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QB Eli Manning Interview


Q: Why are you so confident this year?

A: I think guys have come in here and prepared very well. They have worked hard and they are good with our scheme. Guys have not been here a while, maybe only a few years, but they have a great understanding of what we are trying to do. We have veteran guys who can teach the young and new guys. I am confident in what I am supposed to do and go with the ball and guys are getting open, protecting and running. We are playing smart football. 

Q: Do you think the team is confident and looking towards the bigger picture?

A: I think confidence is always there. I think you have to have confidence in yourself and your team. It is still a matter of preparation and how hard you are going to work each week. It is about the new opponent and watching them to get comfortable with the opponent's tendencies. It is about what we expect them to play against us and how we are going to attack them. It is a matter of playing good football and making plays. Confidence is a factor in all of that. You always have confidence in your abilities within yourself but you still have to be humble enough to get prepared to play each game.    

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Q: How do you play against the 49ers?

A: You have to play smart football. They are really talented on defense. Their front seven is really good and you don't see a whole lot of teams running against them. They get good pressure on the quarterback just bringing four guys a lot of times. They don't turn the ball over on offense and they get turnovers on defense. They have a great turnover margin so I think it is a matter of playing football. Don't give them easy breaks and make it tough on their offense. They don't give up many big plays so it is a matter of being consistent and getting in good third down situations and trying to convert there.

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Q: How important is controlling the tempo this week?

A: Each game you have to figure out what kind of game it is going to be and you play to those circumstances. Obviously, when you play the 49ers you know there is a possibility that it will be a low scoring, defensive game. Offensively, we have our mindset of what plays we want to run, what we like and what are our chances to hit plays. We need to run our offense efficiently and it is a matter of us going out there and doing that. 

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Q: Are you concerned about a letdown?

A: I don't think you are ever concerned with a letdown. That is something that doesn't enter our minds. You get prepared for the team that we are playing. This is not a team that we play very often so we need to learn their personnel, their scheme and learning the plays that we have to run and just be prepared to go out there and play a tough game.  

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Q: Can the win against New England be a momentum builder?

A: I guess so but it is still a matter of preparation. That is more important because it is not like you have confidence and you just go out there and win. It is still a matter of how you work, what is the game plan and how well do players know it, and what do we need to do to win. I am sure there are situations late in the game, we feel very good about getting scores and getting points. There are things we have to work on, there are still things we need to improve on early in the game so that we don't get ourselves in situations late.  

Q: How do you try to run against this team?

A: We just have to run the ball when there are looks that we think that we can run certain plays. It is a matter of scheme and what is the way they think we can stop the run. Do they think they can stop it with their front seven and play two high, then we are going to have to run it, find ways and adjust in the passing game. If they are going to bring extra safeties, then we are just going to have to throw it. It is just a matter of their scheme and how they plan to slow down our offense.

Q: What is their scheme?

A: They mix is up. I think they are about 50/50 when playing two safeties or bringing the safety down. I think it changes depending on the circumstances in the game. Their coach will do a good job at looking at tendencies and seeing what we do.    

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Q: Are you conscious about turning the ball over?

A: I think you always have to be conscious about turning the ball over. They do it in many different ways. There are fumbles, interceptions, sacks and stripping guys who are running with the ball so everybody has to be aware. They are a team that looks to cause turnovers and get the ball out so everybody has to be focused on their run after catch because they are coming around trying to strip the ball.

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Q: How do you talk to the team about an emotional victory?

A: I think each week it is about preparing. We have a tough team coming up and last week is over with. We have a new challenge so we have to forget about last week, learn from the things we didn't do and try to get better. 

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Q: Are you thinking about playoff seeding in this game?

A: We have played eight games so we are halfway done. We have a long season left and it starts this week with getting ready for San Francisco. That is where all of our focus is on.

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