Giants players and coaches meet the media following Sunday night game in Denver:
GIANTS HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO
On his thoughts on the game
"We had a heck of a heck of a team win out there versus an outstanding football team. I thought we played physical and heavy-handed in all three phases. It was nice to come out here and get a win."
On what getting the first win means
"It is one of sixteen, we felt like we had a good plan coming in. They are tremendous football team on all three phases. Give credit to the players, they came out and executed the plan at a high level. We knew it was not going to beat a pretty football game, but that is our style and that is how we feel we have to win physical and heavy-handed. There were a lot of messes on the field and I liked it."
On what is best for the team
"I need to do what is best for the team, just like we ask the players and just like we ask the coaches. I thought the team and the whole locker room needed me this week, I needed to be at my best for these players and coaches this week."
On where he succeeded tonight
"I was able to give all of myself to the men in that locker room."
On the message that nobody was giving the team a chance
"We talked about it on Tuesday morning in our team meeting, and we talked about it all week long. We talked about that our record was not good, but that does not mean we are a bad football team. We are a good football team, we just need to find pass to victory, we found one tonight and now we need to start stacking them."
On Giants RB Orleans Darkwa
"He is a natural back, he knows where to run and he has those types of instincts. He runs heavy behind his pads, and it was nice to see him cash in, especially for the second week in a row."
On Darkwa running the ball on the goal line
"Against their defense it is tough to run the ball. They were giving up about 50 yards a game. Let alone, when your back is against the goal line in one of those noisy end zones. They got some nice push in there and he found a crease and he accelerated the crease, that is the difference."
On TE Evan Engram
"He's a rookie. We can't continue to treat him like a rookie. He's a guy that's going to have to make plays for us and be a bit part of our offense moving forward. Even though he is a rookie, he is a talented young man. He has a lot of details in the game that he has to improve and will improve moving forward. He's talented and we're going to put him in the position to have an opportunity to make plays."
On attacking the Broncos defense
"We ran the ball a lot. Third down, we had to pick out shots. We knew it was going to be a messy, disjointed day with the way they play defense. We asked our big guys to come out and fight and punch. You're going to win some. You're going to lose some. That's not going to be the difference in the game. You just have to keep on fighting and be the best team at the end with the way we fight."
On G Justin Pugh
"He went out and he battled his tail off."
On whether Pugh will be the starting guard
"Always and forever don't exist in this business."
On what went into the decision to play Pugh
"I wanted to play him at right tackle."
On clarification of playing Pugh at right tackle
"I wanted to play Justin at right tackle. He gave us a great chance to win the game."
On the WR depth
"We had four dressed."
On QB Eli Manning
"Eli played the way we asked him to play. It gave us a chance to win the game."
On the decision to have Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan call the play
"It was beginning of the week. It was my decision."
On the suspension of CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
"We'll talk about that when we revisit the situation."
On whether Rodgers-Cromartie will return to the team
"Nothing is set in stone yet."
GIANTS QUARTERBACK ELI MANNING
On how he anticipated the challenges after four Giants WRs were injured last week
"We knew it was going to be a different type of game. We were going up against a good defense. We knew we were going to have to run it and keep running it and stick with it. I thought the guys did a nice job. I hit [Tight End] Evan [Engram] with a couple shallow routes and got some big gains. Right off the get go, I thought it was a great start to the game. Defense gets the three and out and we get the ball drive down there. Headed south for the field goal there but, just moving the ball and saying, 'Hey, We're going to be competing.' I'm proud of the guys for the way they competed. We had a chance to close out the game and we did it."
On how different this week's gameplan was different from what the Giants have done in the past
"It's not so much that the game plan was different, a lot of the same plays, it's just a greater emphasis on sticking with the run and staying with it. We got some new guys and different guys in different spots and the matchups we got. I think we did a good job running the ball. We knew, Hey, we might run it twice and get into some third-and-longs. If you can convert, great, if not, we're fine having a punt. We knew that we couldn't make it easy on them. Don't turn the ball over and play the field position game. We needed our defense to step up and play big which they did. We'll have another week to get some of these receivers and some of these other guys up to speed. We'll have to throw the ball a little more. It was good that we could play this style of football and get a win."
On Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan calling the plays
"[Head Coach Ben McAdoo] told me earlier in the week that Sully was going to call the plays. It's not different for me, I'm used to hearing Coach Sullivan in my ear. He calls plays all the time in practice, through training camp, all the time at practice, and over the headset he calls them. I'm used to hearing him and how he calls them. I talked to him and we had conversations earlier in the week and knew it we were going to have to grind it out a little bit on the run. We knew it wasn't going to be totally pretty but we had some good opportunities and the guys made some nice plays and we had some nice adjustments."
On whether he had gone into the game knowing that Engram would get some chances
"They like to play a lot of man-to-man so we had an opportunity to possibly get him matched up on some safeties and try to get him running away. So we hit a couple shallow routes to him and hit a slant to him. We had a couple nice plays that we were lucky to take advantage of."
On whether he noticed a difference with Sullivan calling the plays
"It's tough to say. We talk a bunch during the week, so you kind of know what plays are coming, what plays we like that we're going to call. Early on, some things are definitely going to get called. I thought he did a good job just sticking with the run and knowing it was going to be that game, got a little lead and just staying with it. I know as a coordinator and as a quarterback, you want to throw it. They're playing a lot of man-to-man, some zero, you want to take a shot, but just with the way things were going and the matchups and the way our defense was going, it was best just to stick with it and play conservative."
On the Giants' gameplan against Broncos OLB Von Miller
"We didn't want a game where we were going to have to throw it 40 times. They've got a good pass rush, and so I thought we did a good job. He had the one sack. They kind of had a blitz on, and so he was one-on-one, had to be one-on-one on that one, and he got to us. He's a good player. It's going to happen. They've got a good pass rush. They're going to get some pressure a few times. We were able to escape some of them and make some plays."
On winning on the road given all of the Giants' injuries of late
"Yeah, it's a special win, just with everything going on, losing four receivers last week and coming into this week. There could be a lot of people who wrote us off for this game. I don't think anyone picked us to win this game, but for just the preparation all week, the commitment all week to come in here, no giving up, no laying down, we knew the circumstance that we had put ourselves in, but the only thing you can do is be responsible for how you handle the situation and every game. That's all you can worry about, and we handled our business tonight and played well enough to win the game."
On whether his brother Peyton said anything to him about beating Denver
"No he just said, 'Good game and good gameplan and ran it well.' That was it."
GIANTS CORNERBACK ELI APPLE
On the ability for the defense to get aggressive when the offense gets an early lead
"We were able to rush the passer and get some good sacks out there to kill some of those drives. I think we can actually play better and limit some of those explosive yards."
On where he stands with team after a sense of uncertainty earlier in the week
"Whatever happens, happens. I am just out there enjoying being out there. Football is a game I love dearly. Any time I am out there, I am going to give it my all."
On any adjustment with CB Ross Cockrell playing in the slot tonight
"We have been practicing that for a while now and he played in the slot last week too."
GIANTS SAFETY LANDON COLLINS
On the game
"We always think we can dominate. We know what kind of offense we have and what kind of defense we have. We didn't think we were going to have the offense we had, but those boys came out and did their thing, and then we had good special teams. We played all three phases and worked it to our advantage."
On the importance of CB Janoris Jenkins' pick-six
"It was big. I was mad at him, because if I was healthy I would have taken mine back too. I'm glad for him. We harp on it. Me and him go back and forth about who's going to be the best defensive player on our team. That's what we're trying to do."
On Head Coach Ben McAdoo
"He just stayed affirmative. He knows what kind of team we have. He just harped on the defense to make it a defensive game. That's what we tried to do and that's what we came out and did."
On how having a lead changes the way the defense plays
"You play more aggressive. You try to get the ball. On defense, we don't play conservatively and just milk the clock. We try to go get it."
On getting to Broncos QB Trevor Siemian
"After the first three series, we got him kind of shook because he wasn't expecting what we were doing. We watched a lot of film. He was just holding it too long and not letting it go."
On his interception
"He ran a skinny post, but he was supposed to run a dig I think. I saw the ball. He overthrew him inside and it just came right to me because I was breaking on the ball. I knew it was going to be a big hit or a big pick."
On the injury to Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders
"I apologize for that. I take that to heart because I don't condone cheap shots and I don't take it as a cheap shot. I saw the quarterback throw the ball and I was trying to break on it and go get it and make a game-changing play. It came to a result that it injured somebody. Much love to him because I look up to him as a player."
GIANTS RUNNING BACK ORLEANS DARKWA
On his long run and goal line plays
"It was situational. They were different plays. They were quick hit-and-runs and we were able to have success on both of them. That's the offensive line right there. When I hit that thing, I didn't even get touched. That's a hell of a job on them to secure the blocks and spring me."
On which run he thought was most important
"Closing out the game at the one-yard-line. If you look at the odds, it's slim and so to close it out and wind the clock down, that was pretty big."
On whether he was surprised they were able to get by the Broncos defense
"No. That's what we expect as a group. You all wrote us off but I know the talent we have in this room. I know the talent we have on that line and our offense as a whole. This was just the tip of the iceberg for us."
On whether it felt different with Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan calling plays
"Not really. Obviously if we have success with something, we want to keep doing it. I think that's how we always operate. We had some success with the runs early and we were able to keep capitalizing off that. They did a great job with the play calling. When you have a lead, you're able to do a lot of things and switch things up."
On the first game following injuries to wide receivers
"We lost a lot of big players in [WR] 'O' [Odell Beckham Jr.] and [WR] Brandon [Marshall] but with the talent we have in this room, the people they brought in. [WR Ed] Eagan and [WR] Tavarres King, all those guys, we believe in them and that's why they're out there. I know the coaches believe in them. We aren't going to be one-dimensional as an offense. We saw that we had success with the run but I think we can have just as much success with the pass, even without those guys."
On the doubt about the Giants heading into the game
"You all try to kill us every chance you get. It is what it is with that. I don't try to read the news clippings but at the end of the day, we're 0-5. You all are going to try to grill us but we believe in ourselves and we feel like we're all we've got as a team. I feel like we've got a talented roster. We've lost some close games in the last three games or so and I'm just glad we were able to close this one out."
GIANTS TIGHT END EVAN ENGRAM
On knowing few people believed the Giants would win the game
"Even my friends had no belief that we would get this done. That is just a true testament of what this team is about. This is the beginning. We have to keep going. We have to keep this mentality."
On not using many wide receivers in tonight's gameplan
"Everything is just going so fast out there. Whoever is in, whoever is out there getting the opportunity to make plays, that is what happened. We just all came together and got it done. The coaches called a great game. We executed."
On being able to run the ball effectively
"Seeing those runs break is a really good feeling for tight ends getting physical and blocking. It is a great feeling. It was definitely exciting for us and it did a lot for us, especially on that last drive. That big last run is huge for our game and huge for our offense. We definitely have to keep that going."
On rallying together after such a tough week for the team
"We were in a big hole. We still are. When we rally together, we came together. We prepared all week together. That is one thing about this team, no matter what the circumstances, we are going to come up and show up to work. That translated tonight. We definitely rallied together. We are all we've got. So we played this game for each other."
GIANTS CORNERBACK JANORIS JENKINS
On his pick-six
"Basically, we were playing 'Cleo' coverage and they ran a high-low route. He threw it to the flat and I broke on the ball. We were talking about it on the sideline that he was going to lock on and stare down the receiver. I told my coach what they were attacking us and he told me to one time sit on it and just take it."
On how important his interception return was to the momentum of the game
"I think it was big. It gave us some momentum. It came from everybody playing hard."
On the goal-line stop in the fourth quarter
"I saw everybody block down and the running back tried to bounce. Every day at practice when we do goal line I always tell my big guys to force it to me. It just so happen that they forced it to me this game and I just came up with the stop."
On his forced fumble
"I think it was just a great play by me. No one was coming and he (Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas) had the ball in front of him. He had no ball security, so I just went at the ball instead of making the tackle. "
On outside perceptions of the team and Head Coach Ben McAdoo
"You've got to understand that he doesn't play the game; we play the game as players. He coaches. Unfortunately, we started 0-5. We've got to figure out how to play better. We can't point fingers at the offense, defense or head coach. It's everybody as a collective unit."
GIANTS DEFENSIVE END JASON PIERRE-PAUL
On the confidence coming into the game
"It's all about the guys. We came out and we played for each other. Even last week you could see it in the guys' eyes, but had come up short again. This week you could tell the guys were hungry. We practiced with effort and intensity. Everything the coaches asked us to do, we executed it very well. It's a game of football we're going to make some mistakes, but I think the effort outweighed the mistakes."
On the goal-line stand
"We practice it all day. We don't take it for granted because it can be the play to change the whole game. It actually did and it came up short."
On what the performance meant to the team
"It means a lot. It was a great effort by the team. All three phases played well. The receiving core stepped up big time even when we have our starters hurt, but it's the game of football and you have to step up no matter who is hurt. I think we did a great job and the defense came to play."
On the key to beating Denver
"There wasn't really a key. We found ourselves in the position that we always have—the lead. Then we would let it go. But this time we had the lead and just put our foot on the pedal."
On the performance without key players
"The team was well balanced, especially the offense. You don't know what you're going to get. [WR] Odell [Beckham Jr.] is a great player, [WR] Brandon Marshall is a great player, [WR Sterling] Shepard and [WR] Dwyane [Harris] were out. I feel like it was the balance of not being just one player. I think they did a very good job."
GIANTS GUARD JUSTIN PUGH
On getting the first win of the season
"It was great to win a game. We know how it feels, but just this team to get that feeling was huge. I'm just so proud of how everyone played. Everyone came out and fought from start to finish. This team was just 53 guys out there against everybody. The coaches obviously included everyone. It was just a bunch of dudes just scratching, clawing, gritty and grimy—anything we had to do to get a win. I'm just happy as hell we got this win."
On the team's mentality this past week
"Just go play for each other. At the end of the day, that's all we got, these 53 guys. I mean we have practice squad and all that. I'm just saying we have to go out there, keep fighting for one another and playing as a team. That was the best team football. Every aspect of this team stepped up today. Special teams was great and defense played unbelievable. That's what we expect, that's our defense and we ran the ball a little bit. It was good."
On Head Coach Ben McAdoo allowing Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan to call plays tonight
"It's so hard to be a head coach in the NFL. You're managing so many different things. He has to worry about the defense, special teams and offense. Now that I know, I didn't even really realize that until I got into the locker room. Either way, we're going to battle for these guys. I love these coaches and I love this staff. All our teammates played great tonight. I'm just proud."