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QB Eli Manning Interview


Q: How much are you looking forward to going back to New Orleans, and is it still a special place for you to go and play?

A: Yeah, it is a special place. I grew up going to games there so it is always a special trip. It will be my second trip down there. I'm really treating it like every other away game. I'm not seeing any family or friends or any sight-seeing. I'm going in there as a business trip and know that we have a big game. I want to go out there and make sure that our offense and our team is playing our best.

Q: When you were there two years ago, you saw how it can become a shoot-out. How aware do you and the offense need to be of trying to control what you can control?

A: We just have to concentrate on having our game plan and being focused and go in there and try to execute to our ability. We know the Saints are a talented offense, but we feel good that our defense is up to that challenge and we have to be prepared and focused on doing our job and getting ready for their defense and can't worry about the other factors until game time.

Q: What does it mean that the offensive line is a prideful group? How do you know that?

A: I know they work extremely hard and they have a lot of confidence. They study. They prepare. They expect to go out there and play at a high level. I expect this week for them to have a great week of practice and go out there and play great against the Saints. I know they're committed to football and try to do everything each week to make sure they're out there and playing at a high level.

Q: Would you be open to change some things, move the pocket and three-step drops, are those things that you'd be open to?

A: Yeah, whatever we feel is the best for getting first downs and moving the ball. I don't think it's always that easy, to say 'oh, we just have to throw three-step a lot and do a sprint out once or twice' and that's going to change the game. I think we have to be more sound and play better football. I don't think it's about changing things up a whole lot. It's just more about doing what we're doing, doing it better.

Q: Can you talk about the environment in New Orleans and what you're going to have to overcome?

A: We know the Saints are a very good home team. It's a loud stadium so it will be loud. We have to try our best to communicate well, try not to let their crowd get into the game. We can try to start fast and move the ball and don't give up big plays to their defense [that] should always help the occasion. It's just about being consistent. Honestly, if we're making calls, everyone communicates and not having false starts, things like that where you're going backwards and getting the crowd pumped up.

Q: At what point in a quarterback's career does the game start to slow down?

A: I think when you start to understand what you're doing. I don't think there's a time frame. I think it's just a matter of when you know the offense inside and out and have a good understanding of protections, you just have a plan of what you're doing and all of a sudden that plan doesn't work, you have a backup plan.

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Q: When did that start to happen for you?

A: I don't have an exact time for you.

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