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Transcripts

QB Eli Manning

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Q: How is it morale wise, for a team to be so decimated by injuries?

A: That's part of football. It's going to happen. I thought we had a great practice today. Our concern is getting ready for Washington. You can't worry about who's out there and who's not. You have to trust the guys that are out there and go out there and do a great job. You game plan, play hard, and find a way to win.

Q: Do you take it as a personal challenge because of the questions at receiver and tight end?

A: No. I think my job is to go out and do my job - make the throws, follow my reads, and put our team in good position. That's what I'm trying to do. Play hard and do my responsibilities and leave it up to other guys to do their responsibilities.

Q: What's the key to winning this week?

A: We have to be smart with the football. We have to protect it. There will be some opportunities to make some big plays, you have to make those, you just have to be sound. Everybody's got to communicate well, be on the same page and just execute our game plan.

Q: How extra important is it to get a win this week with everything else that's been going on?

A: It's always important to try to go get a win. All you can do is focus on the game plan that week, going out there each day at practice, understanding your assignments, perform those, be mentally and physically ready to play on Sunday and once that opportunity comes, go out there and give it your all.

Q: What's the significance of playing in the nation's capital on 9/11?

A: Obviously on this 10th anniversary of 9/11 it's a big deal, especially for people here in New York, for people in Washington. It's a time people all remember, will never forget - should be that way. It's an honor to play on this day and honor the people we lost on that significant day.

Q: Do you think the team is prepared for the emotion of the day?

A: It's one of those things, it's hard to prepare for. You don't know exactly what's going to happen, but I'm sure it will be very deserving for whatever they do. Whatever emotions are flying, you have to be true to yourself and let them go. Hopefully once the whistle blows and that first kickoff goes, guys still play with a lot of emotion, but you want to get your concentration back on football.

Q: Did Coughlin have a message for you guys about the injuries?

A: No. It's one of those things. You don't talk about it. You just go out there, you perform. Everybody is doing their job. You can't focus on that. My job is to focus on the Redskins, focus on the offense, getting guys ready to play, and go out there and perform.

Q: If your brother sits you'll be the quarterback with the most current consecutive starts in the league.

A: I don't know what my number is. You try to be out there every week and perform and be on the field with your teammates. It's not something that I'm keeping track of.

Q: It's not something that's been easy for you.

A: Sure, there have been a few down the road that it's been a Friday decision or a game time decision. That's going to happen every once in a while. I always felt that I could go out there and perform at a high level and be the best option for the team.

Q: How proud of being able to stay on the field are you?

A: I think that's always the goal, to be there on Sunday. Sometimes it can't happen. Some circumstances come up that you can't prevent. I try to do everything I can. Make sure in the offseason I do all my workouts and running - they prevent the little nicks and knacks. And try to get all of the treatment when you do get banged up, get the treatments and do everything you can to get back on the field.

Q: How impressed are you that your brother's number is more than double yours?

A: If you can go through 13 years without missing a game, that's impressive no matter what position or what sport. Just playing for 13 years is impressive. Obviously, see what happens. Hopefully get to this one on Sunday and add another one.

Q: Do you chalk your streak up to luck or do you have a characteristic that let's you stay healthy?

A: I don't know. I don't know what it is. You try to be out there. You try to work hard during the offseason, prevent the pulls. Those things can be, I think, prevented a little bit. Also, I'm not running as much as a lot of these guys and doing as much cutting. Eliminate a little bit of that. The quarterback, you can play with a lot of big injuries. You get a little injury like an index finger or a thumb that most people can play with, sometimes you can't. I've stayed away from some of those.

Q: Is there one you can point to that was the closest call.

A: Try to focus on the good times, not the bad times.

Q: Did Peyton give you a buzz just to let you know he wasn't going to go?

A: I haven't talked to him the last few weeks. I know he's dealing with a lot. We've sent some text messages here and there, been thinking about him, but haven't talked to him.

Q: Were you surprised he wasn't going to be able to make it?

A: I don't know exactly how he's feeling or what's going on. I know he wants to be out there and he's going to give it his all to get back out there.

Q: What's stuck out to you about Jake Ballard?

A: Jake [Ballard's] done a great job blocking. He's a big, [fierce] guy. He knows what's going on, smart guy. He's doing a good job in our run game and has had some catches in the pass game - on an over route a few weeks ago. He's been impressive and earned [the starting] spot.

Q: If a team you were playing was starting a rookie middle linebacker, would you target him right away?

A: I don't know. You run the ball at him? That's the thing about football, you have ten other guys around you. They have to do their assignments and you have to do your assignments. If everybody works together, should be in good shape.

Q: Is Tom Coughlin a good coach to have in adversity?

A: Yeah. He gets us prepared, gets us ready to play. You have to put things behind you, you can't sit and moan about them and complain about things. You have to adjust and keep going.

Q: Does anything change about him when stuff like this happens?

A: No, I don't think so.

Q: As tumultuous as the last six months have been for the sport, is tomorrow night it's back…?

A: Yeah, definitely. You always look forward to the first regular season game. There's definitely some excitement and some nerves. It's been nine months since we hit the field for a real game. It's been a long time. I thought we got off to a great start today, good practice, good game plan. Everybody understands what we are doing, what our objectives are, how we're preparing, doing some things different here and there. I thought everybody was sharp and running around. A few days off, guys are rested and running well.

Q: What else do you like about this team?

A: I think we have guys who want to be here, who want to play football. They enjoy what they're doing, they're committed. They have talent, first off. Second off, they have the commitment to put in what it takes to be great. They understand what's going on. They ask questions. That's what I like from all of the guys. They're committed to going out there and not just knowing the assignment, [but] knowing why we're doing certain things. Every single look, everything that might come up, we're prepared for.

Q: When you look at your championship season, the talent was greater than the outlook. Do you have a similar feeling about this team?

A: I think we have talent on both sides of the ball. We have guys who want to be here. It's just a matter of going out there and performing, everybody doing their responsibilities. There's going to be things each week that you can learn from. There's going to be mistakes, but it's about learning from those things, growing with them. If it happens in the first game, make sure when the same thing comes up in the second quarter, you don't make the mistake then. You learn, you adjust, and you keep rolling. That's part of football. It's not a perfect game. You practice that way, you have your rules, and if everybody is communicating, working together, you have a shot to make the plays and do good things.

Q: With the injuries and loss of personnel do you assume a greater burden?

A: No. You can never do more. You just have to do your job. You have to do your responsibilities. You have to stay within what your rules are, what your assignments are, and trust that people are going to step up and do their role, whatever their job is.

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