New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Drew (Brees) is coming up on Peyton's career record for passing yardage. What do you think about that? What do you think about the career he's put together and have you talked to Peyton about that?
"No, I haven't talked to Peyton, but Drew has had an unbelievable career. What he's been able to do when he was in San Diego and in New Orleans these last years'. He's been there a long time now and has had great success. Their offense has always been high-powered and he's been leading the way. So a lot of respect and I've gotten to know Drew and (I have a lot of) respect for him and it's fun watching. When we play common opponents, New Orleans is in the mix, it's fun to watch them and their offense go because they do a good job."
How big was last week's win on the road?
"Yes, huge win for us right there. Trying to get that first win on the road against a good defense. (I am) Just proud of the way the guys handled the whole week and came out ready to play. We got off to a fast start, but also finished strong. We needed a drive to win it. Guys responded and you saw the intensity and the desire. (I'm) So proud of the way the guys played the whole game.
We know that, overall, Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the more dynamic players in the National Football League. Can you specifically cite the ways in which he makes your offense better?
"Well he draws attention. Teams want to play you differently. They're going to try to keep a safety over to his side a lot of times and so whether they're in man or zone it opens up other guys. Obviously, if they don't plan to do that and you have one on one he does a good job winning those individual battles. So he's just unselfish, he understands teams are going to double and that opens up other guys, but he works extremely hard to get open. He learned the offense very well so we can move around and put him in different spots so we can change things or try to get him where they can't double him as easy."
Is there anything you've seen from the Saint's defense that's kind of made them give up some of these big plays that they've allowed?
"It's just different. Nothing specifically, they've just gone against a couple of high-powered offenses that have good receivers and guys have won some battles. They do a lot of different looks on defense, so we have got to be prepared for all of them and make sure we can hold up and hopefully give our guys some opportunities to win those one on one battles."
After the first three games of the season, can you give me your impressions on Saquon Barkley?
"Yeah, I have been impressed with Saquon. I think each and every week he gets better. He just gets more comfortable with the offense, with the speed of the game and kind of how he has to adjust his game to the NFL level. I've been impressed with his work ethic and learned the offense and impressed with him on the field. He does something pretty impressive every game and so his role is expanding and moving around in different spots. He catches the ball well and runs it well and he's done everything we've asked him to do."
What does he add to the offense? Is it nice having him as the safety valve back there knowing you can trust him to catch the ball?
"Yeah, exactly. I think just having that running back who is big and strong and can get those tough yards and has the opportunity to break big ones when the holes are there, but also just catching the ball. You don't mind taking checkdowns and getting the ball in his hands and he can make some pretty special plays when that happens as well."
What's it like for you having not only Saquon, but a healthy Odell (Beckham Jr.)?
"Obviously, it's great to have Odell back. I know he's worked extremely hard to get back healthy and get back to playing. He's excited and playing well. He's fast, he's running well. Having him and Sterling Sheppard, we've got a number of guys who have been playing well and doing good things for us. We've just got to keep everybody in the mix, everybody's got be ready. For me, just go through my progressions, not forcing the ball to anybody, but just going through the reads and guys are doing a good job getting open."
Is Odell (Beckham Jr.) they kind of guy that elevates his game when he's going up against somebody like Marshon Lattimore who is coming off that great rookie year?
"I think all the receivers in a sense get excited about going against talented corners and good players. I think he's worried about understanding his routes and assignments. I think he's always competitive, always wants the ball. So I think he'll be excited for the opportunity to go against him."
Getting back to Drew Brees for a second, physically he's not a guy you're going to look at and say "that guy is going to pass for more yards than anyone else." Knowing the quarterback position as well as you do, what are some of the things he does from an outsider's perspective that enable him to do the kinds of things he has done over his career?
"Well, obviously, he has worked extremely hard. Learning the offense, knowing where to go with the ball, getting it out on time, throwing it very accurately, getting through progressions quickly, getting it out quick and into his playmakers hands. He studies, he prepares, but he's talented and throws the ball accurately. He throws it from different positions and different movements and all over, but I've just been impressed with everything. His whole football IQ and ability."
What's your favorite game against the Saints that you've been a part of?
"Well you like the wins. Your favorite ones are the wins. I guess three years ago down in New Orleans we had the high-scoring game where it was kind of back and forth to the very end. If I remember (it was) 52 to 49 and then we play the next year early (in New York) kind of expecting the same high powered offenses and then we have that low scoring, whatever it was 16-13 or just a very low scoring game so you just never know. You never know what kind of game it's going to be going to be. We have to be smart and just take it one possession at a time."
Do you have a pick on the LSU-Ole Miss game this weekend?
"I'll be pulling for the mighty Rebs, but LSU is playing well. They are playing good football, but hopefully we can move the ball and score some points."
Is there ever a different feeling going against the Saints, the team you grew up with?
"Yeah, I mean I think so. Obviously, it was the team that my dad played for. The team I rooted for my whole life until college and really until I came to the Giants. I've been to a lot of Saints games, home and away and so it's always special when it's your hometown team that you also were a fan and went to games and your dad played for them and announced for them. There's always kind of a special moment in there where you recognize that."
Will Archie Manning be able to make it to New York to watch the game?
"Yeah, actually they're (parents) going to be in town for it, so he's coming for this one."