Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Postgame vs. New Orleans, September 18, 2016
Q: You said you had great leadership, what in particular makes you say that after a game like this?
A: It was the encouragement and the positivity on the sidelines. Picking each other up, you know if it's not phase by phase, it's player by player
Q: Coach, you preach a lot about ball security. What did you say when you see three veterans mishandle the ball when you guys are driving?
A: We need to handle the football better. We need to take care of The Duke, whether it was dropped passes, fumbles, sack fumble, whatever it is, we need to take care of the football better, no question. What we do in practice needs to show up in the game. We took care of the ball well last week other than one minor incident, but this week, we need to do a better job, we need to clean that up.
Q: The defense, other than the one touchdown drive, held Drew Brees in check pretty much all game long. What was the key to that?
A: We got lined up quickly and made sure we played the call and played with confidence.
Q: What was the strategy on the last possession?
A: We didn't want to give Drew the ball back. He is a heck of a player, a future Hall of Famer, and if you can end the game with a kick, you end the game.
Q: What did you see on the Cruz play on the sideline from your vantage point?
A: Looked like one heck of a play in a very big point in the game. He had a great release at the line of scrimmage, something he does well. Eli has confidence in him. He threw a ball that's not normally a high percentage ball and we really hadn't been making that play all day and Eli came through at a big point and time in the ball game.
Q: Did you get the sense that you were on the verge of breaking out offensively all day but just couldn't quite do it?
A: It's a game that I think a couple years ago normally you would be frustrated with, but we just kept playing and playing. We knew we had to be productive, we knew that holding the ball and getting first downs and chewing the clock, we benefit, the special teams and the defense.
Q: What can you say about the play Janoris Jenkins made?
A: Second week in a row. You see he is such a competitor, a real competitor. You see that in his play.
Q: Talk about the impact Sterling Shepard has on the offense?
A: He is a weapon in the slot. He needs to score on the one double move he had in the green zone. He will next time he gets it. He makes a big play over the shoulder, he needs to trust his feet and go straight ahead instead of worrying about sticking his foot in the ground and dancing. He is a weapon in the slot, he's a smart young player, he works at it. The quarterback is developing trust in him.
Q: Your defense held them to under 300 yards, was that one of your goals coming in?
A: Anytime you can hold someone in this league to under 300 yards, it's a good day defensively. We are hoping if we hold a team to 14 points or less, we can win the ball game. It's a great job by the defense today. Spags and the defensive coaches and players all rally around each other, they challenged each other this week and showed up.
Q: What does it say about the identity of this team now that you can win a game like this?
A: It says a lot about our three phases. Special teams made a big play. The defense stepped up all day, and the offense got it done at the end. All three phases came up huge for us.
Q: Eli Apple played the majority of snaps at corner. What was thinking behind putting him in that role today?
A: He is a starting corner for us.
Q: (In reference to last question) Over DRC in the base defense?
A: We have three starting corners.
Q: Did you give any thought to kicking the field goal on third down just in case a bad snap or something like that?
A: There was some conversation about it, but I trust the quarterback-center exchange.
Q: The main priority was to drain the clock?
A: Yeah, we wanted to make sure we end the game on the kick
Q: What's the difference between last year where you lost two very close games to open the season?
A: Last season is last season. We are not worried about last season, we learned from last season. We moved on and we are looking forward to Washington this week.
Q: When you talk about leadership, what do you make of Vernon and JPP playing as much as they did, clearly playing hurt to some degree?
A: Yeah, they were playing nicked up, played hard, played a lot of snaps. They are not just pass rushers.
Q: Before the season, was there an extra emphasis on finishing games?
A: We need to focus on all situations. Starting in the offseason, we continued through training camp, each week and every week
Q: What can a win like this and last week do moving forward?
A: We learned from the past and now we are on to Washington.
QB Eli Manning
Postgame vs. New Orleans, September 16, 2016
*Q: Eli, how do you feel about that win offensively even with the mistakes? *
A: There was a lot of good. Moved the ball pretty well up and down the field. Had three turnovers that hurt us and not scoring touchdowns down there when we got into the red zone. So a turnover on downs one time. Settled for some field goals. So we have to do a better job at finishing some drives, but I thought we ran the ball okay. Threw the ball for a lot of completions and hit a couple of big plays. Guys stepped up, made some nice plays for us and that's good, but we need to be sharper. That's football. You never know what you're going to get. Defense did an outstanding job slowing their offense down and obviously special teams getting us a touchdown. So a big win and sometimes in this league it's not always pretty. It's not always perfect, but you've got to find ways to win. We were in a position to do that and we made some big time plays in the fourth quarter and on that final drive, a couple of guys made some big time plays to win the game.
Q: Victor Cruz in his first two games back. First he scores the de facto game winning touchdown and now he gets the play that set you guys up for the win. What can you say about his return and development?
A: I think he's doing a lot of good things. Obviously a huge catch there in the fourth quarter. Caught another one earlier on a second and long that he had along the sidelines. Made some big plays. Also saw a great view of the old Victor Cruz run and catch. It's been a couple of years. Got to remember to hold onto the ball at the end but you know you get used to taking hits and remember guys are right after you. Have to protect the football. So we'll get that cleaned up, but I thought all the receivers did a great job making plays today.
Q: On the play at the end to Victor, what did you see from the defense that you could focus on and take advantage of?
A: They were playing man to man. Really doubled on Odell's side with a safety, so they did a pretty good job at taking away Sterling and Odell with the safety on that side. I had Victor one on one and gave him a shot. He did a great job at making a tough catch.
Q: You have three receivers. It's still early in the year. You're still learning Sterling Shepard and Cruz coming back. The three of them combined for almost 300 yards today. How comfortable are you right now with them and how much higher do you think they will go?
A: There's still a few things we can honestly clean up and learn from, but a lot of good things. I thought all of them made some tough catches. Sterling made some tough catches in the middle. Some scramble drills. Some timing stuff. We were on time. A lot of good things and we'll clean up the others. I feel excited about the weapons we have. Not just those three receivers but the tight ends and running backs as well. Offensive line played well and I thought we had good communication. Solved a lot of their looks and gave us an opportunity to make some big plays.
Q: The way last season went, does it give you guys some added confidence that you can finish games?
A: No doubt. These last two games are very similar to the start of last year and obviously the finishes are what the difference is. We are able to find ways to make the plays that we need in crucial moments and a great job of guys making plays and communicating on the sideline. That way we can just take a knee, run out all the clock and kick the field goal right there. Defense was playing great. Giving us stops in crucial moments of the game as well and giving us opportunities to go down there and with plenty of time to go, get the score and win the game.
Q: Eli, coach talked about the leadership was so important to him. Talk about how that veteran leadership has helped this team.
A: We've got a good veteran team. You know we've got some young guys but the vets and offensive line guys coming into their third, fourth year. At the running back position with Shane and Rashad, we've got great leadership there. Odell and Victor kind of lead the way for Sterling and show him how to practice. On the defense, JPP and OV and Landon, those kinds of guys, are coming into their own. A number of quality players are stepping up in those critical moments of the game. Those guys are taking over with leadership and stepping up to make the plays. That's good to see.
Q: Eli, you had a group of guys from the '86 squad in today. How important and how cool was it to get a win in front of them.
A: Yeah, obviously the '86 team, a great team, a Super Bowl team, a lot of those guys I've had an opportunity to meet over the years, so I have a great respect for them and it's always good to get a tough win in front of those guys.
Q: You mentioned last year you didn't make plays. This year you did. What's the difference? Is it just confidence? Concentration?
A: Yeah, I think confidence. Having last week with guys stepping up. Defense getting a huge stop. That's big for the offense. That's big for the defense, which is playing fast, now they're not worried about not losing a game. Now they're thinking, hey, let's go win this game. They're thinking we're going to win it and give it back to the offense. So both sides of the ball did their job to win.
Q: In the past, you've always reflected on passes that you wish you had made. Are there any that stand out to you right now as ones that you wish you hadn't missed?
A: You know there's a couple. I think I had Will Tye on the sideline on a bootleg that was too high. With Odell, there was a third and long on the left sideline. I was a little worried about the angle he had but I thought for the most part, I was pretty accurate. Put it in the spot for the guys to make some plays. There will always be some bad reads and some bad mistakes with some things to clean up, but overall I thought it was a pretty clean game.
Q: Does Odell owe you anything for the drop late in the game?
A: He will make it the next time. I'm not worried about that.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Postgame vs New Orleans, September 18, 2016
Q: Your thoughts on the victory?
A: Tough win we had. We need to do more as an offense. Defense did a phenomenal job. They played lights out. We just need to score more points.
Q: What happened on the last pass at the end of the ballgame?
A: 16-13, we won the game. It was a great win. 2-0.
Q: What does this win say about your defense being different from last year? They stepped up.
A: They're a championship defense. Going against them everyday makes us nothing but better. Like I said, we just have to come out and score more points for them.
Q: What do you have to do to score more points?
A: Get better.
Q: What about the quality of Victor Cruz's catch there at the end?
A: It's so great to see him. First quarter, comes out and catches one. He goes for 40, makes people miss. Unfortunately, they pop it out. As a receiver, it's hard to get over humps and overcome adversity. He did that. He came up with the biggest catch of the game at the right time. Put us in position to win the game. If it wasn't for that, it could've went to overtime, they could've got the ball back. Anything could've happened. He stepped up and made a play when we needed one.
Q: What does it mean to this locker room to see Cruz having the year that he's having?
A: For him to be back, period. Even if he had zero catches. For him to back after all he's been through, it's tough. He's really been through it all. For him to be back and play the way that he's playing, I can only see it getting better from here.
Q: At 2-0, do you like the tenacity of this football team right now?
A: Yes. It's a lot of fun to be a part of. There's a lot of people making plays all around. It's so much fun to watch. It's so much fun to be out here with all types of play makers. Everyone is making plays. Left, right, defense, special teams. Just making plays when we need them.
Q: How much better is the vibe in here now as opposed to a year ago?
A: I mean we're 2-0. Can't get better than that.
Q: Are you looking forward to facing Josh Norman next week?
A: Whenever we get there, we get there.
Q: What did you think of how Shepard played today?
A: The only way how I know he knows how to play. Lights out every game. Comes up with the big catch, makes the big plays. He's going to be Rookie of the Year.
Q: The three of you with mistakes and drops. For the three of you, do you walk out of here feeling that as a group you redeemed yourselves the way Victor closed it out?
A: There's still a lot more. There was a lot more that we could've done. The way we finished was phenomenal. Shep coming up with a big one on third down, Vic coming up with a big one on third down. It's going to be tough. You have to pick your poison. Each and everyone of them is lethal.
Q: With Washington's loss, they're 0-2. Do you think about burying the division early?
A: It's a great opportunity to not only go 3-0 but win a division game. It would be huge to step into the division with a 2-0 start. It would mean not everything but this is the most important game. The week after, that will be the most important game. We take it one at a time. This will be the biggest one so far.
Q: Next week will be the first time you've seen Josh Norman since last season…
A: Yes, we play the Redskins. Looking forward to it. 2-0 going into the division, playing the Redskins, it's going to be a fun game.
CB Janoris Jenkins
Postgame vs. New Orleans, September 18, 2016
Q: Did you see the block or did you see the ball flying? What was your perspective on that play?
A: Actually, I just heard the hand hit the ball and I just went looking for the ball and it was a perfect bounce and I just scooped and scored.
Q: So you guys on film, game planning, thought you could get one today?
A: Yeah, we thought we could get one because the wings open up wide and then turn their backs, so our special teams coach preached all week that we could possibly get a blocked field goal and it happened.
Q: Is holding Brees and this offense down this way today announcing that this defense is for real?
A: Man, we are just coming out and trying to make plays. We are going to let you all decide the defense and the rankings, but each and every week we are going to come out and play football and we are going to play at a high level. The coaches hold us to that and we are going to continue to do that.
Q: You weren't part of last year's defense, but what did you sense from the guys about how the team got embarrassed last year at the end of games?
A: Basically, we are just finishing strong in the two-minute. They preached it all week about the two minute drill of last year and how some guys let some guys free on the back end and we came out everyday at practice and just worked, man. People like DRC and the front seven, the d line just got better.
Q: When you came to this Giants defense did you sort of envision the defense playing like they did today?
A: I didn't really know what to expect. to be honest, but as spring went on, I started working with guys like DRC and Eli Apple and the linebackers and we realized that we could have something special. We just take pride in coming out, working hard every day and improving on Sunday.
Q: It seemed like a couple times Brees had to go to his second or third reads. Was that one of your goals this week?
A: Yeah, just making sure to check down because once he throws the check down, all 11 guys are rallying and prevent the big play from him. Drew Brees and [Brandin Cooks] like to go deep a lot.
Q: You know your offense is usually going to score a lot of points. That wasn't the case today. Do you guys as a unit on defense encourage each other to keep yourselves in the game to give the offense a shot at the end of the game?
A: Yeah, we encourage each other, but at the end of the day, we don't worry about the offense. We know they are going to put up points and whatever mistake they make is up to us to fix and we have to come out and fix it and show that we are the defense. We just have to let those guys keep rolling, man. Just let them keep playing, things are going to happen in the game, but at the end of the day, just play great defense and you will be okay.