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Eli Manning, 09.22.10

Q: What do you take out of a game like the Sunday night game?
A: I think you have to look at it and see what you can do better. A lot of it was just individual efforts, and it wasn't like we had mental mistakes, guys going the wrong way, and we fixed a lot of things that we did incorrectly the week before. We just got outperformed. We were outplayed in a lot of areas, and that's unfortunate. You don't like for that to happen, but when you play this game long enough, you're going to have those types of games. It's part of sports and it happens to the best and worst of teams. It's a matter of coming out that next week and being hungry and dedicated. When you go through tough times, it's about the team rallying around each other. You'll have a lot of people looking in and saying things. It's about trusting your teammates and having each other's back and stepping up for each other, and going out that next week and proving that wasn't us. We can play better football than that.

Q: Is everybody on the same page here, from your perspective?
A: Yes, I believe everyone is on the same page. Everyone knows what we're capable of doing and what we need to do to win, what our game plan is. We have had good practices. I think we have done things well and made corrections. We've been responsible to each other and committed, and we have to go out there on Sundays and play better football.

Q: Brandon just apologized to everyone. Do you get a sense that he has refocused and he's back to where he should be?
A: I hope so. We need Brandon to play well for us. He's a big part of this team, and he's been a great teammate for a number of years. We need him to support everybody, and be on track, committed, and have the same focus and determination as everybody else.

Q: Did you or any of the guys get together with him and talk it out?
A: I ate lunch with him and I talked to him a little bit. Brandon is fine, and it's part of being in New York with the media. You can make mistakes sometimes, no matter how long you've been doing it, it's easy to make a mistake. You have to learn from that also.

Q: Antrel said there is a lack of leadership here. Do you think that's right?
A: No, I think we have good leadership on this team. I think guys like myself, Justin Tuck, Chase Blackburn, or the offensive line or anyone who has been here, or even Antrel himself. We have great leaders, and guys who are committed to winning and doing the right things. Sometimes you're going to have a loss, and you can't start blaming things and making excuses right now. We have a long season, and we have to get back to just playing football.

Q: Good to get this out of the way early?
A: Maybe so. You get it out of the way and you learn from it. We just say, ‘Hey, we need to stick together and we have to play better football.' All the talking isn't going to help anything. Going out there on Sundays and playing your game is the only way to get things back on track.

Q: What new challenges do the Titans bring to your offense?
A: The Titans are very good, and they have been a good defense for the last number of years. They're very consistent, well-coached, disciplined, and they have good players who make plays. They find ways to get turnovers and make things happen. They do a great job getting to the quarterback and stopping the run. They're going to try and stop the run, and that's what their main focus is, and they're good at getting to the quarterback also.

Q: What have you seen from Keith Bulluck so far?
A: Keith is a tremendously smart player, and he just knows the game of football. He brings great leadership and intensity to the game. He has a way of being around the ball and making plays. It's been fun to watch him practice, and to talk to him, and learn from him and also seeing him out there on Sunday.

Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Peyton after the game the other night?
A: Just talking. I told him he played well, played a good game. He didn't have much to say.

Q: When established players like Keith Bulluck and Antrel Rolle come in, does their leadership start in Albany or does it take a few weeks or seasons?
A: I'm not sure. I think it starts early when you see the way they practice, and the way they conduct themselves. The way they play the game and prepare. I think those types of players with that type of intensity goes onto the practice field, in the meeting rooms, and on game day.

Q: Tom Coughlin said there is no leadership council this year because last year it wasn't very effective. What are your thoughts about that?
A: I don't think that the leadership council had a whole lot of responsibility in the past anyway. I wasn't surprised and I haven't really thought about it until now why we don't have one. I don't think it did a whole lot or made a big difference in the past. I think we have great leaders on this team, and you don't have to be voted on a council to be a leader. You need all 53 guys to be leaders in some way, either by just doing their job and being accountable to yourself and this team, and you have some guys like Justin, myself, and Chase. Our offensive line has been here six, seven years, and the defensive guys have been here a long time who are all responsible and all great leaders in their own right. We need everyone to step up and do that job.

Q: How do you think that you as a captain can address the locker room in regards to the comments and actions that have occurred in the past week or so?
A: I think you just have to remember where you are. Anything you say outside this locker room is going to be blown up. Antrel is new to New York, and he has to get accustomed to that. Brandon is Brandon, and you come to deal with that. Brandon knows he made a mistake, and we've talked a little bit. Now, it's about playing football. You can do all the talking, you just have to learn. We have been through this in the past. It doesn't matter what you say to the media or making a complaint. It's not going to fix anything. If you have problems, keep it within the team and say it to the captains and the coaches. We got beat on Sunday and that's hard, but it's not what you say after. It's how you get back up and respond the next week, and how you go back out there on Sunday and play.