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Panthers’ coach Ron Rivera on Eli Manning: “I still see the same guy”

Rivera talked Manning and other topics with New York media on Wednesday

Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With the New York Giants moving on from their 33-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the team looks to move forward and set focus on the Carolina Panthers. With the Giants making the move down to Charlotte for the weekend matchup, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera spoke with the media on Wednesday about Big Blue. Let’s take a look at some takeaways from his time with the media.

On what he has seen out of the Giants offense and whether he expects to seen anything different Sunday...

I don’t necessarily think that,” Rivera said. “I’m not going to see anything different, because you’re going to game plan how you think you can best attack a team, so that’d be up to Pat. But looking at what they’re doing right now, there’s some good things going on. I think this is a team that’s trying to find itself, they’ve had some injuries, they’ve had some players they’ve had to move around. I know last week they didn’t have Evan Engram, who I think is a big part of what they want to do, so again I think it’s a good football team that’s finding itself. You’ve got a new head coach with new philosophies, new ideas, and you’ve got some new players in key spots. I like who they have, I think they’re a very talented football team, I’ll tell you that right now. It’s just a matter of time before they put it all together and they’re the type of football team that, believe me, people are going to hear from.”

On what Giants general manager Dave Gettleman means to him...

I really appreciated working with Dave,” Rivera said. “I like who he is as a person and as a scout. He really understands and knows players, he came in with the philosophy of we were going to bring in big guys up front because they allow you to compete, and it worked for us, it worked very well for us. We’re still seeing the aftereffects of the players he brought in. It was a very positive situation, I really enjoyed working with him. He’s a northeast guy and you can feel it when dealing with him. The one thing with Dave, Dave was always upfront, a straight shooter, very honest – brutally honest, almost to a fault – but he was a lot of fun to be around.”

On what he has seen out of quarterback Eli Manning this year and whether he seems like the same quarterback he has seen in the past...

“Yes I do, it’s just throwing different route combinations, that’s pretty much it,” Rivera said. “The dude – you’re talking about a two-time Super Bowl MVP. There’s something about your game that’s special, and I think he’s a special player. Again, as I said, new offense and they’re learning things, they’re learning how to play it, it takes a little bit of time, you don’t just plug in and say OK this is it. They’ve got to understand each other’s philosophy, they’ve got to understand what the other players are doing. That’s a lot to learn when you install a new offense, but I still see the same guy – good decision maker, good arm, and he’s a winner. Believe me, we’re not taking these guys lightly. This football team’s got way too much talent, but again, like I said, they’re still growing.”

About former coaches and players being on the other side of the field...

“Like I say, we know that they know that I know that you know that he knows, so we’ll go from there,” Rivera said. “It’s different. They’re in a different environment with different players, we have different players. It’s a different environment. We’ll see how it goes though, but the only thing you’re familiar about is who they are as people and that’s the most important thing.”