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SBXLVI Media Day: WR Mario Manningham


(on who has been the driving force in the locker room throughout the season) "Eli (Manning). The couple games we lost, we should have played better, obviously. But that's our leader on offense and as a team, too. He just keeps getting better. You can't lose faith, you can't lose faith. You've got to keep your eye on the prize."

(on embracing the underdog mentality) "We knew we played hard the first time we played (against New England). We knew what we did wrong that game and we know that we have to minimize mistakes. They're really not a high-penalized team. They're a very focused team. We just have to come out and play hard and get a hat on them."

(on his feelings the evening before Sunday's game) "Can't wait. Probably not going to be able to sleep. But it will be alright. Hopefully I'll get some good sleep that night."

(on his rise from playing collegiately at Michigan to playing in the Super Bowl) "Everybody who puts on the uniform, your goal is to be here. Words can't explain how I feel right now. It's crazy. I still can't believe I'm playing in the Super Bowl."

(on his fantasy ending for Sunday's game) "I really don't have one. Just come out and play hard and do the little things and pay attention to detail. I'm going to try to get in the endzone and try to get this win. If I don't get into the endzone and we get the win, it will be alright."

(on being QB Eli Manning's go-to target when the game is on the line) "Run your route to get open. For the receiving corps, that's our mentality. After you catch the ball, go make the play."

(on the prospect of facing New England WR/CB Julian Edelman) "It's not like that. I respect him as a player. I understand that he's a good player. He plays wide receiver and defensive back. I don't take anything from him but he plays offense. So I know he's a competitive player, but I'm going to try to win. No matter who lines up in front of me, I'm going to try to win."

(on exposing Edelman as a defensive back) "It's not just me, but us as a receiving corps. We know he's a great player, but we want to go out and do what we have to do to win. No matter what it takes. He plays wide receiver. He's not a real defensive back. Did he get drafted as a defensive back? We have a little bond going on knowing that we can beat somebody. We're confident. I hope he's out there."

(on being a difference maker throughout the game) "I just play my role. That's all. I play my role and show up when I need to show up. That's all."

(on bonding with fellow WRs Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks) "They're my closest friends on the team. We joke around with each other to see who is going to make the first big play. 'What are you going to do on this drive?'"

(on preparing mentally to share snaps with Cruz and Nicks) "I'll make plays when I'm in the game. We're all going to play. We're all going to play and we're all going to make plays and we're all one."

(on meeting with Josh McDaniels' father, Thom McDaniels, who coached Manningham in high school) "I haven't seen him yet but I can't wait to see him. We probably won't even talk about the Super Bowl. I know how Coach McDaniels is. He's probably just going to say 'Good luck' and we'll talk about how I've been and how the family has been and how everybody else has been. We probably won't even talk about football."

(on his touchdown celebration dance) "I can't show you all right now. I've got to wait until I get in there into the game. Then I'll show you all. I've got a little something for you all. I can't salsa. I've been begging (Victor Cruz) to show me how to salsa but he tells me 'You just have to know how.'"

(on continuing his streak of games with a touchdown reception) "That'd be a blessing. I hope we get this win and just keep rolling."

(on the New York Giants' statistically subpar pass defense) "That doesn't mean anything. That isn't going to mean anything on Sunday. We're going to go out there and make plays. When they call on us, we're going to make plays."

(on Edelman's ability to cover a slot receiver) "We'll see on Sunday. I don't really want to say anything more about him. We'll see on Sunday. Do you think he can?"

(on the success of his alma mater, Michigan, this past season) "I was happy for them. I was pulling for them. I didn't care if they went to a bowl game as long as they won the last game of the season."

(on being in the final year of his contract and possibly playing his last game as a New York Giant) "I'll worry about that on Monday. I want to enjoy our team and enjoy this. If we go out and win, I want to enjoy this with our team."

(on the weekly meetings with Manning each Friday) "First, we grab something to eat. Then we hurry up and run into the receiver's room. And we just sit there and everybody is quiet while Eli talks. You have a question, you ask him. He basically breaks everything down."

(on the differences between this season's team compared to the 2008 squad) "I feel like we're closer than when I first got here. I feel like no one cares who has the ball. No one cares if the ball comes to them or not. You're still going to run your route to get open. If the scheme, or the ball, is not coming to you, you still want to get open. There's more meeting time. There's more talking in the meeting room than there was. There is more coaching each other, than there was. I feel like we're a little bit more focused than how it was back then."

(on his close relationship with the team's wide receiver corps) "It's very rare. You've got to understand your role and you've got to be a man about it. You can't complain when you're not getting the ball. Just keep working."

(on the emergence of the wide receiver corps as one of the strengths of the team) "We like not being mentioned out there with the best receiving corps. We just go out there and do our job and get open. We keep doing what we've got to do. I feel like we're underrated, but we don't care what people think now. People can think whatever they want to. We showed what we can do. We know what we can do. We're a blessed and talented group of wide receivers."

(on looking to his teammates for motivation) "We're going to stick together. Everybody in those white jerseys, we're going to stick together. We don't care what anyone else thinks. We're just out for each other."

(on playing with New England CB Antwaun Molden while growing up) "It's crazy. He's two years older than me. He's a fast, fast kid. Nice kid. I've known him forever. Ever since he was in sixth grade and I was in the fourth grade. I can't wait to go out there and give him a five and congratulate him for being here. But we're trying to win. I never would have thought that someone I played with as a young kid and in high school … that I'd be playing against him in the Super Bowl."

(on the atmosphere in Indianapolis) "This is our second day here and we're just trying to come out and win and finish the season with a good ending and bring the championship back to New York."

(on how he and Cruz complement each other within the offensive system) "We just go out there and make plays and do what we've got to do. (Victor) makes plays. He's been making plays all year. He bailed us out of some games. We back each other up on plays. If he doesn't make a play, I'm going to make a play. If we don't make the play, Hakim will make the play. That's just how it is. We've got each other's back."

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