Eli Manning is under pressure. Sure, the Giants are 6-3, but the offense is taking some heat for a string of lukewarm performances. He spoke to the media today…
What do you see when you look at the Bengals?
They have a good defense. They do a good job of getting to the quarterback, getting the pass rush and they have some good blitzes, they have a bunch of talented guys back in the secondary. Overall, they’re a very sound, talented defense. We’re going to have to have great execution.
Your brother played them last week. Did you talk to Peyton during the course of this week and ask him what he saw?
Yeah, I talked to him a little bit. I talked to him yesterday about their game. Just seeing if there are any tips on certain things. We talked a little bit.
Q: What the Bengals don’t do well is red-zone defense. What have you seen there, and what do you hope to exploit?
A: We watched some games, got into all of our red-zone plays, which we don’t have in quite yet. We usually do that on Friday. In the next couple of days, we’ll start analyzing that, seeing what plays we’re going to run. I don’t really have an answer for you on that right now. No matter what’s done, it’s all a matter of execution. I know they do some all-out blitzes, you have some one-on-ones, so you want to win those match-ups. If they’re playing deep, we’ve got to run the ball.
Q: You seem a little disappointed in those one-on-one match-ups. It looks like Hakeem might not be part of that mix, again?
A: No. I hope he’s back and able to go. I don’t know what the circumstances are, but hopefully, he’s able to play and play well for us.
Q: Did you watch the Broncos game at all
A: Yeah. I’ve watched it on film, yes.
RE: Meeting and talking with Coach Coughlin on Tuesdays, and doing so for a longer period yesterday:
A: We just had a talk. Just about how to get back on track, get back to playing at a high level, anything I needed. That’s not uncommon. We talk throughout the season, we have a great relationship, and obviously, both of us want the same thing, for our offense to get back rolling and start scoring some points.
Q: Was there any change out of it? Anything concrete that you could share?
A: It all comes down to how we practice. Have great practices and hopefully, that turns over into game day production. I don’t think we have to go in and change everything we’re doing. We’re still in games in the fourth quarter. We had a chance to go win the game. The fact is, when we get the ball back with four minutes in the last game and score a touchdown, everybody is feeling pretty good right now. That didn’t happen and we’re dealing with the consequences. We’ve got to keep working. That’s all you can do. It’s not a time to say, “Oh, we’ve got to change our offense, or we have to do this-and-that.” We’ve got to keep working and start making some plays.
Q: On Monday, we heard a little bit about how you and the receivers might be a little bit out of sync. What changed today that may have made it smoother at practice?
A: it’s just a matter of keep working, walking through things, talking through things. Our reactions to what we expect to get, go out there and we both have to be on the same page. I’ve got to read the body language of the receivers. We don’t have to re-write the book here. It’s just a matter of keep working at it and it’ll get better.
RE: Because the team and yourself have been so resilient with the ability to come back, does that give you guys a comfort zone or a false sense of security that you can do this all the time and it’s dangerous to live by?
A: Sure. It’s dangerous. We’ve had good success in the fourth quarter in a lot of games. We’ve also failed in the fourth quarter in the last drive and we haven’t had success at times. I think we do a good job of remembering the successful ones. So, when we get in that situation again, we rely on that for our confidence. We have the faith that we can go out there and work. We’ve still got to do a better job of getting off to a good start, sustaining when we play good football for 60 minutes.
Q: Coach (Coughlin) talked about the value of first downs and giving the offense a feeling of continuity. What do you do to make that happen?
A: Get better on third down. Obviously, it’s very helpful. The last couple of weeks, we haven’t been very good on third down. Those are failed drives and each one has its own story of why it wasn’t successful. A little off here, the defense makes a play there, you get a tipped ball. Little things can come into factor and we’re not catching breaks right now. So, we have to do a good job of making our own breaks. Sometimes, you get a little bad luck and we have that going for us right now, but we’ve got to start executing a little bit better and start making those plays.
Q: It looks like the receivers are being handled a little more physically by defensive backs and that seems to be affecting your sight reads with them. Is there anything you can do to fix those sight reads?
A: Keep working. Everybody has a different style on how they play defense. It’s just a matter of having the combination of having time to throw and everybody getting open in a timely fashion and we’ll be able to make the plays.
Q: Victor said that you guys are talking about using more underneath routes and getting him the ball early, in terms of getting him into a rhythm. Is that something that you guys have talked about?
A: No. Obviously, you always like to get the guys the ball. If you can get it to him without holding the ball as long, is always a good thing. It all depends on what the defense is, the coverages and making my reads.
Q: Do you have any thoughts of incorporating some no-huddle into the offense like Denver did?
A: That’s just their offense. They go no-huddle every game and they practice like that. It’s not something we do a whole lot of.
transcript courtesy Giants communications dept