QB Eli Manning
Q: What do you think of St. Louis's front seven?
A: They are talented. They have a good defense. It is not just their front seven. Their defensive backs are playing well and are aggressive. They have done a great job of getting to the quarterback lately. Stopping the run. They'll get complex and show you a lot of different looks, so you have a lot of preparation to do. It is a team we are not really familiar with. We haven't played them in a long time, so I have to get really familiar with their personnel and their schemes and we have to have a great plan.
Q: Odell [Beckham Jr.] has a chance to break the rookie record for most receptions… Are you surprised he has been able to accomplish this in so few games?
A: He has been playing at a high level these last few weeks, so hopefully he can continue to make plays for us and our offense can score points and move the ball. We are not going to try and force records for him, but if we have good matchups, then we will keep getting him the ball.
Q: They have the two disruptive forces in that front line between [Robert] Quinn and [Aaron] Donald… As a quarterback, when you go up to the line, you know you have to worry about those two guys up front. How much of a problem is that? **
A: Everybody is going to have guys that are good players, and I'll let the offensive line worry about those guys and getting them blocked up. I am going to worry about my reads and what the defensive backs are doing and try to get completions, but understand it is not a game where [I will] be able to hold it for too long back there.
Q: Do they do anything funny with those guys in terms of twisting them or moving them around?
A: No, they will move them around a little bit, especially on third down, they will move some guys around and try to get some one-on-one matchups. For the most part, you know where they are going to be and they are good players. They don't need a whole lot of help.
Q: How nice would it be to win three in a row?
A: Two in a row has been good. Going into a talented team, they have beaten some really good teams. They have beaten the Broncos. They have beaten Seattle. They've played teams tough. They are a talented team and their defense has been playing really strong lately. We have a challenge ahead of us and we are going to have to play good football if we expect to win.
Q: What did Peyton [Manning] tell you about them?
A: I haven't talked to him much about them. We didn't get into details. He didn't really offer up too much.
Q: The last few weeks, they haven't given up a touchdown… That is pretty stout in this league especially?
A: They are playing well. They are a talented defense. They have good players. They have a good scheme. Guys are playing fast. They are aggressive, so we have to make sure we know what we are doing, sound on all of our calls, guys are doing the right things, because they will show some different looks that you don't see every day. We have to make sure that everybody is accounted for and do a good job of getting the ball out on time and hopefully run the ball.
Q: Do you think Odell should win Rookie of the Year?
A: I haven't seen all the other performances, so I am probably not qualified to give that answer. He has played very strong and played well for us. He definitely should be in contention, I would think.
Q: The numbers [Beckham] has put up after missing four games and all the time before that, I would imagine it is surprising to you?
A: Yeah, he has played at a high level. He has gotten stronger every game and playing his best football as of late. He has done a good job learning the offense and picking things up quickly and being committed and going out there and producing on Sundays.
Q: You and [Coach Coughlin] both mentioned how great [Beckham] is playing, but he has to keep his head on straight and can't get too big of a head… As a veteran, how do you make sure you keep him grounded?
A: You keep challenging him with things he can improve on. Keep making sure you move him in different spots on different routes and understand that there is room to improve on. There is definitely room to get better and improve on and we can do that.
Q: Have you seen any sign of a big head from him?
A: No, I think he has done a good job. He practices hard. He does a lot of things correctly and hopefully he can keep doing that.
Q: He is also allowed to enjoy this as well?
A: Yes, you need to enjoy when you are playing well and winning games. That is fine. You should enjoy it. He definitely has an energy that he brings to practice and those things are all good. He has done everything the right way.
Q: He also was making plays when you were not winning and he was not enjoying it…
A: He is passionate about winning and doing what is right for the team and that is what you would like to see.
Q: We have asked you about this offense a lot… With the uncertainty surrounding the coaching staff, would you ever express that opinion to management and go to them and say, 'I want to stay in this offense and I want things to stay the same?'
A: We will figure that out. Right now my focus is on the Rams and finishing the season strong and keep learning this offense and getting better and growing in it. There is still definitely room for improvement on my behalf. I am going to keep working on that and after the season, we will figure out what is going to happen.
Q: How close to a finished product do you think this offense is?
A: There is definitely room for improvement. I still make some mistakes. There are calls I wish I would have made or could have made that would have been better. Or different checks. There is definitely room for improvement for me and getting better with some of my footwork and my mechanics of the offense.
Q: I don't want to misinterpret what you say… You didn't say you wouldn't [express your opinion to management]… Is that something you are not thinking about right now?
A: Yes, I have not thought about it right now. I am just worried about the Rams right now.
Q: Happy to be off the injury report this week?
A: Am I not on it? That's good. I'm off the injury report? That is good to know. I am glad I am healthy.
Safety Antrel Rolle
RE: On playing better on defense
A: Yeah, we are playing better. Speaking of defensem we are playing better. Last week, our first half, we missed a couple of things. We came out a little flat-footed at times. We had to grasp ourselves in the second half and that is exactly what we did and came out and played a phenomenal second half.
Q: You have had great things to say about Odell Beckham Jr. all season long. Do you think he should be the rookie of the year?
A: There is no doubt about it, no doubt about it. There have been some rookies out there obviously making some splash. Mike Evans, a couple other names, but what Odell Beckham Jr. has done in the short period of time that he has been out there because he battled from injuries at the beginning of the year. The sky is the limit for this guy man. I think what he has done for this team and just for the league itself has been phenomenal. I am not just saying that just because he is my teammate, I am saying it because outside looking in, I am sure everyone else sees it the same way. Absolutely, there is no doubt about it. Rookie of the year, Pro Bowl, you name it, I definitely put him up there right now with the elite receivers in this league. He is a threat.
Q: Did you really think that was a possibility? Week 6 or Week 7 when he was just coming back, that this kind of breakout success was really possible?
A: You never discredit anything; you never know what is possible. Outside looking in, if you would have taken any other guy and say he will come back whatever week he came back and do what he's done in such a short period of time, I don't think no one would've said he would make that splash that he did. I am happy that he did, he is a teammate, he is a phenomenal player and his future is only going to get better. The more time goes on and the game goes on more, he is going to draw a lot more attention to himself on the field. They are going to try to find ways to double him. Knowing our guys and our offensive scheme and the mentality that they have, they will find a way to get him the ball. They double him, then we have other weapons that can also contribute and make a lot of plays also.
Q: Do other receivers on other teams ever comment to you on how good Odell Beckham Jr. is? **
A: Yeah, I hear it all the time. They just say, "wow." I tell people it is not a fluke; he is as advertised. It is not something that he just goes out and he goes out and just happens to have this good game. He is a baller.
Q: When you see the St. Louis Rams on tape, what do you see?
A: I see a very (physical) team. This is a team you are going to have to fight four quarters, four and a half, five quarters, as along as it takes. They don't give up. I think they have a very good defense. They are very schematic in what they do and they are going to come at you. I feel like it is definitely going to be a defensive battle game. We are going to try to make sure we get our offense as many opportunities as they need to put points on the board, and defense, we just have to go out there and do what we do, and make sure we play smart, efficient, and make plays when the opportunity presents itself.
Q: Sometimes teams like to reflect their head coach. Is that a Jeff Fisher type team?
A: I would say so. When he was in Tennessee, they were pretty much the same way. I think what they have, they are building something over there. What they have going on, it's a team that, when you guys were watching the game last week with Arizona, Larry Fitzgerald said this is a team that is the most physical team he has played in their division. They have Seattle in their division, they have San Francisco. I think that states a lot about what type of team the Rams are.
Q: A lot has been made about if Tom Coughlin is coming back or not, that's management's decision. Last week I heard people question if you are having your best season and whether or not you should be back. Have you heard that and what is your reaction to it?
A: I don't really have a reaction to that. The way I look at it is, outside looking in, you are never really going to understand a defensive scheme or where a person is supposed to be or what they are actually supposed to be doing. The only people that are really going to understand that is myself, the coaches, the organization. Outside looking in, I don't know how people are going to say what, or view what, but it has never really been my concern. Is this my best season? No, it is not my best season. Am I playing ball? Yes, I am definitely playing ball. I am not giving up touchdowns; I am not giving up huge plays. I am playing the way I am supposed to be playing. I am playing multiple roles. I just got out there and do what I can do. I don't really worry too much about what spectators say. They may have over the roof expectations for myself, as well as I do, but at the same time, I go out there and play ball. If I have an assignment, I get it done. That is pretty much it.
Q: When you have a big year with the interceptions like last year, it's almost like they expect the same number this year?
A: You always expect that. I let two interceptions get away from me this year, but a lot of times, if you have a crystal ball, you would say, "man, I wish I would have had this, I wish I could've did this, I wish I could've done that," but this is the name of the game. Sometimes you have to live with what you put out there on the field, take what they give you. Like I said, as far as my play, last year I would say was my better year being here with the Giants, this year has been a good year for me. I don't really worry too much about what outsiders say.
Q: Do you worry that an outside coach evaluating you as a free agent doesn't necessarily know that you are not supposed to be in the position you're in?
A: I think when coaches break down film, or scouts break down film, I think they have a better view of what is he doing, why did he drop his route. As opposed to last game, people say, "well, he took a bad angle." What coverage was I in? I would give someone $100 if they tell me what coverage I was in, or what responsibilities was I supposed to have. I am the kind of guy, I'll take it, it is what it is. If you asked me what I do on that play, I did exactly what I am supposed to do. I will just leave it at that.
RB Rashad Jennings
Q: The running game hasn't been quite what it's been. How do you get back to establishing the run?
A: You've got to knock somebody out and run with attitude. That's it. It's football. It's no secret. Everybody knows the most physical team will win up front and in the trenches. We've just got to play our game, everybody. Get in all our calls and make sure we're on the right point and the running backs…we've just got to make more plays. When the game is going well, it's a testament to the quarterback getting us in the right play. The offensive line is blocking well. The receivers and tight ends are making blocks. And if it's not, it's because the running backs are not making enough plays. First thing, we've got to look in our room.
Q: When you see a defense that hasn't allowed an offensive touchdown in 12 quarters, are you asking for a chance to break that streak?
A: It's exciting. Competition always brings the best out of everybody. It's kind of steak sitting in front of us for the offense. Of course, you always want to go against the best. They're one of the top defenses in the league, so it's going to be a great challenge for the offense and I know we're excited for it.
Q: What do you see in their defense that makes them so good?
A: They fly around. They're physical. They're finishing every play. They're scrappy and you can see a little bit of attitude and swag with them. That's the makeup of a good defense and they're sound. They very rarely have blown coverages, so they make themselves tough to beat.
Q: Does the offense need to bring attitude and swag now?
A: Yeah, every single week. Football, I was told, is really not a contact sport; it's a collision sport. Obviously, to move the ball against a good defense, we're going to have to bring two chin straps.
Q: Do you think Odell Beckham Jr. should end up winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award this year? **
A: It's hard to say because obviously I'm not looking at every single rookie across the board, but I'm sure he's going to be up there, deservedly so. He's a guy that works hard when nobody is really watching. He's going to become a pro pretty quick. Obviously, the phenomenal catch and the way he catches the ball and finishes – I'm excited to see him grow and finish the season strong.
Q: Did you tweak yourself on the first carry the other day?
A: Yeah. It's frustrating, obviously. That's what it was.
Q: How do you feel now?
A: You know me. I feel great.
Q: Do you feel like you're back to square one with the sprain?
A: I'm not going with that approach. We've got two more games and I'm putting myself in position to finish strong in both of them and that's kind of my attitude.
P Steve Weatherford
Q: Tom Coughlin said the team will always have a trick play involving the punter.
A: It's always in your pocket, but it's deep, deep down in your pocket.
Q: Would you have to look up and see nobody on the field?
A: No. Honestly, we keep it oiled up. We definitely have all types of fakes up, not only punt… I think if you don't, you're not prepared for the game.
Q: But there is a way to have it oiled up, and really oiled up.
A: We're really oiled up. We do all fakes on all different facets of special teams and all trick plays on offense every week. So when the time comes and we need to execute it, we feel confident in making that call, but we just really haven't been in a situation where we've really been able to use it because depending on where you're at in the game, if you're down 17 points – they're expecting it. So you're kind of better off keeping a quarterback that's making 20 million dollars a year out there going on fourth down than you are having your punter run or something like that.
Q: So Coughlin hasn't had the right time to call a trick play with a punter in 19 years?
A: I'm not saying that. I'm just saying this year. But like I said, why are you going to put a fourth down play in the hands of a kicker, punter or a personal protector on punt when you've got Eli Manning. It's not something that we need to do. If it's fourth and six, you let Eli do his thing.
Q: There was a point in the second half where Josh Brown made a tackle and got up a little slow. What's going on in your mind when that happens?
A: A lot of things, because I'm thinking I've got to kick off and I've got to kick field goals and I don't feel super confident in planting on this ankle just yet. It's tough enough to plant on punts, but when you come in for kickoffs and field goals, you're putting a whole lot more energy and weight on that ankle. So I'm very thankful he's as tough as he is because I wasn't feeling real good about it.
Q: No Giant has ever won the Man of the Year award.
A: Really? I think that legacy will probably continue. They don't usually give it to punters, but I am honored to be on it though.
Q: It's not about playing, it's about off the field contributions.
A: Absolutely. Believe me, I am incredibly honored to even to be nominated and there are a lot of guys in the National Football League, regardless of their position, who are worthy of winning the award. Just to be one of the top 32 guys, being viewed as most philanthropic in giving to the community… that's good enough f