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Eli Manning, 08.16.12

Q: It’s pretty hard not to think there will a lot of extra buzz and enthusiasm in the building, playing the Jets this week. How much does it affect you, impact you? Do you even care at all?

A: No. I mean, I think we’re just looking forward to playing a good team. Offensively, we know we’re going to go against a good defense. They got good players, and they do a good scheme. So, we’re going to be tested and knowing our rules and our assignments, and making sure we know exactly what’s going on. Know all of our responsibilities, and see if we can go and be effective against a top-quality defense.

Q: You got Hakeem back off the PUP. You’re getting him back in practice, very, very shortly. Obviously, you can’t wait to get back on the field with him, I’m sure?

A: Yeah, definitely. It’ll be great to have Hakeem back. He’s a big part of our offense, and a playmaker. So, it’ll be good to get him back on the practice field, start working, and seeing how we can improve as a tandem.

Q: How much do you think you lost by not having him around in Albany on the field?

A: He’ll be fine. He knows the offense, he’s a hard worker, he knows how to get open and how to work. Once he comes back, we shouldn’t miss a beat.

Q: You know what Hakeem can bring, but you’ve gotten a long look at a lot of other guys this summer. Anybody jumped out at you? Is there a leader for that third receiver job? Or just somebody you can trust?

A: Well, I think there are a number of guys. I don’t know if there’s just one guy right now. Obviously, Hixon is a guy who has been around, knows the offense well. I thought Ramses has done a good job, and with Jernigan and Reuben competing for that third spot, young guys. So, I think there are a number of guys, I think these pre-season games are big, when you see them against live action, against good corners, see their releases, and see if they’re doing a good job getting open. So, it’s always a good problem to have as a quarterback, is have a number of receivers who can come in and play well for you.

Q: Does it have to be one guy? Or do you guys think you can use it by committee, almost?

A: Well, I think some guys do some things better than others. So, I think, depending on the route, on the concepts, on where you want to put that player. Whether that receiver is going to be playing inside or outside, you can decide who’s going to be in that situation. So, I think that’s why you usually carry six receivers, so you can put guys in certain spots, have them do what they do best.

Q: It looks to us, like Domenik picked up right where he left off. After two ACLs and a couple years off, that seems amazing. Were you surprised by anything he did this summer?

A: Yeah. I thought Domenik had a really great spring, and a great training camp. Just coming out of his breaks, a guy who knows the offense well. So, he’s been playing that X spot, where Hakeem plays mostly. He’s played very well, and done a great job. So, I’m excited about having him back, because he’s played in games and he’s played well for us in the past.

Q: You at least have some chemistry and trust there, right?

A: Exactly. We’ve played a number of games together, been in the system a long time, so he knows the ins and outs, he’s played well for us.

Q: You joked several times this off-season about being the third or fourth quarterback in this city. It’s all been fun, but does anything at all to playing the Jets, with the kind of attention they’ve got all year?

A: No. I’m just excited about going against a good team, going against a good defense, and seeing where we stand. Obviously, you’ve got two good corners over there, so it’ll be a great test for our receivers and see how they do against those guys, see if we can get open. It really teaches you about using your technique, and being sound in all of your fundamentals to get open. So, I think it’s a great test for our offense, going against this defense.

Q: You just alluded to it a little bit. In general, from game one to two in the pre-season, are there areas you look for progress?

A: Definitely. I thought last week in our first game, we did things well. Everybody knew their assignments, so we could be a little bit sharper in our technique, and trying to do things perfectly. So, I think that’s what we’re looking for now. I think there’s a lot of growth in the young players. I think as a young player, you know what the plays are, you know what your assignments are, what you’re supposed to be doing. You don’t always do the right thing at the right time. So, it’s really just learning how you have to prepare, how you have to study for every single situation that might come up. I think that’s, hopefully, guys understand that and are working hard, and knowing the game plan, knowing all of your assignments, and the different options that you might have to use in a game.

Q: Do you even tell the young guys that things are a little different when you play the Jets in a pre-season game? Or do you let them find that out themselves?

A: You just want to get guys ready. You want to get guys prepared to go play their best, and I think you tell the guys when you go against this defense, you have to be prepared. They show lots of different looks, they show different personnel, and you just have to know your assignments. You have to know all the rules, communicate well, so you don’t get guys running free, getting extra hits, and free hits when the quarterback is expecting to be blocked up. So, whoever’s in, you just want everybody to make sure they know their assignments, so the offense can look like we know what we’re doing.

Q: This kind of signifies getting close to the season when you get that Jet preseason game?

A: Well, yeah. Usually we play them in the third game, but we’re playing them in the second now. Obviously, you still have a few more pre-season games to go. The second one, you’ll play a little bit more extended time with the starters. We’re also looking forward to that. We’re just looking forward to being in our own stadium and playing a game.

Q: Does your daughter object to the Grizzly Adams look? Or what happened?

A: Training camp ended, so it comes off.