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Eli Manning, 11.23.09

It is the first day right now. We came in, we got the game plan. Today is like a Wednesday for us right now.  Going over the plays – there are going to be a lot of mental reps and walk thrus. We will practice, obviously, tomorrow.  But it is just about guys having to do some studying on their own. We are not going to get to run through every play that we have in the game plan this week. But it is just a matter of some stuff we run in the past. Guys are going to have to take a lot of mental reps.

Q: How difficult is that to ask them to prepare in three days?

A:  We can do it. Both teams are dealing with it. So it something that guys have to take it upon themselves to look at the game plan, look at Denver’s defense and see things. And we are going to have to talk a lot, get a lot of reps through walk thrus and take a lot of mental reps. Come into the classroom being prepared but then come game day we just have to go out there and make plays and be on the same page on Thursday.

Q: Talk about how you have worked with your receivers and tried to bring them up to speed since they were kind of inexperienced. Are you starting see some of the fruits of that work pay off now?

A: Yeah. I think the receivers have done a great job all year, just learning and continuing to learn as the process and the games go on. They can learn from practice but there is no better teaching tool than playing in games. When you have young guys and guys who haven’t played a lot of games, there is going to be a little curve. And I think all of the guys have learned quickly and not made the same mistake twice. And that is what it is about. And so each game is going to be something that you can improve on and something that we can get better from. And we just have to learn from every game and try to take it to the next game.

Q:  Is there any one thing in particular that they have done as a group that has really jumped out at you as being the biggest improvement?

A:  We talk about not being a robot. Just because your route says this is it, but sometimes football is not played in straight lines from a playbook. You have to give moves here and get releases and give an extra move to get yourself open. And some of this is being a football player and feeling the lanes. So a lot of it is having a feel for what the defense is playing, whether it is zone or man and making your adjustments.

Q:  How about the altitude out there?

A:  We’ll just have to see. I have never played out there before, so we’ll just see how it goes.

Q:  What do you see from the Broncos?

A:  They are a very talented defense. Obviously they have mixed up a lot of blitzes, very physical. They can get sacks on the quarterback. Their corners are aggressive and make plays. So they are very talented, hard to move the ball on. You just have to be safe with the ball and protect it. You can’t give them a short field.  And everybody has to be on the same page and hopefully we can go out there and make some plays.

Q:  Do you have to adjust your routine as far as taking care of your arm and resting a little bit on such a short week?

A:  Obviously I didn’t throw any today. Come tomorrow, I think I will just go about my same routine and just try to get mentally and physically ready to play. It is a short week, but hey, we should be ready to play come Thursday.  We just have to go out there and execute.

Q:  I know you haven’t done this in the pros, but did you ever have a short week like this in college at all?

A:  I have played on a Thursday before – but after a Saturday game. But, yeah, we have played short weeks before. And it is just about going out there and everybody just communicating. You have walk thrus, you have study in the meeting room and take that to the game field and not always get to practice some of the things.

Q: The fact that you are coming off a win, everybody says, "I want to get right back out there and keep this rolling." Does that help a little bit when you have to plan a short week?

A: Yeah, I think so. It is always good coming off a win. And coming in today, guys were excited and enthused about being there and looking forward to the opportunity to play on Thanksgiving night.

Q:  Did you look at the tape from yesterday?

A:  I looked at it, yes. 

Q:  That wasn’t a team thing, right?

A:  No, not a team thing.

Q:  Why did you look at it?

A: You want to look and see what you need to improve on, different things, see where, as a player, you can improve and talking to receivers and the offense about what we need to fix. We just have to kind of talk about it amongst ourselves and move on quickly to Denver. 

Q:  Are you concerned at all about the altitude?

A:  No, I don’t think you can be concerned with it. You just have to go out there and see if there is a difference. And I don’t think you can be thinking about it while you are playing. You just have to go out there and just go play. There is not a whole lot that you can take in to factor once you are out there on the field. 

Q:  Personally how do you feel after coming off yesterday’s game?

A:  I feel good. It was a big win for us.  It was good for us to have one of those tight games. Like I said, we have to find ways to win some of these tight games. Yesterday was an example of that. It was a tight game and they made a comeback. We got the ball in the overtime and had a chance to go win the game.  And we did that. That is what we needed to do. So I feel good and we just have to keep it up. Guys made a lot of big plays yesterday – receivers, running backs, everybody made some outstanding plays and kept drives going and enabled us to get in the end zone and get touchdowns.  So we have to keep that going.

Q: How about yourself personally? Throwing the ball – do you feel better throwing the ball than you did the last couple of weeks? Did you feel like you were in a better rhythm?

A:  I felt good. I felt in rhythm and guys were making plays and getting open. And the offensive line was protecting, so I felt good. Everybody is going to have to keep doing their job and hopefully we can keep being consistent and score some points.