Eli Manning post-game, 10.11.09

Have you played in New Orleans before?

No, this will be my first time.  My first time in New Orleans.  Both of my brothers got to play (in the Superdome) in high school there, Peyton has obviously played since then also.  We were supposed to play a few years ago before Katrina happened so this will be my first time playing in the Superdome.  It should be a great atmosphere.  Two undefeated teams.  They are playing really well.  They are a really talented team so it should be wild and loud.  I am looking forward to the experience.

You never played there in high school or college?

Never.  This will be my first time.

Can you talk about scoring touchdowns on the first four possessions of the game?

That was huge.  Especially the first one, just going down there, hit some runs, threw it, and it was a combination.  We had the fourth and goal and we went for it right there and just set the stage.  Then our defense just went three and out, three and out, and getting us the ball back quickly.  We were able to go and get some big plays.  They got some turnovers for us, so it was just a team domination from the start.  It gave us the big lead and that is what we wanted to do.

You said to go for it on fourth and one?

No, we just kind of stood there.  We knew it was close and I was on the field and so all of a sudden he held back the field goal team and we knew we had to get it in.

Did you need a good opening drive to sort of say to yourself that your foot was okay?

No.  I felt good about it.  Obviously going out there in the opening drive and kind of giving our team some confidence, just saying, ‘hey I’m fine, I’m good to go.’  It is always important to get off to a fast start and we have been very good at it this year.  I think we have scored every first drive, three touchdowns and two field goals.  Hopefully we can keep that going, but it is always nice to jump on them, get it started.  I think it helps out our defense, puts them in a good situation, and gets us the ball back quickly.

What is the physical update on your foot?

It felt great.  It felt great during the game.  I felt that I could do everything, run the offense.  I didn’t tell Coach Gilbride or Coughlin, ‘hey don’t run this, or don’t do that.’  I felt like I could do everything we had to do.  Hopefully it feels great tomorrow morning.  We will see and I don’t have any doubt that it won’t, so hopefully I will be able to get back to practice all next week and work on getting better. 

At what point did you know you were going to play?

I don’t know if I knew exactly just because Thursday I took some reps, but it still wasn’t feeling 100 percent.  It felt good doing some stuff and had some pain doing some other stuff.  I knew it was going to kind of come down to game day and really proving to myself that I could go out there and play and not make it worse.  Not injure it more where I had to either sit out longer or miss another week of practice.  I didn’t want to have to miss any more practice and kind of prove that to Coach Coughlin that I was going to be able to go out there and play well, do everything I need to do, and also not have a setback.

Anything special in your shoes?

Just some orthotics.  Got some orthotics made up to give me a little extra support in there, but besides that nothing different, nothing new.

Do you usually wear hightops?

Yeah, yes.

You did not have any pain killers or a cortisone shot for the foot?

No.  Nothing.

You taped them up a little heavier than usual?

Yeah just taped them up just to get some more support in the heal.  A little spat on the top,  nothing too heavy.  It wasn’t anything major, just a little extra support.

You were able to plant on your right foot?

Yeah I felt that I was able to push off, plant, and make all of the throws.  I was able to throw the ball down the field on the deep one to Steve (Smith) and felt fine.  I was able to get some heat on it when I had to.  Really I was most concerned just kind of not practicing for a couple of days.  I felt that I was in a great rhythm throwing the ball and I didn’t want to kind of lose that rhythm, lose that tempo.  All of a sudden sometimes when you have something wrong with the foot it can kind of throw you off just enough where you lose something, but I felt confident.  I felt that once I started playing I wasn’t thinking about it and I just went out there and played.

Was anything done to your foot during the game?

No.

Did you get hit today?

Yeah I got a pretty good shot on the one to Steve Smith down the sideline.  I think (Richard) Seymour got in there and gave me a decent hit.  Besides that I didn’t take too many shots.

Was this about as perfect of a scenario as you could have drawn up?

Yeah.  We didn’t talk about it just being the situation, we didn’t know what kind of game it was going to come down to, but I think at the end it was kind of a picture perfect.  Just get in there, score quickly, score a lot, get a big lead, and then be able to rest it and make sure you don’t put more strain on it or make it where it is real sore tomorrow.  I think it turned out really well.

Would you have played the whole game if you had to?

Yeah, yeah.  That was the plan, the original plan.

Do you think you’ll be able to practice this week?

I think so.  We’ll see how it feels tomorrow and the next day, but I want to be out there for practice.  I need work with these young receivers and I don’t like missing practice.  I think our team and our offense takes a lot of pride with everybody being out there taking practice very seriously and getting better every week.  I wasn’t able to be out there every day this week and so hopefully I will be able to do that this week.

Is this a big relief for you?  Getting through this game?

Yeah.  I don’t know if it was a relief.  I think I was excited that I don’t think I made it any worse or put any more strain on it.  It might be a little more sore tomorrow just because it is the most activity I have done in a while, but it feels great right now, walking around, moving around, and I am excited about getting back out there at practice and hopefully kind of putting this behind us.  I will continue to rehab it and strengthen anything and make sure it stays strong, but hopefully I can put this injury behind and focus on the rest of the season. 

After you came off the field in pregame warm-ups did you have an individual conversation with Coach Coughlin?

Nothing long.  Just kind of, ‘hey it feels good.’  That is all it was.  I think he saw how I looked during pregame warmup.  I took all the reps, handing it off, throwing, dropping back, doing everything, and I think he thought it probably looked good.  He didn’t say anything, but I felt very normal, the same, and that I could do everything like I wanted to do. 

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