QB Eli Manning
Q: As well as the Cowboys' season has gone, you guys played them tough down there in Dallas; you obviously could have won that game. That's got to make you feel pretty good about this one.
A: Yeah, we did some good things. They're a good team. They have a good offense, they score a lot of points, their defense is physical and plays fast and has not given up many points. We've got to do a good job offensively playing smart. We've got to eliminate the turnovers. We feel we can move the ball and score some points on them.
Q: Have they changed much at all since that game? **
A: No, they have not changed a whole lot. They'll have a few new wrinkles every week like every team does. They're playing good with their scheme and guys are playing fast and they're doing a good job.
Q: Still, it seems that one of the keys is the ball control situation because as long as they control the ball and win the time of possession, it's hard to beat them, isn't it?
A: Well, they do a good job. They run the ball well. When you do that… they're very good on third down, converting third downs. They have long drives and keep the ball away from you a lot. We know we're not going to get… the possibility of not getting as many possessions as we normally do, so we've got to make sure every possession counts. When we get opportunities to get points, we have to get them.
Q: I know you're trying to block stuff out from the outside, but is it a little disconcerting, with the team struggling, that there are people that are talking about your coach's job security?
A: For us, each week you've just got to go out there and prepare and do what we've got to do to try to get a win. Coach Coughlin is going to have us prepared and we've got to go do our job and perform at a high level.
Q: Tom mentioned a couple times the term, 'bounce back.' What does that mean?
A: When something goes wrong or you feel close and could have had a win, you've got to turn the page and you've got to bounce back quickly. You've got to be upbeat and be excited about this next opportunity that we have.
Q: Throughout your career, you have done a good job of bouncing back. First of all, is that something you take pride in, is it something you're aware of?
A: I think you have to do that in this league. You play long enough and you're going to have tough games, you're going to have bad games, you're going to have games that are hard to get over. You've got to put it behind you. You've got to have a short memory and you can't let one game or let along one play dictate how you're going to perform the next. I think I've done a good job doing that over my career and I've got to do it again this week.
Q: Preparation fluctuates week to week, but after a game that you don't feel like you played well, do you do anything differently? Do you do anything harder?
A: No, I think you always work the same after every week, but I think you do… there might be something you want to fix. Obviously, you've got to be conscious of something that you need… make sure it doesn't repeat itself. I've got to be smart with the ball but I also have to make plays. I've got to find my completions, I've got to make good decisions, but still am going to have to make throws and do my job.
Q: There's no increase in the intensity maybe of your preparation?
A: I think it's the same whether you win or lose or play a good game or bad game, it shouldn't affect your preparation the next week. You might work on something specific or just work on making great decisions or getting the ball out on time or something specific, but from a preparation standpoint, I think each week you always feel you have something to improve, something to get better – that throw you missed or something that you made a mistake on the week before.
Q: After Sunday's game you put a lot of that loss on you, you put all the interceptions on you. When you do that, when you say that afterwards, do you almost put more on yourself for this game or is it hard…?
A: Hopefully, go out there and want to make the plays that are there. I've got to make good decisions. That's just football. I've got to do my job, I've got to play at a high level and help the team get a win.
Q: Is it a fair assessment to say last Sunday that you made generally good decisions and it was more an execution issue?
A: No, a combination. Some were… the first one was just a bad decision, just a, hey, I thought I could get it in there and I thought wrong. That's football. I had a weird one with trying to pull one back. Some were just poor throws under circumstances. Each one has its own story. I felt, for the most part, I was throwing the ball pretty accurately. We made some big plays in the passing game, did some really good things, competed. As bad as it looked at times, we were right there in it with a great chance to win it at the end. We needed one more play.
Q: You've been facing Tony Romo for a long time now. Have you developed any sort of relationship with him through the years?
A: Yeah, a little bit over the years. We've chatted and talked. Obviously, I talk to him after every game. Yeah, we've had so many competitions each year, kind of came in around the same time together. We haven't hung out any in the offseason, we've never really come that way, but I definitely have a little relationship with him.
Q: Is he one of the few people in the world that can understand the pressure of having a job like this in a big market for a popular team and has been there for so long?
A: Yeah, obviously there are only so many quarterbacks who have been in one franchise for this long, have had the ups and downs and different things. I obviously have a brother who I chat with a little bit about that, but Tony, any time you're in the same division with a quarterback for whatever it's been now, eight years together, seven years, there's definitely a little bond there.
Q: What do you admire about him? Is there anything in particular that you respect about him?
A: He's playing hurt right now. He's playing tough and playing at a high level. He's great at creating plays. He knows the scheme, he wants to get the ball out in time, but he does a good job scrambling around and making some clutch throws in tough situations.
Q: When you have a change on your offensive line like you may have this weekend, how aware do you have to be of that?
A: I don't think you can be aware of it as a quarterback. I think sometimes the offense may try to help a guy here or there, but from my standpoint I've got to worry about the scheme, the defense, what my progressions are. You always want to… you've got to move around sometimes and that's fine, but you can't be peaking to make sure everybody's doing their job. You've got to trust them, and I trust they will.
Q: 15 games against Tony Romo. You knew that was the number?
A: No, I didn't know that was the number. Yeah, sounds about right. A playoff, he's missed maybe one that I can think of. He came in late on one, his first one when Bledsoe went out. Yeah, it's been a lot of games against the Cowboys when he's been playing quarterback.
Q: Do you remember that first game?
A: Yeah. It was a good win for us. He threw a pick-six, that helped us out, too. That was very kind of him.
Q: Are you the kind of guy who they will have to pull your uniform off you?
A: I love what I'm doing. Football can seem great at times and you feel like you have the best job in the world. Sometimes it's tough, but I still feel I've got the best job in the world. You go through tough stretches, we're going through one now. It has not been easy and there have been down moments, but I still love the competition of it, love the preparation of it and just love that feeling of having a great week of work and going to get a win. That feeling in the locker room, that satisfaction, working hard to get that feeling again.
Q: So until you lose that, I guess you would like to keep playing?
A: Yeah, until it's not fun anymore or hurt or you don't feel you can play at a level that can win games for your team or win championships. I don't know when that point comes, but I guess I'll know it when it does.
Q: ... as opposed to being told.
A: Yeah, sure. You always hope to go out on your own terms, but it doesn't always happen. You don't always get that opportunity. We'll see.
Q: That was not a retirement speech.
A: Right, no, it was not. No. Re: playing entire career with one organization
A: I think you always hope that. I think that's always kind of the mindset. Playing as if that will be the case, but as you get older and you see your brother, I never thought Peyton would play for another franchise. I don't think he did either. You see other guys. I'm just going to try to do my job and do it well enough where the franchise wants to keep me here.
Q: You've got two Super Bowl rings and a lot of wins, do you feel you've done enough to convince them you should be here until the end?
A: Obviously last season was not good and this season, I thought I've been playing better. This last week wasn't good, but hopefully we can get a hot streak and I can play well. I'm just going to take it one game at a time and worry about doing my job and let everything else kind of do its job.
Q: I'm guessing you're not worried about your contract situation?
Q: Tom Rock of Newsday spoke to John Mara, who said he thinks you have many, many good years left. Do you feel that's the case?
A: I do, I do. I felt I was throwing the ball, have been throwing the ball accurately and getting a feel for this offense. I feel I can still make plays and run around and create plays and make all the throws. I still feel energized every week and work extremely hard and love what I'm doing. I don't take it for granted at all, and feel I can play at an extremely high level and take over games and do my job.
Q: Did you see that Tiki Barger weighed in on Tom Coughlin?
A: Yeah, that was very nice of him. It's good to hear from ole Tiki.
Q: Did you have any thoughts…?
A: I didn't read it. I just kind of saw a headline and…
A: No, no. I just kind of figured hey, everybody has their opinions. We've never let it affect the locker room. It's not going to affect the players and it's not going to effect the coaches.
Q: Is it tougher when it's another player, especially when he played here versus just maybe a column or story?
A: Well, I think it depends on kind of what your opinion of the player is. I think that can make a big difference in how you react to it.
Q: Tom was asked today if he thought his message was getting through and he said to ask the guys in the locker room. Do you think his message is getting through?
A: Yeah, I thought we played hard last week. We competed our tails off. Defense obviously was challenged and they played great. They played outstanding, well enough to win that game. Offensively, we competed. We didn't get down. I didn't play well, we had turnovers and it looked grim at times, but we kept fighting and made some big time plays, especially in the fourth quarter. A lot of great plays between Odell's catch, Rueben Randle had a great third down conversion, Odell had a great third down conversion where he had to break a tackle. Guys were fighting, guys want to win and guys believe in this team. The message is getting across, it's just obviously the execution has to get better.
Q: You said everybody's got their opinion on the coach. No one has worked closer with him throughout the years than you have. What is your thought on him and whether he should stay?
A: Coach, he's doing a great job. He gets us ready, we've just got to perform better. But it's not a lack of effort, guys are practicing hard, guys want to do well. Guys are into it, they're in tune, they're excited about the week and doing all the right things in the preparation. We've got to just keep doing the right things and take it into game day and do everything the way it needs to be done. Pay attention to all the little details and can't have those little mistakes that are costing us big plays.
Q: Do you feel that the best-case scenario is for you to finish your career as a Giant?
A: Yeah, best-case scenario, for sure. This is the only franchise I've been a part of and I think it's the best one. It's been… I don't want anything else but to be here, play here and win another championship here.
S Antrel Rolle
Q: What is the first thing you have to keep in mind when dealing with this triple threat of Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant?
A: More importantly, just understanding our assignment, our keys, and understanding they have a double-threat with running and throwing the ball. Tony Romo loves to extend the pocket and he is very athletic, he knows how to make guys miss, and he throws very well on the move. You have to stay disciplined, stay in your coverage and play until the whistle is blown.
Q: Did Tony Romo look like he was different in the Jacksonville Jaguars game with his back injury?
A: No, not at all. Tony Romo is a competitor, he is a tough guy. He went out there and he played a very good game against Jacksonville. We are looking forward to a great matchup. Anytime we play these guys, it is always going to be a four quarter battle.
Q: Jerry Jones said after they beat you he thought that was the best game he had ever seen Tony Romo play. Would you concur with that? What is it that he did so well that day?
A: He played a good game against us. He was very poised in his decision making; he was accurate for the most part of the game. A lot of it came on us not making plays when the opportunity presented itself. Some busted coverages, but Tony Romo always brings his 'A' game when he plays us. I agree, he had a good game against us.
Q: You try to block out a lot of the outside talk. When people are talking about your coach's job security, is it a little offensive considering everything he has accomplished? **
A: We don't really worry too much about the outside. We worry about how we can get better as a team, how we can move forward, how can we go out there and get a win at all costs.
Q: Is that something you are conscious of?
A: I want to win a game, period, I am a winner. I want to win the game. We've got to go out there and win a game. Try to give ourselves a shot at the postseason. Win a game for our pride level; win a game because that is what we are supposed to do, that is what we are here for, to win a game.
Q: Tom Coughlin said the most important thing right now is Wednesday mornings when he speaks to you guys, that you guys are hearing his message. Is that message still getting through?
A: Yeah, we all understand him; we all understand where he is coming from with his messages and so forth and so on. He is our guy, so we are going to go out there, we are going to play ball, try to get a win at all costs.
Q: Does it bother you when it comes to an ex-player's criticism to coach?
A: We are not worried about what anyone else says outside this locker room, to be honest with you. My focus is the game, that's it.
Q: When you look at that last Dallas game, you guys came within a turnover of winning that game. Does that make you fight a little harder?
A: Fight, regardless. In the situation we are in right now, we have to go out there and fight, try and get a win at all costs. Just go out there and play hard-nosed football. That is what this game is going to boil down to, who wants it the most, and who is going to go out there and be the one to go get it.
G Geoff Schwartz
Q: We are assuming you are on track. Is that the case?
A: Yeah, I felt good today. It was good to get back out there and work with the offense a little bit and get in game plan mode. Things went well from the perspective of my toe and I feel good.
Q: Do you feel you could go in a game at this point?
A: Yeah, I'll be fine. I have done this before. I have played sometimes sparingly and then had to play right away, like I did last year. You find ways to do it, and I'll be fine.
Q: You said you got most of the scout team snaps last week… Did you get any of the other team snaps this week? **
A: Yeah, I rotated in a little bit just trying to get used to playing with the guys again. Like I said, it felt good being back out there and doing our offense and re-entering that group.
Q: Did you play both tackle and guard?
A: I just moved around. I want to see where my best fit is for this week and moving forward.
Q: How soon do you think you will be comfortable knowing where it is you are going to be on Sunday… Is that important you know it earlier rather than later?
A: I have played enough now where I can hopefully play anywhere and be okay. I'm sure we will narrow it down as the week moves forward.
Q: Do you watch a lot of film?
A: Yeah, I have been treating every week like I normally do as far as mentally. I am not the most athletic guy in the world, so I have to know where people are going to be. Film is a big thing of mine.
Q: Left guard and right tackle would be two different [film studies]?
A: Yeah, both are different things, but I am prepared for either one. It is not a big deal.
Q: What do you look at when you see them?
A: They are a defense that plays extremely hard. They bought into their system, and they are getting the most out of their guys. Their defensive line, especially, they move a lot. They have linebackers that can run and make plays in the passing game. Just like we saw the first time around, we are going to get a lot of movement from them. They are going to bring it, and we are going to have to be ready for it.
Q: It is going to be your first taste of this big divisional rivalry… Does this excite you a little bit?
A: Oh yeah, definitely, playing Sunday Night Football, too, in front of the whole nation, we need to come out and play well. It is a rivalry game, so I am excited to join this rivalry.
Q: East coast rivalry?
A: Yeah, well, I grew up a Niners fans, so liking the Cowboys was never something I did. I am kind of used to that.