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Eli Manning on personal performance


QB Eli Manning**

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Read Quotes from Monday's Interviews](

Q: How's the ankle?
A: It's fine. It's about the same still. It's still sprained, but it should heal up pretty quickly.

Q: How would you describe the season for you and the team?
A: Well, obviously it's a disappointment. We're not in the playoffs and that's what we expect out of this group and this organization expects from us. We're definitely disappointed about the outcome, and obviously we got off to a terrible start and it's something you never envision or imagine happening, but it did. I thought we did a good job of trying to dig ourselves out of it and winning seven of our last 10. That was a good feat, but again not good enough, and obviously disappointed about ending the season right now.

Q: How confident are you that you personally can have a bounce back year next year?
A: I need to play better and I didn't play… In certain games I didn't play as good as I needed to, to win the game. Some games were just tough and we got outplayed on some games, but I can definitely improve and I need to and I will.

Q: What will it take for you to get back to the level that you won the Super Bowls?
A: It's just hard work and just get back this offseason…look hard at this year's film and try to figure out and get with the coaches and figure out how we need to improve our offense.  How do we give myself and our offense a better chance to have success and see where I need to make improvements in my game, whether it's decision-making or throws or certain throws. Just get back where I'm playing at a high level.

Q: In separate interviews last week, Victor and Hakeem both said they felt that not being here for the full offseason program with you for both of them was a detriment and that they wanted to make sure that if they were back they would be here for the whole offseason with you. How do you feel about that?
A: I think the offseason is very important. That's where you kind of set your fundamentals and you get on the same timing with a lot of things. If there are things from the season before you needed to improve on, that's the time where you kind of can dedicate those hours and you have time in the offseason to make those improvements, to talk things over and to make sure if you have bad habits, you can fix them. So I think that's what the offseason is for because once you get into the regular season, everything has got to be in place. It's got to be kind of set in stone. You can make little improvements here, but the practices are more…You're going against the scout team and you don't get as much live coverage like you do in the spring and during the offseason.

Q: Last year you had to deal with questions about Victor coming back. Now you have to deal with the whole thing with Hakeem possibly not coming back. How much does that weigh on your mind?
A: I think I just have been here a number of years. You understand you may lose some players each year and you hope guys come back, but you understand the business side of it and you don't know what the circumstances are so I think it doesn't do a whole lot to help wondering about it. You've just kind of got to wait and see and deal with whatever happens.

Q: Was there anything during the course of the year that was physically bothering you that might have contributed to the interceptions?
A: No. I was healthy all year.

Q: When you watched the tape on a week to week basis, were you surprised at yourself at some of the decision-making or were there different circumstances that led to them?
A: Sometimes it's just tough circumstances. You're down in games or you're getting pressured trying to make some plays. Different things come up and obviously I've got to do a better job of making better decisions on certain things and some, just making better throws, and there's a combination. Again, I'll look at it hard in the offseason and see if I can find a common reason for them.

Q: Because you've won it all twice, does it make it more difficult to be exiting so quickly here?
A: Well, I guess you just come to expect to make the playoffs and to have that opportunity, an opportunity to win a championship. Yeah, it's disappointing we're not in that hunt and didn't give ourselves that opportunity. It is disappointing that we're sitting here today instead of preparing for a playoff game.

Q: Will you go to the Super Bowl?
A: I doubt I will go to the game, unless the Broncos are playing.

Q: The new CBA is a couple of years old, but it has decreased the time that you can have practicing together. Are you still trying to find ways to maximize your time with your receivers?
A: Yeah. You're still trying to get together with them before that April, 21st date and try to get together some in April and do some throwing. Normally when I start throwing again is around April, so you like to get your receivers and get a few days of throwing before you come back here and so it is tough. It's tough that you can't even do it here. If I wanted to throw with Victor, if we were in here working out one day or something like, 'Hey, let's go toss the ball outside,' you're not even allowed. And so there are some different things like that, which can make it tough, but I'm sure we'll find a way to get together at some point and get some workouts in.

Q: Did they tell you today you have to have your locker cleaned out because of the NFC team coming in here in a month?
A: Yeah. It's just like every year, you always kind of come in and clean it out after the season but this year they said everything has got to go.

Q: Is that an empty feeling because you hoped to have your own locker for the Super Bowl?
A: Yeah. I guess it's a little different clearing everything out and somebody else using our locker room. It would have been nice to stay in our own locker room.

Q: Do you think the offense needs a change in terms of philosophy or leadership?
A: No. I think it's just we didn't execute very well. Early in the season I thought we really did some good things offensively. We were moving the ball. Obviously we had some turnovers and different things that hurt us, but we had some good games and eventually we kind of got some injuries and dealt with that and offensively we just didn't execute as well as we needed to. There were definitely opportunities and we had a chance just to get guys open and have big plays and we just didn't execute as well as we needed to.  

Q: Would you not go to the Super Bowl because you couldn't bear to do it or you just wouldn't go anyway if the Broncos are not in there?
A: I've just never been to one before. You kind of only want to go unless you're in it or a family member.

Q: Does it help having an older brother who has been through so many physical things late in his career? Does it help to see a guy who has played so late into his thirties?
A: Yeah. You can get better and I think that's with Peyton and having his best year of his career at 37 and so I know I can get better. I can make improvements. I can play at a high level and definitely improve my game these next years and get back to making the playoffs and winning championships.

Q: Any doubt that Coach Coughlin is coming back?
A: I don't know one way or the other. We'll assume he's coming back until I hear otherwise.

Q: When you self-evaluate and look back at this year, do you have one thing that you attribute to the increase in interceptions?
A: I haven't evaluated it yet, so I'll have to let you know once I start looking at it.

Q: Is it realistic to expect second and third string guys who move in because of injury to execute the same way or is it incumbent upon a coaching staff to scale back or scheme back a little bit to make it more suitable for a backup?
A: Well, I think we did. I think we did that. I think we tried to have quicker passing games. We had some different offensive linemen in, some young guys and do some sprint outs and roll outs and I think we made adjustments to try to give ourselves opportunities and we still just came down to the execution wasn't high enough and sometimes you've still got to run your offense. You've still got to be able to five-step and seven-step drop sometimes and you've got to be able to run the ball and you've got to be able to line up those guys and you need guys to make improvements and older guys to step up.

Q: In this league things turn around so quickly. Can you see this team being a Super Bowl contender next year?
A: Yeah. I think we have the right guys. We have the will, determination, a good coaching staff and it's just going to come down to hard work and how much we want to get back to making better plays and playing better football.

Q: The passing game was in the bottom half of the league. Because of that, would you be surprised if they decided to make significant changes?
A: I don't know. I'm going to assume everything is the same until I hear it differently.

Q: Justin Tuck said he feels that there are pieces here to be a championship team again and did not feel that a total reconstruction was necessary. Do you agree with that?
A: Yeah, I agree. We have talented players. It's just a matter of everybody getting the best out of all your players and that's what we need and that's what it takes to make the playoffs and win championships and we didn't have that this year.

Q: Hypothetically, if they wanted to make a change at offensive coordinator, would you want them or expect them to consult you about it?
A: I don't know. Again, I'm going to assume everything is the same until I hear it differently and go from there.

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