Eli Manning post-game, 08.29.09

Q: We know you’re still looking for that big play guy. Tell us about the play where Steve Smith, you’re big game receiver, dropped a ball on a big play.

We had perfect coverage for it and it was a great call by the coaches. Steve ran a great route but we just couldn’t finish it. Sometimes it’s good to get those out of the way right now and I know Steve feels bad about it. He hasn’t done that all training camp so he got that one out of the way in preseason and he won’t drop his next one.

Q: You were watching Hakeem Nicks from the sidelines, how would you evaluate his plays tonight?

Well, he made some plays and that’s what we like to see. On the first one of the touchdown, he did a great job adjusting to the ball and making the catch and keeping his feet in-bounds. It was a great play when we needed someone to step up. On the other one, he ran by the guy when he was facing a quarter blitz and he got picked up. It was a good job by David to see it and Hakeem running by the safety and making the catch into the end zone. It looks like he is doing some good things but overall, we have to get better in the passing game. There are too many mistakes here and there and too many missed opportunities and drops. We have room for improvement and we’ll do that in the next two weeks.

Q: Dropped catches have been a problem for this team, does this rattle your confidence?

No, drops are apart of football. We need to get them out of the way and keep working on them and keep throwing and some guys will make some big plays and make some great catches. Our receivers have been doing it all training camp so it’s apart of the game. You have to deal with some drops but you got to keep throwing and keep working.

Q: Progress from the last preseason game?

Yeah, we definitely made progress from our last game. We started off that first drive going in there and marching it down, making effective plays, going no-huddle, and causing the defense to jump offside a few times. They were showing different looks and doing some good stuff, that was nice. Then we had a couple other good drives where we scored points and got a touchdown. We just moved the ball and got some points on the board. We had a few mistakes and turnovers, which is not like us, and we have to eliminate those.

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