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Eli Manning, 08.14.09

Q. What is it like to finally sign this contract?

A. Well, it’s good to just get it out of the way, don’t have to worry about anything else and just get ready for the season. There have been some talks about getting it done before the preseason. The season starts now, our focus is on football, really like it has been, and looking forward to Monday night.

Q. To be the highest paid player comes with a lot of responsibility, are you ready to take that on and what do you think about that?

A. My job is to play quarterback for the New York Giants and try to win games. Nothing has changed, our responsibility hasn’t changed, I’m trying to go out there, do my part, play well and lead this team.

Q. Did you sign it last night or this morning?

A. Signed it this morning.

Q. It’s kind of odd that you agreed to terms and it would take nine more days. Was there any point during those nine days that you were worried or kind of concerned that something might not happen?

A. No, it’s just how things go sometimes…we just had to work out some language and it’s just part of contracts. My focus has been on getting better and just trying to treat it like any normal training camp. No difference in trying to improve everyday…getting our team on the right page and getting ready for the start of the season.

Q. What does it mean to you to be the starting quarterback of the Giants for that many years to come?

A. I’m happy to be here, this is where I wanted to be. The Giants, I feel, are one of the greatest organizations, if not the best, in the NFL and it’s an honor to be part of the Giants and play quarterback in New York. It’s something I worked hard to try and become a better player, and done everything to help out the Giants. I’m excited to know that I’ll be here for six, seven more years.

Q. Any thoughts on Michael Vick signing with the Philadelphia Eagles?

A. Yeah, I think it’s great for Michael, I was excited to hear that. He’s a guy who deserves a second chance, after hearing some of the things that the Commissioner (Roger Goodell) said, he feels that he has paid his debt and learned from the mistake he made and thought he deserved a second chance. So I am happy, glad he is getting it.

Q. You mentioned keeping the focus on the field, how hard is it to keep distractions, whether it’s your contract situation or another situation, how hard is it to keep it out of your head and keep that focus?

A. It’s not hard, when you’re out here for training camp you know coming in that it’s all football. It’s all about improving every day, whether you are in practice or meetings, everyone’s focus is learning what you did from last practice and then preparing yourself on the new plays that are going in. So I feel we have had good focus as a team this year and guys are doing things really well.

Q. Your offensive linemen haven’t given you an updated Christmas list yet?

A. No, nothing has come up.

Q. They haven’t teased you at all in the last week or so?

A.: Not a whole lot…few little things but nothing more than the harassment I take from those guys anyway.

Q. With the amount of money and the fact that you’re in the biggest market in New York City, this probably puts more eyes on you, do you like the added pressure?

A. You know I think being the quarterback of the Giants, you’re going to have pressure. Being a quarterback any way, you have pressure to win games and play well. I’m trying to go out and do my job, and do it to the best of my ability…that’s all I can worry about.

Q. Have you had a chance to talk to Mark Sanchez and have you given him any advice about what it’s like to be a quarterback in this league?

A. Yeah, I have been around Mark (Sanchez) a few times. Seen him around New York and done some things with him, but no, I haven’t giving him any advice, it’s not my spot to do that, he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he’s got his own team, the Jets. It sounds like he’s been doing well, you know you always keep up with other quarterbacks around the league and especially one (that’s) in your same town. I’m sure we’ll be around each other in the years to come and look forward to having a friendship with Mark.

Q. What’s your take on the wide receivers and where this unit is right now?

A. Well, I think the receivers are doing well. Obviously, Steve Smith has been out for awhile but it’s kind of giving some time to new guys who have stepped up. I think Ramses Barden has really stepped up and done really well from a rookie standpoint. Mario Manningham has been making plays, (Domenik) Hixon has been making a lot of plays. There are a lot of guys, a lot of weapons that could do good things. I think it’s going to be kind of by committee. I think we’ve got a lot of guys who can step in and play well for us and that’s good when you have a big number of guys who you can move around, put them in different spots. If someone is tired or someone gets a little banged up, someone else can step right in.

Q. What about the running backs? Brandon Jacobs told us yesterday he thought they were going to be better this year than they were last year.

A. Well, I hope so. A good running game makes my life easier, and we should be able to run the ball well with Brandon (Jacobs) and Ahmad (Bradshaw). They’re guys that know what they’re doing back there. They have had experience, so I’m looking forward to it. You know, Brandon (Jacobs) has done a great job of just being out there everyday, trying to teach the young guys what to do, so we should have a strong running game.

Q. Why didn’t you run the Wildcat offense today?

A. They didn’t ask me I don’t know why…. (laughs)… I was a little insulted because they didn’t want me back there.