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Quotes (12/10): Manning, Kennard, Jennings

QB Eli Manning

Q: How is your back Eli Manning?
A: Feels great, no issues.

Q: What was it like today going back to work after a win? Did you sense that there was a different energy in practice?
A: Yeah, I think it is nice to come in here after a win. The first time the team has been back together. There is definitely a sense of relief getting that win, but we can't keep celebrating at this point. We've got to get ready for the Washington Redskins, we've got to get back to having great practices, getting prepared, and going out there and trying to get a another one.


Q: From a defensive standpoint, what do they do well? **
A: They do a good job getting to the quarterback. They get sacks, they don't give up many yards, it is tough to run the ball against them, they have a good scheme, some different blitzes, they are going to keep you on your toes. You have to have a great week of preparation, make sure everybody is on the same page, and hopefully we can block them up long enough to get some plays down the field.

Q: Did the offensive linemen offer you a wheelchair or anything?
A: No, all good, all good. They have been playing well, no sacks last week. Hopefully we can do that again.

Q: How did you get hurt?
A: I don't know if I really got hurt. I feel good, the coach wanted to take a few reps off, it wasn't many reps anyway, so it is not going to limit me in my practices for the week, or the game. Just kind of some of the procedures you have to go through now in the NFL.

Q: Back in the division, no matter where you are in the standings, does that always add a little extra to the game?
A: No doubt, no doubt. Anytime you play in the division, we've got the Washington [Redskins] at home. It is going to be a big game. We played them early in the year, we probably played them our best game that day, so I am sure they want a little revenge on that. We are going to expect their best and they will have some new wrinkles for us, and some new things, and we have to be prepared.

Q: We have seen Odell Beckham Jr. throw the ball, we've seen him running on the reverse, we've seen him obviously catch the ball, punt returns. What does he mean to this offense?
A: He is an explosive player; we are finding ways to get him the ball. He is also opening up some running lanes for our backs, opening up some other things for the receivers. Putting him in some spots, some to give him the ball, some to be a decoy to get the defense to get attracted to him and key him so we can hit some other guys. He has done a good job growing within the offense, understanding the concepts of the routes, not just what his route is, how we can move him around a little bit, get in some different spots. Defenses can't key on where he is going to be lined up.

Q: Thoughts on the owners today passing a new personal conduct policy. Just in general, what are your thoughts going forward about having a good policy in place, and how important is it for the league and for the players.
A: I am unaware of what happened today, I have been here practicing. I will have to read up on it, and let you know once I get informed on what occurred.

Q: Jay Gruden described his quarterback situation in Washington as a merry-go-round. He's got three guys, obviously. Do you have a sense of how difficult it must be for a young quarterback to go around and around? You start a couple of games, then you are out a couple games, it has to be difficult to grow and learn.
A: Yeah, I guess it can be difficult. I think sometimes it can be an eye opener. You might learn what you need to do, but that is just football. There is going to be stretches, you are going to have tough games, tough situations, and learning a new offense, and being a young player is not easy. You have to keep working, and that is all you can do.

Q: When you were a rookie many years ago, you were adamant that you wanted to play and that was the best way to learn, not sitting on the sideline. Do you still feel that is the best for a young quarterback?
A: Yeah, I think for a rookie quarterback coming in, I think you can learn so much being on the sidelines, I think it is helpful maybe at first. The thing for me to sit and watch, watch Kurt Warner, watch him prepare, watch him do things. I wanted to play that first season, it would've been tough if I didn't play at all my first year and got named the starter that second year and hadn't played a game. I think you learn a lot playing, you make a lot of mistakes, and you learn about those mistakes, and this is kind of half the battle.

Q: Your consecutive game streak. Is that a point of pride for you when you look around the league?
A: I think I want to be there for my teammates, I want to be there for the organization, we have a lot of guys who are banged up, and hurting, they are there practicing, they are there playing on Sundays, and I want to do the same for them always. You definitely want to be there for your teammates to show that you are committed and you are doing whatever you can to be out there on the field for them.

Q: You are not a big fan of the injury report, are you?
A: I never really looked at it. I don't know if I really deserve to be on an injury report. Kind of told me they had to list something. I said okay. You can't really control that.

Q: You would prefer to not be on the injury report, right?
A: If I were truly injured, then that would be fine. I don't really consider myself injured right now.

Q: You don't feel like you earned the right?
A: I didn't earn the right, I didn't earn the right.

Q: That is not something you really want to earn too often, is it?
A: No, try to avoid it.

Q: It looked like on the first down to pass to Odell Beckham Jr., the deep one, you kind of turned your back and took a shot.
A: No, it wasn't a hit, I feel good. It wasn't a play or anything; I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm not.

Q: Did they give you choice of which body part you wanted to say was hurt?
A: What did they go with? Back?

RE: Back
A: Back, generic enough. That's good. That works.

Q: Is that always a hard thing, especially as a quarterback, you have a target on your back already? If you list somewhere the other team knows, now they are aware of it?
A: Yeah, obviously you don't want to give them an area to attack. I don't think they really look at that, I think they see a free shot at the quarterback, those guys' eyes light up anyway. You don't need to give them an extra incentive

RE: practice snaps
A: Took most of the reps. Ryan Nassib got a few reps, but that is not totally uncommon anyway, Kind of looked at it, looked at plays I definitely wanted. Some new stuff, some things that were in the signals, possible checks, a few runs here or there, a few passes we've thrown a thousand times, but let Ryan Nassib get a few reps.

Q: Do you feel like this might change the threshold for taking you out of the game late in terms of a certain number of points and they might pull you out?
A: No, I don't think it will affect anything, I don't think it will make any difference.

Q: You mentioned how the first Washington game is maybe your team's best this season. Have you looked at that tape?
A: I haven't looked at it yet. I will watch it this week, just trying to see few plays from it, but not as a whole. I think we protected well offensively. The defense got 5-6 turnovers, had a short field to work with, that always helps the offense. We were effective in the red zone. We just had great opportunities and took advantage of it. Hopefully we can see what we did well. Go make some adjustments, we will make some adjustments, and we protected the ball, and got the ball out pretty quickly.

Q: You remember all that without having watched the tape again?
A: Yeah, threw the ball accurately, got a lot of completions. A lot of completions on first and second down, didn't have many third downs. I just kind of remember being well-protected and getting protected, good protection, and the ball coming out quickly.

Q: Do you think when you do watch you will sort of say, why weren't we able to sustain that in other games?
A: It is just football. Every game is its own game. There is a reason why you are successful, or not successful, in each one. You can't just say, "We will just run those same plays we did in Washington and we will be successful again." It is all timing, and again the defense getting turnovers and getting great field position, all of those things are factors in the game.

RB Rashad Jennings

Q: First, just about this vote that was basically passed today. The reps and the actual players weren't involved in this decision-making. What's your feeling on how it was handled and the fact that you guys weren't really involved in the decision-making process?
A: As a newly selected player rep amongst my peers, I actually haven't had the papers in my hand. I just got out of practice, so I thoroughly… for me to give an answer will be improper because I haven't looked through and done my due diligence yet. so when I take a look at it I could give you a little bit more of an opinion.

Q: As a player rep, were you disappointed that you weren't involved in the decision-making process?
A: You always want to be involved, but again, I have not seen enough to really give my opinion either way.

Q: What was it like at practice today with the idea of coming off a win instead of a loss? Do you sense something here that's a little different, better energy?
A: Definitely, the energy's up, but the energy's up because we've got a home game playing against a rival. It counts twice. They come in here wanting to prove a point, we are, too. It's another chance to go out and get a good taste in our mouth. Putting the best foot forward, finishing the season the right way.

Q: Is running the table something that's really important?
A: Right now what's important is getting this tape, studying it and let the game take care of itself. If we keep focusing on taking care of day-to-day checkpoints, we'll supersede our goals.

Q: Playing a complete game like that, offense, defense and special teams, that must have felt good that you guys put a complete game together on tape.
A: Yeah. We left some stuff out there when you put on the film, but collectively, offense, defense and special teams played well enough to get the victory. It's a testament to how hard everybody's working in this locker room and what we're capable of doing when we put it together.

Q: When you guys run the ball as well as you did and when you guys throw the ball as well as you did, is that contagious? Does the passing game feed the running game and the running game feed the passing game?
A: Yeah, it works, the synchronicity in between. You get the run game going, it helps out the pass game. You get the pass game going, it helps out the run game. Defense shutting them down linked in by special teams, so every piece of the puzzle matters to the play call and how you went into the game. It's a team victory.

Q: Good to see your understudy, Andre Williams, break out?
A: Man, I'm so excited. You have no idea. Before the game I was telling him, 'This is a good opportunity, it's going to be a breakout game.' It's good to see him get that confidence, not necessarily to prove it to us, but to prove it to himself. Obviously I'm going to be on him. He's still on himself. He's still got a lot, a lot, a lot of room to improve and grow but it's good to see my little brother kind of get a taste of his first 100-yard game.

Q: How much does Beckham open up the field for you guys?
A: You see it just like I see it. He's fast, explosive, he plays physical and he understands all the tree routes. He's hard to guard. He's a good player and he's going to continue to develop. You've got to respect him, where he's at on the field, because he's the type of guy that can carry it the distance. He demands respect.

Q: Going back to Andre Williams, what do you notice to be the biggest improvement he's made from since he got here until now?
A: Slowing down. He's starting to slow the game down a bit. Finishing his runs like he's always done. I was happy to see him catch the ball out of the backfield a little bit more, so all around he's just growing and becoming a complete back. That's something that he expects for himself, we expect as an organization from him. It's the kind of back that he can be and he will be in the future. I'm happy to have him as an understudy.

LB Devon Kennard

Q: I think you're the first Giants rookie to win this award. Does that make it that much more special?
A: There have been some incredible linebackers to play for this organization so something like that, it was definitely special but I know that I have a long ways to go and a lot of things that I want to improve and continue to develop in my game. I'm just taking it one day at a time and am grateful for that accomplishment.

Q: Do you look at that as a great game?
A: I think I played a good game but there are always things. I'm very critical of myself and there are always things that I could have done better or things that could have gone even better. There is definitely still much room for improvement in my game.


Q: The league said it was the best defensive performance of the week. Not just rookies or anything, the best. It's got to be pretty darn good, I would think. **
A: Yeah.

Q: Two sacks, I'm sure, were the ones that stood out, a forced fumble, too. Do you like blitzing more? Do you like hitting quarterbacks? You knocked one out of the game, you knocked one out of the season.
A: Yeah. I didn't intend on doing that. I feel sorry for him. I like trying to make plays for my team, whether that's blitzing, which has been lately, or whether that's in coverage or whether that's just stopping the run. I want to help my team win any way I can and do whatever the coaches are asking me to the best of my ability. That's what I'm going out and trying to do every Sunday.

Q: What else do you feel that you can improve on? You said that you're very critical and you feel like there are other areas that you can get better in. Like what?
A: Just everything – route recognition, understanding formations, just allowing myself to play faster and faster. That's all going to come with the more reps I get, the more comfortable I'm getting. I just want to continue to get better. I'm not in any way, shape or form satisfied.

Q: Do you feel like these last couple of games have given you an opportunity to build up your confidence to where you're ready for that next level?
A: Most definitely. Like I said, I want to just continue to take steps on improving and being the best player I can be and finishing this year strong.

Q: You've played outside, it seems like, more recently. You haven't moved around quite as much. Has that helped you gain a comfort level of it faster?
A: I've still been moving around, there have just been certain situations where they're pressuring me but I've still been doing some different things. It's definitely just coming together when I am blitzing and I have been able to be in good situations.

Q: How much did the pass rush stuff you did at USC for a couple years help you prepare to do that stuff here?
A: You know, that definitely prepared me. Especially my last year, I rushed the passer a lot. It's something I'm comfortable with and I'm starting to get in a rhythm when they do blitz me.

Q: Did you have to show something, prove something to them to start letting you blitz?
A: I'm not sure. That's something to ask the coaches. For me, it's whatever they ask of me, whether it's blitzing, whether it's in coverage, whether it's stopping the run. Whatever they ask me, I want to try to excel at. I want to be a peak performer every time I step on the field. I don't want to be seen as just a blitzing linebacker. I want to be able to do whatever they need and ask of me every week.

Q: The Jacksonville game was the first game they really started sending you. Did you know that was going to happen in the game plan?
A: It wasn't any more or less than other games. Every game we have a couple blitzes where we blitz and do different things. I thought that game plan was really good. I was able to make some plays.

LB Jameel McClain

Q: I want to ask you about [Devon] Kennard… He had mentioned that you have been taking him under your wing… Can you talk about the development you have seen from him?
A: Kennard is a phenomenal kid. Kennard is focusing on his game and he focuses on details. For him to be so young and be such a professional, it is amazing. Kennard and I are talking. It really is a linebacker thing. We all are paying attention to everything and trying to get everybody right. That is what Kennard is all about, is improving. You see the transition of Kennard.

Q: Does he remind you of anybody in particular?
A: To be honest, he reminds me of myself.

Q: How so?
A: When I was his age, I played multiple positions or it is how my career has been. Being able to come in and hit the ground rolling right away, that is something that I was used to. He is very smart, and you know I am pretty smart.


Q: Is there any extra zip around here coming off a win? **
A: I don't know about extra zip. It is always good to come in and work when we get a win. That is always a great thing to do. You get that feeling in meetings. Every day you get a zip around here, regardless of whether we win or lose, because guys want to come back and prove something. It is always better to look at film when you win.

Q: They are ranked 10th in the NFL in terms of offense and you may face two to three quarterbacks… How do you prepare for that?
A: You just prepare for everything. If you know you can't directly look at one thing, then you have to prepare for all of the quarterbacks. All of them do some things well. That is what we have to prepare for. The best part is that these are two teams that understand each other. There is not going to be any tricking going on in this game.

Q: Going back to playing multiple positions… Is that difficult for a linebacker coming out of college?
A: It is difficult for anybody to play multiple positions. To put that on a rookie shows the trust that the coaches have in the rookie and his professionalism. It is definitely not something that is easy for anybody to do. For a rookie, like I have said before, it is pretty impressive.

Q: Does [Kennard] ask a lot of questions of you guys or does he take it all in?
A: I would say it is kind of a mixture. He is more of an absorbent type of guy. When he asks a question, it is most of the time the right question, sometimes it is not, but most of the time it is the right question.

Q: Is trying to win out important to you?
A: Absolutely. It is important to me to win in general. I want to win and I want to put on a good performance and the team wants to put on a good performance. Winning out, that is the case of it, we deserve it. The players deserve it for their hard work. The coaches deserve it for their game plans. Winning out is definitely a goal.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Q: What was it like to get out there and practice off a win for the first time in nine weeks… Could you sense a difference?
A: Yeah, we won. It was a great feeling to win and break the losing streak. We did what we had to do to win the game. It all came together.

Q: Did you feel a little energy today or a better feel in the locker room?
A: We are taking the same approach we took last week. We are going to go out there and do our jobs and execute our plays and get things done. We are trying to win out on these last three games.

Q: What impresses you about the Redskins offense?
A: I haven't looked at the tape yet. I am going to do a lot of studying on them and see what we got.

Q: You have seen [Redskins RB] Alfred Morris before and know what kind of running back he is… Can you talk about dealing with him?
A: He is a great runner. He is the type of runner where when you hit him, and I have hit him a couple times and he didn't stop. He kept going. You have to hit him and you need multiple guys on him to stop him. That just comes with the territory. He is a great running back and you have to give him his props. We know what we are dealing with.


Q: They are ranked 10th in the NFL in total offense… They have some talent on that side of the ball, don't they? **
A: Yeah, they do. On the offensive side. I don't know about the defense or whatever. They have some talent. I don't care what the Internet says or the media says. They have some talent over there. We have to respect that.

Q: What is the mindset for the next three ball games?
A: Finish strong, finish healthy and finish the season. That is basically it. Win these last three games.

Q: You guys have gotten 15 sacks the past two games. What has been the biggest difference in terms of that?
A: I think it starts in our defensive line room. [Defensive Line] Coach [Robert] Nunn does a very good job of explaining things to us. Communication has been better with us. We have guys out, so we know we have to communicate way better than we were before. Coach Nunn does a great job with that. We stay in and study more. We take extra time and come in during the morning to study. That is basically it. We have a lot of young guys playing, but they are doing their jobs and playing great. Damontré [Moore] is doing a great job. Kerry Wynn is doing a great job and you have Cullen [Jenkins] playing in there, too. We know what it takes to get to the quarterback, we just have to do a great job communicating.

Q: Do you think this locker room has held together even through some difficult times and if so, why?
A: It is football. You don't know whether you are going to win or lose. You just go out there and play the game. We have been through times this season and last. We fight through it and the better thing to do it now is to come out and win these last three games. Through it all, we know what it takes to win. Sometimes it just doesn't fall like that. We have had a losing season, but we broke the losing streak and we are just trying to win these last three games and finish the game healthy.

Q: It is hard to prepare for Washington when you don't know who is going to be playing quarterback?
A: No, not at all. You go into to the game and you prepare for whatever quarterback. Whoever is on that roster is who you are preparing for. First, second or third string, we prepare for.

Q: A couple years ago [Redskins QB] Robert Griffin III used to be a headache for you guys… Is he the same player now?
A: I don't know, I have to watch him.

Q: As we get closer to the end of the year, how much do you start thinking about your future beyond this season?
A: I don't think about it at all. I think everything is going to fall into place for itself. That is just what it is. I am playing great. We will see what happens.

Q: Is it hard to avoid thinking about it?
A: No. All I am thinking about is going through the off-season and getting better. Finding out my mistakes this year and watching what I can correct. How fast can I get to the quarterback? How can I play the run better? Just going to look at my film work and see what I can do better next year. That is my main goal. I am not worried about my contract.

Q: Do you have a preference to stay here if you can?
A: Yeah, if I can stay here, I would love to be a Giant for life. Who knows how it is going to fall out. I don't know what the future has. Whatever I can do now to control my own destiny is going out and finishing these games and being healthy. That is what I can control.

Q: Does any part of you look forward to it… It might be fun…?
A: Who knows? I don't know what is going to happen. I don't worry about it. I will let it sort itself out. I will let my agent handle that with the Giants when it comes time to talk.

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