QB Eli Manning
Q: What is the frame of mind? Are the guys up, down, is their confidence shaken?
A: No, obviously we're disappointed in our play that we haven't been able to win some games and play at the level that we need to and expect to. Guys are working. I think we know that we can play better than what we are, we've just got to go do it. We have to have better practices. I think our practices have been pretty good, it's just a matter of playing better on Sundays.
Q: What is the most important thing that needs to be fixed here?
A: I don't think there's just one thing. I think it's a combination of making the plays that are there, avoiding the mistakes, the penalties, the things that are preventing us from keeping drives or scoring more points than we are. I thought we made some improvements last week on some things going against a good defense, we just have to keep working, keep working in practice and make sure we're getting better at every individual part of our game.
Q: At this point, is it not about resurrecting the season but just getting a win, period?
A: Get back to that feeling of putting in a good week of work, preparing, working hard in practice and then going into Sunday and having all of that shown on Sunday, that we're playing well, get to celebrate after a game and get to feel good about what we're doing.
Q: Does Tom Coughlin's message of 'Stand tall' resonate with you? **
A: Yeah, I think so. In tough situations you have to fight through it. You can't duck away, you can't have any give-up. Keep fighting, you have to stand up for what you're doing, raise your level of play and keep the other guys around you, their spirits upbeat, and turn this thing around.
Q: How nice would it be to have Rashad Jennings back in the lineup?
A: Yeah, having Rashad back will definitely be helpful. Andre's done a great job at running back but having that one-two punch is going to be a good combination. He was playing well for us before he got injured, does a lot of things in the pass game and in the run game, so it will be good to have both guys in there.
Q: What's the biggest problem the 49ers pose on defense?
A: They've got good players. They've got a good front seven, they've got a couple of guys that have been out in the linebackers but they're getting Aldon Smith back, it seems like, getting Glenn Dorsey back maybe, it sounds like. They do a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback. They've got a good scheme and do a good job of making plays.
Q: Mathematically you're still in this thing, but you need a win just to get something going. How can you find a way to dig yourselves out?
A: Yeah, it's just about finding a gut check. You never know what's going to spark it. I think the guys know we can play better, we can make plays and feel good about what we're doing. It's just taking things to that next level and playing a little bit better.
Q: Does this kind of tell you what this team is made of? He just said, 'Stand tall.' Really see what's in here?
A: Yeah, you see the character of guys and how we're going to react to this tough stretch. We have to stick together and keep fighting, keep working and keep our heads up but also understand that changes have to be made. We have to make changes to enable us to play better.
Q: With the memorabilia thing, there was a ruling yesterday. Is that something that you look at or do you even pay attention to it?
A: No, I'm just worried about football and getting ready for San Francisco right now.
Q: Do you think the team received Tom Coughlin's message well today? Do you get a sense in the locker room?
A: Yeah, I think guys know what we have to do. Guys are sticking together, guys are practicing hard and doing the right things. We've just got to… in the tough times is when you really have to stay together, keep working, keep grinding, put in extra effort to ensure that we get that win.
Q: You guys have done very well in the red zone this year. What is it about the red zone that's been different or why do you think you've had success in that area?
A: I think we've got to get down there more often, it would help us more score points. I think guys have just made some plays. We've moved some guys around, put Larry (Donnell) outside, had some different formations to try to get the matchups that we want and guys have won those individual matchups. We've got to continue to do that. For whatever reason, down there, we haven't had the mistakes or penalties or things that are making us go backwards. We kind of stay in a good down and distance and good rhythm.
Q: A lot of that success has come from the passing game. Is that surprising for you?
A: I think you've got to be sharp in your passing game down there, the timing of things has to be done well. I think guys have just won their individual matchups. We've moved guys around to look for our best matchup, whether you get Larry on a linebacker or safety or receivers in different matchups. Guys have seemed to win their individual battles right there. Throwing the ball accurately and on time, hopefully we can continue to do that.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Q: If [Rashad] Jennings plays this weekend, how much will that mean to the offense?
A: It means a lot just with him being one of our running backs. He is a guy that was starting for us. He is another high energy guy that brings a lot to the table. We need a spark right now and hopefully he can provide that.
Q: What does [Coach Coughlin's] 'stand tall' message mean to you in terms of how you guys need to respond?
A: It means the same thing to me that it has always meant. We are not backing down from any one. We are going to keep fighting. The season is never over. We are just trying day-by-day to get better and start winning games.
Q: What is the biggest problem that the San Francisco defense presents for you guys?
A: Looking at their film, they are like just any other team, they have their strengths and weaknesses. They are a very physical bunch and hopefully we match up to that. Like [Coach] said, stand tall will be the message.
Q: What does the team need to do to dig yourselves out and get a win and get something positive going?
A: Keep fighting. There is not much more you can say besides go out there and play football. At the end of the day, you are trying to come off the field a victor. We need to do that this Sunday.
Q: How is the relationship developing with you and Eli [Manning]? **
A: It is getting better. I talk to him every single day. We mess around or clown around. It is great to have that kind of relationship with the guy that is the quarterback. It is getting better day-by-day. It has never been, but it is just getting better.
Q: Is it frustrating when you are out there making some great plays and doing some individual things that are special, but it still isn't producing the W?
A: It is just frustrating in general losing. No matter what you are doing, no matter whether you are having a good game or bad game, losing is never fun.
Q: Do you look forward to this game being at home against a tough football team?
A: Absolutely, anytime you get a chance to play in front of your home crowd, it is something special. Hopefully we can go out there this Sunday and give them what they want and definitely come out with a victory.
Q: What do you feel like the mood is right now in this locker room?
A: Keep fighting. Never give up. I know that is the mood of a lot people in here. Never give up.
Q: Personally after missing all the time that you did, are you surprised a little bit at how great the success has come for you personally?
A: I am just trying to do the best that I can, and provide a spark for the offense and try to make as many plays as possible. Looking forward to this Sunday. It doesn't surprise me as much because I know what I want to be and I am not there yet, so I am just a work in progress.
Q: You know what Richard Sherman said about you… That has to mean a lot to you?
A: It does mean a lot. Coming from a guy like that. Just [being able to] be on the field and battling and competing with one of the best in the league, what more could you ask for?
Q: That has to be a benchmark, to be able to do what you did against a guy who is supposed to be the best…. That has to tell you a lot about where you stand as a player?
A: You have to take it with a grain of salt. They put on their shoes the same way we do. A guy like that, being out there and competing with him, there was no better feeling than that.
Q: How important is it for you guys to get off to a fast start? 3-0 when you score first, 0-6 when you don't…
A: I guess when you put it that way, we need to get off to a fast start for sure. You can't get off to a fast start and not finish it. I think the thing for us is finishing, no so much the fast start. Just being consistent throughout out the game and eliminating the little mistakes that we make and that we have been consistently making that hurt us in key drives in the game.
Q: You are facing another tough customer in this week's matchup with Perrish Cox… Can you talk about the matchup and the problems he poses?
A: Both of those guys, [Chris] Culliver and [Cox] are great cornerbacks. They have great speed. Athletic guys. It is definitely going to be a great matchup and something I am looking forward to going against the 49ers, one of the premier teams in the league.
Q: Do you like to warm up in the end zone asking for different kinds of balls like we saw you do against the Colts making the one-handed grabs?
A: It something that I have always done. Catching the ball with one hand is something you just have to practice. The opportunity sometimes presents itself and you know you want to be prepared. That is one of those things that I have been doing for a long time. [Miami Dolphins WR and former LSU teammate] Jarvis Landry and I would always do that every day in practice. We wouldn't compete but we would see who could make the most ridiculous catch. He has some of the best hands I have been around, hands down.
RB Rashad Jennings
Q: What's your outlook for Sunday?
A: I take it day-by-day. I think you have all figured me out by now. Control what I can control, that's… right now, Coughlin Time is 2:22, I'm going to get in this cold tub, do everything I can do, lift weights, study the film like I'm playing every single week and see what happens.
Q: Were you encouraged?
A: I'm definitely encouraged. Every day it's been getting better. Every single day I'm getting back to being me. I'm just taking it day-by-day.
Q: How anxious are you seeing your team go through these ups and down, wins and losses, while you were hurt?
A: Anxious is a good word, anxious to get back on the field. This is my livelihood, this is what I do as a profession. It's my job, it's my business, it's what I love to do. When you're unable to perform on the field, you feel like something's stripped away from you, but it was a time where I think on and off the field I was able to recalibrate some things and come back to the game with a stronger perspective.
Q: Is there one thing in particular that you know that when you get back there with your teammates that you can add that could definitely help the situation?
A: Just continue to be myself. Try to bring energy to the game, a positive vibe, hyping up people, making plays, getting those ugly, hidden yards. If you could rewind the tape of the things that I said from the beginning since you all met me I said, 'It doesn't matter who's in, I'm here to help move the chains, protect the quarterback, score touchdowns and win games.'
Q: What would you say you are, percentage wise, to play on Sunday, 80%? **
A: A percentage is a weird thing. Percentages are strange. I don't know how to give it.
Q: Do you hope to play?
A: That's it, exactly. Again, day-to-day. I'm feeling good. When the time comes, we'll make the right decision.
Q: How about going up against this San Francisco defense?
A: They're good, it's a good defense. You put on the tape, you've got some guys who've filled in gaps for them, flying around and making plays at all three levels of the defense from D-line to the linebackers to the secondary. They fly around and make plays, they hit and they do it every play. This will be a good challenge for us as a unit to go showcase who we are and continue to build as a unit.
Q: What's it going to take to get a win and get this ball rolling?
A: We've got to score more points than they do. That's usually how you get wins. How you score more points than them is making sure we don't have self-inflicted wounds. It's a good team, so obviously you have to stress that even more to protect the ball, stay on the field. Their offense is really good, they always find ways to stay on the field. Just play Giants football, offense, defense and link us between special teams.
Q: What does Tom's message of 'standing tall' mean to you?
A: I think, since I've been here, like I said before, the subliminal message is always that the faces may change but the expectations never do. I always think he's given us a philosophical perspective on the game. There's a quote, 'I was chased up a tree by a lion. When I got to the top I enjoyed the view.' So no matter where you're getting chased or who's trying to slow you down or grab your leg, you always have to keep a perspective of where you're at. We've got a chance to continue to grow as a unit and that's what we're going to do.
Q: How do you get down from the tree?
A: Sometimes when you're up there, when you're looking down, it's easy to navigate so that's why you've got to keep your mental up there. I don't think you need to come down, just send the calls.
Q: When you look at Chris Borland, he's had two monster games in a row. What is it about him? He comes from nowhere it seems?
A: The rook? He's got a knack for the ball. I really think he's a good player. I was just talking to Coach about him. That was the first thing I said, I told him in the running backs' room, I said, 'Hey, this guy is good.' A knack for the ball, physical, fly around. He's a guy we're going to have to pay attention to.
Q: Can you coming back get the running game going by yourself?
A: You can't do it by yourself. Like I said before, again, if you ever see the run game being positive, it's simply because the offensive line and quarterback are putting us in the right play and the receivers and tight ends blocking downfield. If you don't see it moving forward, I think it's because of us in the backfield. That's how we feel as a unit. It's a good offensive line, it's a good team. It's not a matter of one person. Collectively, 11 men have to do their job.
**Safety Antrel Rolle
**Re: return of running back Rashad Jennings
A: Been great for us in the running game. His positive attitude, his leadership, the way he attacks the run scheme. Obviously, it is going to be a great….for us on the offensive side of the ball.
Q: Has this defense been physical enough?
A: I think we can always play more physical. Obviously, we can't be physical enough with what we have given up in the past. We can always get more physical and do a little more.
Q: How disappointing is it to look at the rankings and see yourself ranked 32nd?
A: I have never been a guy to really pay attention to the rankings. I pay attention to how we do on a week to week basis. Right now our performances haven't been up to par. It has been some performances and it is times we do some great things. It is just a matter of being consistent and everyone going out there and doing their job. Just rallying to the football, like you said, playing physical.
Q: What would you say the mood is like in this locker room right now?
A: We are scrapping right now, trying to get a win at all costs. The mood is what it should be, which is trying to go out there and get a win.
Q: Tom Coughlin said he talked to the team about 'standing tall.' Do you think guys heard that message? **
A: I am sure guys heard it, that is all we have at this point, stand tall and go out there and fight. Fight at all costs; try to get a win at all costs. That is what this league is about. It is still seven games left to play. We've got to go out there and play ball.
Q: Did you have a feeling coming into the season this was going to be one of the better defenses in the league? Are you surprised where you are right now?
A: When you watch it on film, no, I am not surprised. It's on film, the film never lies. I don't discredit any opponent, but it is more so us than what the opponent is throwing at us. It is more so us paying attention to detail and transferring what we learned in practice, and transferring it over to the field. You don't see….
Q: What do you see on film?
A: The same thing. Pay attention to minor details, understanding what the teams are going to throw at you. More importantly, just doing your job as an individual.
Q: Do you think if you get one win, this team can take off?
A: That will be the perfect way to look at things, but we all know one win doesn't really do too much in this league. We do take it one game at a time, one will obviously be heading in the right direction and just take it from there.
Q: You guys are facing another team that can run the football. Your approach this week?
A: I think coaches have done a great job with presenting us with details. Us, as players, have to do a better job of paying attention to detail and make sure we execute our assignments.
Q: What kind of problems does Colin Kapernick present?
A: He is a dual threat. He is a guy that can hurt you with his legs as well as his arm. You have a lot of multiple weapons that can hurt you. They are playing pretty sound football right now. They have a great run game as well as a good passing game, so it is going to be a great match up.
Q: What will it take for this defense to get back on track?
A: Everyone doing their job, each man. You have to be selfish at this point. When I say selfish, selfish in a point of you can't worry about a guy next to you. Every man just has to go out there and do his job; do his assignment the best he can. When you get 11 guys doing it, you are going to have an effective defense. RE: Faith and belief in your defensive coordinator.
A: We go out there and play ball. Coaches coach, players play the game. That has always been my mentality. When you watch things on film, it is simple, details, minor things that we have been taught to do and we are just not going out there and executing.
Q: So it's not things you have seen…
A: I answered the question, I answered the question.
Q: A lot of people,l including you, said things like, "we didn't have answers in the second half." It seemed like you were saying…
A: I didn't say that, that is not what I said. I said we didn't have an answer for it, obviously. We didn't have an answer because they kept beating us with the same thing. Don't sit here and put words in my mouth because I didn't say that.
Q: If they are beating you with the same thing, wouldn't that be on the coach?
A: The coaches don't play the game; the coaches don't play the game. That is my take on it. Obviously, if a coach can put us in the best situation possible for every play that they know is going to happen, every coach would be perfect, but that is not going to happen throughout the course of the game. They are going to throw wrinkles in their offense. They are going to do certain things. For us as a defense, if you never looked at a down of film in life, your technique and your responsibilities should always…..if you do it correctly.
Q: Do you have a theory about 'trusting the guy next to you?' Do have a theory as to why that isn't happening right now?
A: I don't know if it's guys not trusting each other, I think it is just lack of execution. I don't think it is guys just not having trust in the guy beside them. In order to be an effective defense, you have to be selfish. Like I said, you have to be an individual, meaning every guy has to do their own job, every guy has to do their assignment. When you have 11 guys doing their own job and doing their assignment to the best of their abilities, then you have 11 guys, you have an effective defense that way.
Q: If you are saying that and that's not happening, doesn't that mean that guys are worrying about other guys?
A: It is not necessarily trust. When you watch it on film, I don't think you see guys falling out of gaps, or not taking responsibility, based off they are not feeling the other person is going to be there. I think it is just lack of execution. Things that we learned in practice being transferred to the field.
Q: 3-6, going to take a lot to make the playoffs. Do you believe this is still a playoff team?
A: We have to go out there and get a win before we can worry about any playoffs. To me right now, if we go to the playoffs, we do; if we don't, then we don't. It is just a matter of going out there and playing with pride and going out there and showing ourselves more importantly than anybody else what we are capable of once we go out there and play football the way we are taught to play.
Q: Is it hard to sustain another loss because of injury?
A: We have to continue to keep pushing forward. Jacquian Williams, I think he has been playing good football. Right now with the injuries we have been hit with thus far, we are kind of used to it already, next man up, you just have to get ready to understand the defense in and out and play ball.
A: As a player you really can't let that affect you, although we are human. In the back of our minds, there are things that are going to be thought of, and so on. When it comes down to game time, you really don't think about this guy not being here, this guy not being here, you just think about trying to get a win at all costs.
LB Spencer Paysinger
Q: Obviously you guys take another hit with Jacquian [Williams] being uncertain this weekend… Curious as to what is the mindset right now?
A: The mindset right now is whenever you lose somebody like Jacquian, potentially, it is hard because he is a linebacker that can play all aspects of the game in terms of guarding people such as Vernon Davis and putting his nose right in there on the run. Right now for us, it is just next man up. This week we'll have some different looks. You'll probably see myself in there. You'll probably see Mark [Herzlich] in there. We will be changing up a little bit. For the most part, it is the next man up mentality. Mark has had some starting experience, so have I within our careers here, so it is not something that I think is a concern because we know the defense and the scheme. Let's just go out there and perform.
Q: Is it crazy looking at this defense and seeing it ranked last in the league?
A: Yes, especially with the potential that we have and seeing some of the football that we have played, we know we can play a better brand of football and that is just us getting back to basics and just being out there and handling one play at a time, and not letting one big play, one pass or one big run deflate us.
Q: It seems like the last four games have been one big play after another?
A: It is just really honing in on that one play. Getting that play done and going to the next play and not letting one play or one series beat us for the whole game.
Q: You were watching more last game, but there was a lot of confusion… The 49ers will run a lot of that same stuff… Are you confident you know your assignments and how you will be able to deal with that?
A: It is a copycat league. We do know we left some yardage on the field with the Seahawks, so we know we will see something similar to that this game. For me, for the defense and for other players, it is just finding out what we did wrong and just trying to eliminate that inconsistency and that sense of 'I don't know' on the field. We [need to have] everybody confidently be in their gaps.
Q: What is the feeling of the defense right now?
A: Naturally there is frustration after the game. You have a six hour flight coming back to scan your thoughts and just to try to dissect the game. Coming in that next day, we had questions and just tried to get a sense of what was wrong within the defense and what we need to do to get better. Today is pure optimism. We can't let one game beat us twice. I have said that since I have been here, whether we played good or bad. We can't get too high and can't get too low. For us, it is just going out there and handling one play at a time and putting last week behind us.
Q: As you watch the 49ers run their version of the read-option with [Colin] Kaepernick and then the one Seattle runs with [Russell] Wilson, how is it different, if at all?
A: I would say San Fran is more of a down-hill, counter run team. They are more of a hard-nosed type team when it comes to running. They do get into a little bit of 11 personnel for the most part as opposed to Seattle. Seattle pretty much stayed in 11 personnel offense. For us, we do know it is a big boy pads-type game. I am excited for it.