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Eli Manning, 11.24.10

Q: What was it like working with Michael Clayton today?
A: It was good. We got some good work. I've known Michael for a long time. We worked out before the combine seven years ago - we were down in Florida for about three months and he was my roommate and he was a guy I was throwing to a bunch then, so it's good to reconnect and I know he's excited about being here and seeing how he can help us out. He's obviously a veteran guy who has played in a lot of football games and he should be able to pick it up quickly and get some playing time.

Q: How much can you expect him to get under his belt in the next couple of days?
A: I think a guy like him - obviously, he knows how to prepare, he knows how to study, but you can only ask so much, keep things relatively simple for him and just see what he can learn and see what he can pick up and I think he can learn enough.

Q: How does it limit your game plan?
A: It's still about execution - it's about how you execute, how you go out there and there are enough guys who know what they're doing and know how to run routes and know this offense, so we're still trying to do everything that we need to do to go out there and perform our best and have a chance to beat Jacksonville.

Q: Where have you missed Steve Smith the most?
A: It's tough to say. When you need a completion at third and six, he's going to fight for you and get open, so he's been a great third down receiver for us and just getting easy completions in the middle of the field, so we need guys to step in and fill that role.

Q: What do you see in the Jacksonville defense?
A: They're a big, physical team and they're very well coached, very disciplined. They play aggressive, they play fast, so we've got to go out there and a lot of it is just taking what they give you and moving the ball consistently and staying out of bad situations.

Q: How long do you think it takes a guy like Michael Clayton to get acclimated to what you guys do?
A: Hopefully it takes about two days. He got here yesterday I figure, first practice today, tomorrow he should know everything. He got in there; this will be us meeting and talking to the coaches and figuring out where he's going to be lined up and what packages he really needs to know and what routes and all of the conversions and different things and different adjustments that we have within the offense.

Q: Are you looking at this as a must-win game?
A: I think every game is a must-win game. I think you look at them all the same. You're always desperate for a win. We'll try to go out there and play our best football.

Q: How do you think the dynamic of the running back situation will change now that Jacobs has been re-inserted as the starter?
A: I don't think it'll change much and Brandon has obviously run the ball well for us this year, he knows what it's like to get the bulk of the carries, so it should be good. We'll mix in Ahmad, he's going to stay focused, stay ready and he'll be in there and we've still got the same tandem and they'll be working together, so whoever is in there knows how to run the ball.

Q: How much of a need is there to keep Ahmad's spirits up?
A: Yeah. He's just got to know. It's football and he's still going to get in the games and still have a great chance to make a lot of big plays for us and over the years, that's where he got the bulk of his carries were at the end of games, not being a starter and he should maybe see it as a good thing to wear down the defense and all of the sudden you bring in a different look, so it might be the spark that we need.

Q: What kind of premium are you guys putting on holding on to the football?
A: Yeah. I mean, I think it's always a premium, but we've got to do a better job and we've got to go out there and execute and that's what it is - stay out of bad situations, guys are going to have to make some great plays for us and it's just a matter of running the offense smoothly and respecting what the defense gives us.

Q: Is this like one of those things that goes in streaks?
A: Yeah. That's just kind of the way it goes. A lot of times it kind of all evens out, so I'm hoping that all of the turnovers we've had in the first half, the second half will be great with that and limit those and it'll all even out to what your normal average is for turnovers in a year, so we've just got to go out there and play. We've got to play our best football, we have to play fast and make sure that everybody is keyed in to what we're doing so we can go out there and have no doubts and just perform to the best of our ability.

Q: Are you surprised you're having the turnovers for so long?
A: Yeah. I think each turnover has its own story and some of them are just fluke deals. It's not like it's one thing that's happening over and over again, so I don't think we're repeating mistakes in that sense, it's just a matter of getting some bad bounces here and there.