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Eli Manning Press Conference, 08.12.12

Q: Have you looked at the film of the preseason game?

A: I have, and I thought that the first unit was pretty good. Obviously, there are some things that we can clean up but we were very close to being very good. I thought the guys were sharp and running around well and close to scoring on all three possessions that we had. I think overall it would be something to learn from and but we can improve on it though.

Q: Was that as sharp as you guys have been in a preseason game, as far as you can remember?

A: I can’t recall every first preseason game but I thought overall that the first unit was good. From our first drive we went down there and at least got a few first downs and moved the ball. We didn’t score on that one but after that we got a touchdown and a field goal and did really well. I thought that the second unit came in and did well also. They did some good things. Some of the young guys, the receivers and skill guys that will possibly be on the team got some stuff to learn and get better. I think the game is the best way to learn it because you don’t know what play is going to be called next. You see different styles of defense, you see different techniques that defenses play that our defense doesn’t, and you’ve got to adjust and know what to do; that’s where you truly learn the concepts of what we have to do as an offense.

Q: Did you see some encouraging signs out of the running game?

A: I thought the running game had a couple big runs, which we’ve missed in the past, is getting those 10, 12, 15-yard runs and we had a few of those. We didn’t have many runs where you’re getting 1 yard or no yards. We were getting 3 and 4 yards, which is what you like to do to get yourselves in 3rd and manageable situations, so I thought that was a positive and every once in a while you break a long one. I thought it was a good start to our running game improving.

Q: What’s your comfort level with Danny as far as in the third down package?

A: Danny’s good. He’s been our third down guy last year for a bit so he has a good job in protection. We feel he’s our best route runner out of the backfield and catches the ball well. Hopefully, that’s a role where you can get catches to him third and short or third and four or five, or you can get the ball out of the backfield, have him run a route and get first downs for you. I think that’s something that he’s worked hard on and understands our concepts and how to get open versus different techniques.

Q: In that role, reliability and dependability is much more important than flash. You could really screw up a play if you do the wrong thing.

A: Right, so he’s got to know all the concepts. What the receivers, what their routes are, dictate a lot of the time what running back’s route is. Also the coverage. He has to read the coverage as well. It’s a little bit more to it than just hey here’s your route go do it. We ask him to do a lot in protection and pick up different blitzes. Sometimes you have to help out the left or right tackle on certain plays. It’s a lot that goes into learning the ins and outs of the third down package and all of your responsibilities, but Danny does a good job.

Q: How do you think things went with Martellus in the first game?

A: I thought Martellus did very well. He blocked well in the running game, he was strong. I thought he did a good job in catching the ball on that first third down. He ran a good route, got open. He had a nice catch on that touchdown. He had another nice catch, and broke a couple of tackles. He did some really good things, showed that he’ll really be able to help us out this year, and play well for us.

Q: He seems like an interesting guy. What’s it been like, having him as a team-mate off the field?

A: He’s been good. He works hard, and I thought he was coming in with the right attitude. He’s trying to learn as much as he can. He asks questions in the meeting rooms, he sits right behind me in the offensive meetings. We’re going over things and decisions. Whether he’s the one running a route, or another tight end is running, he’s asking questions. I think he’s starting to get a good feel, and wants to learn as much as possible to get ready for these upcoming games.

Q: You’ve had tight ends put up some good numbers in your years here. Not like the 80-90 catch numbers that Jason Witten-type guys do. Is that because tight ends here are required to block too much? Or do you think that a guy could put up numbers like that in your offense?

A: I think the tight end is capable of getting a lot of balls in this offense, and catching a lot of things. We pretty much have a tight end in, on every set we have. So, he should have lots of opportunities to get catches. If the defense is trying to take away Hakeem and Victor, tight ends should have a lot of one-on-one matches on a linebacker. We’re just looking for mismatches. I think with Martellus, he’s probably more athletic than some of the tight ends we’ve had getting in and out of breaks; he should be able to have some catches. I don’t know how many he’ll have. It just depends on what defenses are giving us.

Q: What have you seen from David Wilson so far?
A: I thought David ran hard. He showed some physical running ability right there. That’s what you like to see. He has quickness. He had a couple of big runs where he was breaking it over 10 yards, a good kickoff return which was nice. Those things are good. Obviously, a very physical and strong runner. He’s still got a lot to learn from some aspects of the passing game, but that just comes with time and more reps. I think it’s good for him to get into a game situation and I think for a lot of the young guys, they truly start to understand they think they know the offense and their out for a game and they kind of realize what they need to work on.

Q: Is there a younger guy that after watching the film, you were impressed with after the first game?

A: I don’t know if one guy stuck out more than the others. I thought there were some good plays and a lot of good things and then a lot of areas where some of the young guys can see how much they need to just go into the offense. It’s not just knowing your routes. Guys knew what the route was and kind of knowing all of the different possibilities of what you can do based on the concept of the route. I think that’s probably the biggest learning experience for the young guys.

Q: Will they work on that the next three days of practice, knowing that they saw that and they can take that out of it?
A: Yea I think so. I think you continue to talk about it and they see Victor and the starting group do it correctly in a game and all the different decisions. That’s the difference between the starting group is that they’ve had the experience of games before – live experience know matter what the defense throws at us, they’ve seen that coverage or style before and they know how to adjust. Some of the guys were seeing different coverages for the first time. Different styles of techniques and they don’t know quite how to adjust to things. It also gives the coaches and as an offense, more things to talk about. Hey if you get this technique, this is an option. Going over different things, trying to set it up. Different looks that we might not necessarily get verse our Giants defense.

Q: Thoughts on replacement referees in Week 1 against the Cowboys:

A: I think it’s something that as players you just have to go out there and play the game and worry about our execution and playing well. Let the officials try to do their job, and obviously you hope to have the guys that have worked hard to earn the spots to be an NFL official. That will get worked out, and we just have to worry about doing our business