Eli Manning, 09.04.09

Q. Last night you said that you felt this offense is ready for the regular season. What makes you say that, what makes you comfortable about that?

A. It is the work that we have done in the preseason and training camp. I think we definitely have gotten better as a receiving corps, as an offense in the passing game, this training camp. There is still going to be a learning curve. I think we can still improve on some areas and get better as the season goes. I think the more game-time experience that we get together, the stronger, the better we will become. I think we are at a good spot right now, I think that guys are confident in their ability. It is good to see some guys make some plays last night on the ball, jump up and make some of these catches from Hixon, Nicks and Sinorice. Kevin Boss had a couple of big plays. Guys are on the same page on what to do and making the right reads. Some young guys even, late in the game, were making some great reads and had some chances to hit some big plays. I think we have definitely improved and are ready for the start of the season

Q. Speaking of young guys making reads, what is your take on the two young quarterbacks (Rhett) Bomar and (Andre) Woodson?

A. I think Andre Woodson has really improved from last year. I think for a rookie quarterback to come in, that first year is always tough. They aren’t getting many reps. You are coming into an offense that has been kind of established. Guys know what is going on for the last four or five years so we had a lot of this stuff down. There is a ton to learn and to ask questions. I think Andre Woodson has really improved from last year and made some great throws yesterday in the game. I think Rhett has done a good job, he just has limited playing time obviously, limited practice time. Yesterday, he got in, made some plays running the ball. Got us down in scoring position. It is always tough for a young guy to come in and make an impact, but I think they have worked. They both work hard, they ask good questions in the meeting rooms. I try to be available to them and say, ‘Don’t be worried about asking a question in these meeting rooms. I know you’re in there with David and I, and we kind of have a lot of this stuff down, but you’ve got to learn everything else. If something is not clear, if we are kind of going over something fast, and we are talking and it’s going over your head, slow us down, stop us. You’ve got to learn your part.’ They have done a good job of accepting that and doing that, which is hard for a rookie.

Q. Kevin (Boss) said last night, he was asked about it actually, about the possibility of leading the team in receptions this year. As the quarterback, what would that mean to you if the tight end turned out to be the leading receiver?

A. I think that’s fine. You see that happening in other places, other teams. I hope that Kevin gets a lot of catches. He is a guy who has gotten better and improved every year. He is a big target. He works very hard in the offseason. He has been a great guy down near the endzone, catching touchdowns. I think he has a lot of ability and he has worked hard. If he leads the team in receptions or doesn’t, I am not trying to make him be the leading receiver or trying not to make him be the leading receiver, it doesn’t matter to me. A lot of it is based on reads, or based on what teams are doing, or how they are playing. He has done a good job of getting open when his name has been called.

Q. Has it been tough for you this summer to watch a guy like David Tyree, who has meant so much to you and this organization, kind of struggle through a difficult summer and then not even be able to play the last couple of games?

A. David is a guy who really conducts himself at a true professional level. He always has a great attitude. He is always in great spirits. He is great with the young receivers or all the receivers, on working with them or trying to be a good example. He practices as hard as anybody. He has been a great teammate, a great friend of mine since I have gotten here. Honestly, I will always have a special place in my heart, not only because of the play he made in the Super Bowl, but just the person he is and the friend he has been for me. I don’t know what is going to happen in the next day or two, it’s a tough situation, but he has been a great teammate and we just have to see what is going to happen.

Q. What do you think of all these offensive coordinators getting fired?

A. I just kind of read about it a little bit, so I don’t really know the whole circumstances or what is going on. I haven’t gotten all the details, so I haven’t thought much about it, honestly.

Q. Your guy is not getting fired, is he?

A. I don’t think so, no. I hope not.

Q. When you look at the schedule here and the way it is lined up after this opener: three on the road, one at home, and then another one on the road. How important is it going to be to really get off to a good start and play well in the opener?

A. I think you always want to get off to a fast start and set the start of the season in a good mood and good atmosphere. Get that winning feeling going. We start off the season with some tough games. Washington is always a tough team. We want to get off to where we are playing to start. It is kind of what the preseason is for to get some of these bumps and bruises, to get some of these little things worked out where once the season starts you got to start out playing well from the get-go. You don’t have a whole lot of time to get hot or to work things out, because it might be too late by the time you get that figured out. So, we know that we got to come from the get-go and play well early on and keep that going.

Q. David (Carr) was talking about how he and Hakeem (Nicks) have sort of built a bit of a relationship, a lot of trust there in the last two games. Now that you are going to be on the field, can you just pick up that trust or does he have to earn that with you, as well?

A. I think Hakeem has done a great job. That just comes from practice, getting reps together and also getting in games together, making some plays. He has done a really good job, especially these last three weeks. You can just see that he is starting to figure things out, he is starting to understand concepts of the offense, understand what is going on, getting checks and making adjustments. We have to keep working together. We are at a good spot, but also we can improve on our timing and reading body language, those types of things. You try to get that with all your receivers and we will still get better and grow the more games we play, the more time we get to practice with each other. You can see he has done a good job of making plays and going up and making some tough catches. It is good to see him to be able to do that. Honestly, seeing him make those plays, even though they haven’t been with me, gives me a trust that he is going to go out there and do some great things.

Q. Now that you have had a whole training camp with these young guys and without the veteran guys, have you been able to make that adjustment that you don’t have a Plaxico (Burress) or (Amani) Toomer that you can rely on?

A. Yeah, definitely. These guys have come in and they have played really well. They have practiced hard, they are starting to really understand what we expect. They are getting a feel for the offense, and part of being a receiver is kind of learning what the route is and what are the different ways you can run the route, what are the different reads, what are the different adjustments. The more time you practice stuff, look at game film, and talk about it, they can make those adjustments quicker and not really start thinking about what they are doing and just let the natural ability. We are in a good spot and we are able to do a lot of things well right now. I think the more games we play, the more times we get together, the more strong we will become.

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