Eli Manning, 08.21.12

RE: Thoughts on the upcoming preseason game against the Bears:

A: It should be a good opportunity for us, to go against another good defense. I think it’s been good this week, having three days to game plan and treat it like a normal work week. So, that’ll be good. Everybody should know their assignments, and have a good plan to go in, we should be able to execute, and do some things well.

Q: Where is Hakeem right now? What have you seen so far?

A: He seems good. Yesterday, he hit on a couple of nice passes. So, he’s still got some work to do. Obviously, it’s been a little bit since he’s been practicing, but he’s looked sharp. He’s worked hard, and I’m excited about having him back in the offense. He’s such a big playmaker for us.

Q: Given that the fourth preseason game is usually a throw-away for the starters, how much do you really need to see get done in this game against Chicago?

A: Well, the third preseason game is always a game where the starters play the most. They’ll play into the third quarter. Going against the Bears, they always have a great defense, good players, good scheme, so it’ll be a good challenge for us. Hopefully, we’ll be able to go out there, execute, run our game plan very well, and see if we can get a couple of touchdowns.

Q: When you get a receiver of Hakeem’s quality back, how long does it take before the two of you can get back on the same page?

A: I don’t know if it’s getting back on the same page. I’ve worked with him for years, and obviously, he has a great feel of the offense. So, it’s just getting practice, him working his releases, and him working some of the rust off after not practicing for a few months. So, it shouldn’t take us long to get our timing and I expect it whether he plays in this game or not. When we get ready for Dallas that first week, we should be ready to go.

Q: Hakeem talked about how this team is good at moving on from things like what happened with JPP, Prince and Steve. Just the lesson learned and how Tom deals with it, how the team deals with it, and where is it in your mind?

A: I think it’s past. Coach Coughlin talked about whatever happens in-house, let’s keep it that way. That’s what we’ve tried to do over the years. We got a little reminder that we need to do that, the guys understand that, and we’re focused on getting better. So, this is not something that will linger on, and cause any distractions, or affect us in any way.

Q: Can you and Hakeem be ready for the regular season opener without any preseason action together? I mean, would you ideally like a few reps together?

A: We’ve played a number of games and thrown hundreds, if not thousands, of passes. Whether he gets action in the preseason or not, it’s about him just getting back in practice, getting those reps, being smart with the situation. So, he’s doing that, he’s getting reps, but they’re not overworking him right now. So, he could be ready, on the same page and on target for the first week.

RE: David Wilson getting some first-team reps with Ahmad Bradshaw out:

A: Any time you get a rookie, every game, every practice, they’re learning. The more reps you can get them, especially with the first group, what we’re doing, different things, changing things, more audibles, he’s got to be put in that situation on a whim. He’s got to know exactly what his assignment is, and what’s going on. You have to throw that at him a little bit, see how he adjusts, see how quickly the game is played at this level, and how you have to know the offense like the back of your hand.

Q: You guys open in two weeks. It’s a rivalry game, and it’s a game that you ended their season with. Just talk about the rivalry between you and the Cowboys, and it’s been kind of one-sided recently, but Jerry trying to ramp it up, and you guys not biting back.

A: You know, it’s always a big game, any time you play the Cowboys, so the tradition goes back a long time. It’s a classic NFC East rivalry, two great teams and great franchises. So, we know they’re a very talented team. Offensively, they can score and do a lot of things. Defensively, they’ve got playmakers that can cause trouble. So, we’ve got to be prepared, and we’ve still got two more weeks to get through our preseason, get through these last two games, keep working on our basics, and then we’ll start game planning for Dallas.

Q: Sean Locklear is the only guy currently on the starting line who wasn’t here last year. He’ll be protecting your blind side. How much comfort do you still need to get with him, before you feel like, "Okay, he’s got everything down, I don’t have to worry?"

A: I’m not worried at all. Sean’s a veteran guy, he knows his stuff, knows what he’s doing, he’s come in and worked well with the starting group. Any time you play left tackle, or play offensive line, it’s like, ‘Hey, what do you call things?’ Everybody’s done the same scheme, it’s just done in a different way, or you call it something different. So, he’s got everything down. He’s playing at a high level, doing things well. So, I feel very comfortable with him out there.

Q: Every year when this game comes up, do you get the feeling that this is the last chance in preseason? The regular season is only 16 days away now?

A: Yeah. You always know that third preseason game, you’re going to play the most extensive reps that you’ll get in the preseason before the first game that really counts. So, you want to try to go out there and play well. We treat this week like a game week, in our preparation, having three days to go over everything, install everything. So, the first two days have gone well, we’ve still got a good day tomorrow to overview everything we’ve put in this week. Hopefully, we’re the most prepared going into this game, and it shows on Friday night.

Q: Are you a little anxious to see what David Wilson can do with the first team this week?

A: Any time you have a new guy you want to see them play. Especially a rookie you don’t know much about, never really saw him play in college. So, you’re looking forward to him getting in games and see how he adjusts, and I think it’s a great challenge for him to see what he knows, what he needs to work on. These rookies, any time you get them in live action, it’s a great tool for them to see where they stand.

Q: Is there anything you’ve noticed about him? Everybody has talked about his quickness. Is that the thing that stands out?

A: He’s obviously very fast, and he runs hard. He lowers his shoulder, and delivers a powerful punch. That’s his style, and that powerful running is kind of New York tradition. Even though he’s not considered the big back a lot of the Giants are known for, he still runs hard like a lot of the running backs here do.

Q: Coach Ingram said he won’t get on the field with you until he proves he can pass protect.

A: I think he’s learning every day, he’s doing well. He knows what he’s doing, this week he’s got a lot of reps. So, he’s getting there, and the more reps he gets, the more comfortable he’ll get.

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