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QB Eli Manning Interview


Q: What is it going to take to win this game?A: They are a good team but if we play our game and to the best of our ability and potential, we feel like we can hang with anybody and figure out a way to get the win.

Q: What is the mindset and confidence of this team?A: Our confidence is always fine. As athletes and players, you always feel like you can go out there and play at a high level. Offensively, we feel like we moved the ball but we have to clean up a few things and get in the end zone. We feel like we can make a few plays and score but we have to put it all together. We know we are capable of doing that. We have beaten good teams, it is just a matter of playing at a high level for four quarters.

Q: Does confidence come from knowing what you did against undefeated teams in the past?A:  I think it is just confidence in yourself and your ability. We feel that once we get out on the field, we can make all the plays, run a consistent offense, and make enough good plays to win the game.

Q: What does Green Bay do well on defense?A: They do a great job of getting turnovers. They get a lot of interceptions so we have to make sure everybody's routes are precise, our protection is good and I am making good decisions in the pocket. They also give up some big plays in their aggressiveness so we have to make sure we hit on those big plays and make sure we don't give them big plays.

Q: Is it more of an emphasis on cashing in because of the offense you are going against?A: We just have to play our game. Offensively, we know that we are capable of scoring a lot of points and moving the ball. We have done that the last several weeks but it is a matter of finishing drives. We know that when we get close to the goal line, we have to punch it in. We have to get touchdowns and try to have great third down production and stay out of bad situations. We should be in good shape.

Q: What happened in the game on Monday?A:  Several drives we got down there and we had the one turnover and we just missed a play on a first or second down that would have gotten us great field position. I thought we were very close a couple times but we just fell short on a few occasions.

Q: As a quarterback, do you feel like you have to match the other quarterback?A: No, you can't get off into that. You have to play the game and I am playing against the defense. I make decisions off them and run our offense from there. 

Q: How difficult is it knowing the other team is going to put up a lot of points?A: Again, you have to play the circumstances. We feel, as an offense, every time we get the ball we want to score. It is always the mindset but you never want to feel like you have to score because then you start forcing things and making bad decisions. You want to go out there and play smart football and make the plays that are there.

Q: Why hasn't the offense scored a touchdown in the first half in four straight games?A: That is something that we have to fix. We have to find ways to get down there and get touchdowns. That is what it comes down to, that you are not settling for field goals. You can't make mistakes down there where you have a penalty or a drop. It is very important that you stay in rhythm, you are making positive yards and you are going forward. Once you get down there, everything gets tighter, everything gets more condensed and you have to be perfect.

Q: How important is it to get some momentum going into Dallas?A: It's a big game, no matter how you put it, not for momentum, just to get back winning. It's the next game. It's a big one. We know we have to play at a high level, but we're capable of doing that.

Re: mentality and confidence of teamA: I think we have great confidence in our ability. We've won a lot of games. We've moved the ball. We've done a lot of good things. That doesn't leave us. We feel we can go out there and compete with anybody and move the ball and score points. It's just a matter of going out there, doing it, staying patient, trusting each other. We're going to win or lose as a team. We all have to stick together. I thought we had great focus and preparation last week. We have to do that same thing this week.

Q: Because of the injuries on the defensive side, does it feel like the margin for error is slipping on the offensive side?A: No. It stays the same. You have to go out there and play your game. You can't start worrying that 'hey, we have to score every time we get the ball' and all of a sudden this first series, you don't score. It's not about that. It's about just going out, doing our job and finding a way to get it done.

Q: Do you think about what has happened in the past or does it feel like the past as far as the second-half of the year?A: No. It feels like it's this season and we're going out there and we have a big game and we're getting ready to play. That's all it feels like.

Q: The Packers have a lot of takeaways but have also given up yards. Do you feel like the yards are there if you take care of the ball?A: I think they're aggressive and they take chances. It works both ways. They give up some big plays and they also make some big plays. So I think it's a matter of we have to hit our chances, hit our big plays when they're there and also be conservative and be prepared to not force things on certain looks because they are aggressive and they do a great job of catching the ball when it's thrown in their area.

Q: Is their aggressiveness based on scheme? Do they try to disguise things early? Is pre-snap stuff that changes once the play goes on?|A: They'll disguise a few things, but it's more of their defensive backs and safeties like to play aggressive. It's a lot of man-technique where they're just playing the guys. They see something, they're jumping. Their outside guys will squat a little bit, trying to break up some of the routes. Charles Woodson is very aggressive. He'll leave his zone and go into another one when he sees something. And obviously if you can see that and predict that, they'll leave guys open. They leave areas open to hit completions. It's just a matter of having the time to see that and recognizing it.

Q: Tom said he expects this team to bounce back. Do you get that feeling from this team?

A: I think we have great character on this team and guys who are very mature and understand we still have a shot. We still have to make a good run and it's going to matter how we finish this season, how do we do it from here on out. It doesn't matter what's happened the last three weeks or the first three weeks. We have five games left. How we are going to finish this season is going to determine how our season goes.

Q: Is there anything a receiver does that makes him more likely to be the kind of guy that pulls big plays off?

A: A certain receiver? I think just running good routes and getting open. It's being dependable, the quarterback being able to read their body language and get open or you hit him in stride. Therefore they can catch it and run.

Q: What impresses you most about Aaron Rodgers?A: I haven't watched a whole lot of their games. It seems like he's completing at a high percentage and extending some plays and making a lot of big plays.

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