
Q: There were some reports about the locker room chemistry with the Seahawks following the trade of Percy Harvin. Do you think they may have lost some of that swagger from last season?
A: I don't think so. I haven't really dug that much into thinking about how their chemistry is in their locker room. I look at their offensive linemen on tape and I see a physical, tight-knit group. As far as that, that is what I see, but as far as looking into their chemistry and whatever the rumors are surrounding their team, that is on their part, that is not for me to judge, or care about. All I do is look at the football players and see how our opponent weighs up against us.
Q: Antrel Rolle made some comments and said that he didn't see a lot of pulse on the team on the sideline; he doesn't think the team is playing with enough passion. What is your take on that?
A: Antrel Rolle is the general. Whatever the general says, it goes, at the end of the day. I am a part of this battle with him and if he feels that way, I feel that way with him. I can speak for myself and I can speak for some of the things that I have seen. I see passion in guys, and I play the game with passion. I play it with everything that I have. My goal is to leave that field empty and my teammates share that. Whatever Antrel Rolle sees, I take it as a challenge, for us to step it up, for me to give more. When I hear things, I look at myself. I try not to look at other people, I look at, "what more can you do, Jameel? What more can you do to make it better or make the situation better?" That is how I look at it, that is what I heard, and that is how I took it. What more can you do as an individual? That is how everybody else should take it.
Q: Is there anything you guys can do as a team to generate more passion, or more pulse?
A: I don't know how you generate passion or how you generate more energy. Some things are just in people, people are what they are. That is not taking anything away from it, but I don't know how you create it. We have fun, we have phenomenal games, we fly around at times. The goal is to keep it consistent. If anything, it is how do you build the consistency of it because we do it. There are times I look and I am like, "Man, we are just rolling", and there are times when it is not, but that is just how the game is. It is not always going to be perfect. That is just something we have to work on ultimately. Re: number of big pass plays allowed this year and stopping those going forward
A: I don't even have a hard number on it like you do to even try to dissect and explain it. It is unacceptable. That is just plain and simple, that is unacceptable. Giving up big plays hurts your team, it hurts your defense, and it puts your offense in a bad position, we can't do that. How do we stop it? Man, I have been saying this for weeks and weeks and weeks, we just play the technique. We just believe in the scheme, we just do that. To the outside world, it just seems so, "how do you stop it," "what is this," "what is that." It is really simple. Just playing football the way it was written up for you to play it. Once we just do that for an entire game, the result will be what we have seen in other games; the results will be the same because guys are sticking to the fundamentals of it. It is kind of simple in that aspect.
Q: Why aren't guys sticking to the technique? Do you say something to guys in order to help them stick to it and what can you say to them?
A: Why aren't guys? I don't know. What aren't guys? It is a different matter every time. Like I say always, I always look at myself before I look at anything. There is a time when I am supposed to be in a certain gap and I am not there. It is just an accumulation of people messing up at certain times, everybody taking their chance to mess up and then one of those times, out of ten plays on seven different occasions, seven people decided to mess up, they only need two or three of those plays to make a game-changing play towards the whole game. It is just a matter of those things. What do you say? You continue to harp on the fundamentals of the game, you continue to harp on the technique of the game, you continue to harp on it. Ultimately, football players, everybody makes mistakes, we are humans, we all make mistakes. It is just how do we recover from the mistakes that really matters ultimately.
Q: Are those mistakes similar, or are they different mistakes?
A: I think some of the mistakes are just different mistakes at different times. It is not like people are consistently making the same mistake. I think they are just different things at different times that happen to be at really bad times.
Q: With Prince Amukamara going down for the year. How big of a blow is that your defense, and how do you guys regroup?
A: First and foremost, speaking on Prince Amukamara, it is an unfortunate situation because the man was playing some great football. I had the opportunity to get a chance to share that with him. To see him go down is probably just as disappointing for him. As far as how it affects for the team, we lose a good corner. We lose a good corner, but this is the NFL, and it sucks to say but it is true. It comes true and true every day in this league, the next man up is the mentality. Who is the next man going to be, who is going to be the person that steps up into those shoes, and now you have to have 10 other people to do more to hold to the standard of what Prince Amukamara played at. It is the NFL, we lose people and it unfortunate, but we have to move on unfortunately.