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Quotes (11/6): Manning, Cruz, JPP


QB Eli Manning**

Q: How do you approach things coming off the bye week?
A: We've got a big game this week versus an Oakland team that we've got to do a lot of film study on. It's a team we haven't played in a long time. We're getting familiar with their personnel. They've played very good defense for six of the games. Obviously last week was a little tough, but besides that, not many teams have scored over 20 points on them. We've just got to take it one game at a time and see if we can continue this win streak.

Q: Did Coach Coughlin talk to you guys about the bullying incident in Miami and how did he react to it?
A: Yeah. He's talked about it a little bit to the guys. We don't have an issue with that in this locker room. I think everybody on this team is trying to get the best out of each player and to come in here and be a team and just support each other and help each other so we can go out there and win football games. I don't know all the details of everything going on down in Miami, but it doesn't sound like a very good thing and you just can't have it in these locker rooms.

Q: What's the concern with not having Victor Cruz practicing today?
A: I don't know what the status is or what his condition is and when he'll be back, but we're just going about our business and we have receivers who can come in and play well and whoever is out there, we'll have great confidence they can get open and we can win those individual battles.

Q: Their defense has a high completion percentage against them. Why is that?
A: It's tough to say. They don't give up many big plays and so they do a good job of keeping things underneath and making tackles and kind of make you have long drives and be patient. A lot of times that gives you completions, but those completions aren't always leading to first downs, so you kind of have to get two or three completions to get first downs. They do a good job of mixing up different coverages and getting pressure on the quarterback and doing a number of different looks.

Q: Do you worry about this bullying issue from a broader NFL perspective? Is this maybe a culture thing?
A: I hope not. I think obviously this is one case and I think it might just be that one case. It's unfortunate. It's not good for the image of the NFL and as football players, but I think for the most part there might be some fun loving with the rookies but you keep it fun. You keep it in kind of a laughing manner. There is a line and we try not to cross that line and I think we've done a great job in this organization of respecting all the guys who are on this team in understanding that we are together and if we're going to have success, it's about everybody being on the same page, having great respect for each other and trying to come together as a team to go out there and win games.

Q: You have three games at home during November. Do you think you can get back in the race here?
A: Yeah. We've got to take that to our advantage, having three home games in the second half of the season right in a row and obviously it starts this week with Oakland. We're going to have a great preparation this week and hopefully we can go out there and get our home crowd into the game quickly and play well.

Q: Have you seen things over your career that has disturbed you in relation to the bullying issue in Miami?
A: No. I haven't seen anything over the years that disturbed me. I think we have a great group of guys in this locker room who are trying to get the best out of each other. There's always some rookie pranks and stuff, but it is a prank. It's putting their clothes out of their hotel room or changing their phone into a different language and things you laugh about. It's not attacking a man personally or crossing those bounds. I think we've done a good job of understanding it is team. We've got to be a team together. You may not like every single person on the team, but you've got to respect them and respect what they're doing and come together and have a great chemistry amongst your teammates.

Q: Is the only way you can have chemistry by sticking together and not having all that other stuff?
A: Yeah. If you have conflicts amongst teammates and personal problems, yeah, it can definitely cause some concerns. It's gotten so bad in Miami it sounds like it's taking it to a whole new level with guys leaving the team. The other guy has now been relieved from the team. Obviously that's the extreme. I've never seen anything like that. I've never seen anything that I thought would bring that upon this organization. I don't know all the facts of what happened down there, but I haven't seen anything like that here.

Q: Did Tom bring it up to you guys today?
A: Yeah. He brought it up just really with the captains and wanted to talk to us first and then I think he will talk about it… He said he'd talk to the whole team tomorrow about it.

Q: You guys didn't score a touchdown against Philadelphia. Do you see signs that the offense might be ready to turn things around this week?
A: Yeah. I think we've done a better job offensively of having good drives and converting on third downs and not having the negative plays that were hurting us early in the season. We've been better at having third and manageable situations, so we're converting more third downs therefore having more plays and getting into a better rhythm. We've got to do a little bit better down in the green zone. I think we are close on a number of plays, just have a few things where we're just inches away from having touchdowns instead of incompletions on some things. But I feel good that we're making progress. We are getting better and we're going to continue to improve.

Q: Does it feel good to have Andre Brown back?
A: Yeah. It's a great tribute to Andre with the way he's worked to come back from these injuries. I know it's been frustrating for him, but he's done a great job of just staying positive and obviously the team has supported him and we have his back and hopefully he can come back and help us out.

WR Victor Cruz

Q: How much concern is there with them holding you out of practice today?
A: No concern, just some precautionary stuff. The training staff wanted me to take this one off and take another day to heal and get better and just feel better about myself. That's all it was.

Q: How much work do you think you really do need?
A: I always need work. I love practice. I'm the type of guy that loves to practice, loves to be out there with the guys so I definitely need all the work. Thursday I'll be out there getting some more work, getting some reps in, some third down stuff so we'll see.

Q: You were on the field Monday? Did it catch you off guard when they told you not to practice today?
A: Not really. I kind of go in there every day and just tell them how I'm feeling and they did some tests and they decided to just, for precautionary reasons, just sit me out this one to kind of get a day to rebuild and feel really good come Thursday and Friday and take it into the weekend from there.

Q: Was this something of a setback?
A: No, not at all. No setbacks for me. I think it was just something that they just wanted to have me take a day and take a step back and see how it feels and just go forward from there. That's all it was.

Q: Is there any concern whatsoever about Sunday?
A: No. No concern.

Q: Are you experiencing any pain or discomfort at all?
A: No pain, very little discomfort. In the morning it's a little stiff but other than that it's no pain.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Q: Do you see how something could get out of line between players?
A: Oh yeah. I think what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room. When it reaches a certain point, you just don't do it. You just keep it between the players, and that's basically it.

Q: What did you learn from last year's incident?
A: I learned I can't be the guy that's hazing. No, but honestly, I think when it comes to hazing, you just can't take it to a certain extreme. Don't do something that you don't want done to you. I'm pretty good at that. When it comes to me, if I wouldn't want them to do it to me, I wouldn't do it to them. Our rookies, we didn't do anything this year. We just let them get our stuff or whatever, that was basically it. If you don't want something done to you, don't do it to the next person.

Q: What do you see when you look at the Raiders?
A: I think we just have to get a win. Terrelle Pryor is a great quarterback, we just have to go out there and do what we do best, stop this run. My big boy Shaun Rogers is going to stop that run with me and we're going to get it cracking. We need this win. We have to help ourselves, we got ourselves in this hole.

Q: When you look at it you have three games at home.
A: We have three games at home, I think that's pretty good for us. We do play well at home and on the road and we've been doing a good job lately. I feel like it's going to be a good game. And I feel great. I feel real great. I had a great practice today.

Q: Did the bye week help?
A: Oh yeah. I feel great. I feel awesome.

Q: The best you've felt all year?
A: Yeah. Honestly, when it comes down to me I feel good. I went out there and had a great practice. I'm starting to build that confidence back in myself.

Q: Do you feel as close to 100 percent as you have?
A: Honestly, I feel good. It's been eight games and I would say I feel about 90 percent now. For those eight games I've been playing how my back is going to take this, how it's going to feel. I got to a point where I can't think about that. I've got to go out and play the game. I can't think about getting hurt. I didn't get hurt by thinking. I have to go out and play this game like I know I can. I've been studying myself for the past couple of games and I've been doing pretty well. I went out there today and I'm turning the edge pretty good now so I feel good. I feel good about myself. We'll see how I do Sunday.

Q: You said a couple weeks ago that we might not see Superman at all this year. Might we see a little bit of him this weekend?
A: I'm getting better and better. I went out there today and didn't think too much. I was bending the corner, I'm about to go in there and see what the coaches have to say. I was all over the field today so I'm pretty good.

RB Andre Brown

RE: Any indication from the coaches that you will be on the field on Sunday
A: You guys know better than I would. I'm just going out there and I'm practicing right now. I look forward to hearing before Sunday.

Q: Are you going to have to wear something?
A: Yeah, I've got a shin guard. Or a fibula guard, tibia guard, I forgot which bone I broke. Yeah, they built a little carbon fiber plate for me. They said I would probably be wearing that for the rest of my career. It is what it is.

Q: Does it bother you at all?
A: No, I don't even feel it on my leg. It's basically part of my leg. That's it.

Q: How excited are you to know that you can play in a game again?
A: It's going to be fun. I just can't wait. I haven't been getting too much sleep because it's like Christmas. I'm just really looking forward to going back out there and playing.

Q: How challenging is it having not played at all? Is there a rust factor?
A: We're going to get over that quick because we have to. We're professionals and we have to go out there and play ball. I'm pretty sure pass protection, guys rushing at me and I have to pick up the blitz and whatnot is going to be hard, but I know I'm going to be able to pick it up. I'm going to be able to go out there and do my job and I'm looking forward to it.

Q: How much do you feel you can contribute?
A: A lot. I feel like whatever they put me in I'm going to go out there and give it my best shot and make sure I make a play.

TE Brandon Myers

Q: Was the parting amicable in terms of you not re-signing with the Raiders?
A: Yeah. I guess so. I found a place here that's a great organization and coaches. The guys in the locker room are great and I'm happy to be here.

Q: After 79 receptions you would think they would want to keep you.
A: I understand. I'm just excited to be here. It is what it is. Both sides, we agreed on it.

Q: They agreed not to sign you.
A: Yeah. That's fine with me.

Q: Does that motivate you? Do you take it personally?
A: I think anybody would take it personally, but I'm happy with where I'm at. I'm fine with it.

Q: Did they make you an offer at all?
A: No, not at all.

Q: How much experience did you have with Terrelle Pryor?
A: He came in and started the last game of last season. That was all the playing time that he got. He didn't get much.

Q: What kind of an athlete is he?
A: He's a phenomenal athlete. You guys have seen him in the game. He takes off and he's electrifying. He's a very good athlete.

Q: Are you surprised by how much he's improved as a passer?
A: I remember him saying one time that he's never really been taught how to pass. He kind of just relied on his athletic ability. Then he came in late in camp. He was in the supplemental draft, so he kind of got thrown in there. That's one thing he is working on. He's got all the tools, that's for sure.

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