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Postgame Quotes (8/22): Manning, Cruz, Nassib

Posted Aug 22, 2014

Postgame quotes from the New York Giants vs. Jets preseason game


QB Eli Manning


Q: At the end of the first, what specifically made that work?
A: We converted, guys ran good routes, we got completions, checked to a few plays and won on some third downs. We finally got into a pretty good rhythm and everything just worked instead of always having something go wrong or a penalty or a sack or something to back us up and keep us from sustaining drives. We were able to stay out of harm’s way and make some plays.

Q: Is that a sign of progress to you?
A: Yes, it is definitely a sign of progress. I thought there were some good things. We still have to get better. There are still too many mistakes and too many times we are having a penalty or a sack or something that just keeps us instead of going forward, we were going backwards on some plays and you get bad down and distance. Against a Jets defense, it is hard [to convert] a third and long. It is tough against their style of defense.

Q: I saw you on the sidelines after that touchdown [to Rueben Randle] and it looked like you and a couple guys had a lot of weight off your shoulders... Did it feel that way for you?
A: Well, it is fun to throw touchdowns and fun to get something going and we’ve been good at the two-minute drives here at the end of the half, and it is still good to know that we have that. If you go score before half or score before the end of games, then that is momentum for the team. If you get in those situations and you can come out of them with points, then it is a good thing.

Q: Did you concentrate on getting the ball to [Victor] Cruz this evening?
A: No, it was just a matter of the way things worked out. He did a good job winning some one-on-one matchups. [The Jets] were playing some man on a few things and some out breaking routes, so that was good to get him in the mix, and to hit him on a sprint out for a big play in the two-minute drive. First play of the game, [I] hit him on a quick slant, so it just worked out, but I thought all the guys played well. We got a lot of guys in the mix. We had [Jerrel] Jernigan. We had Ruben Randle for the touchdown and also got him on a fade route earlier. So I thought the receivers did a good job getting open versus man coverage.

Q: Is the [pass protection] a concern for you?
A: When you play the Jets it is always going to be a challenge when you get in third down to protect what they’re doing. They show a lot of different looks and a lot of overload blitzes, but there is going to be pressure. I have to do a better job of moving around in the pocket and finding windows and finding lanes. I thought we were close on a couple throws early on, just couldn’t quite convert on the first third down to Jernigan on the right side where I had to roll out and the deep one to Rueben. I wish I could’ve stepped into that a little bit better. I thought we were close on some opportunities. We just have to do a little better.

Q: It’s been a while since progress has been measured by a nice two-minute drive at the end of a half in a preseason game… Is your level of concern there at this point?
A: No, not concerned at this point. I know we have to keep working and keep getting better. It is not where it needs to be, but I thought there was progress in today’s game. We are going to keep working. It’ll be better and better as things go on and hopefully it will be better next week and better for that first opening game. We should be in a better situation. It is not going to be complete at that point. We are going have to continue to make improvements throughout the season.

Q: How different is the two-minute offense that you run now than the one you used to?
A: There are still some different plays, but some similar plays. It wasn’t totally different. Coach McAdoo and I talk a lot about what plays we like and what plays I like in two-minute. Some of them are similar plays to what we have run in the past.

Q: On the interception that was overturned… On that play, if you do it again, do you throw it out of bounds?
A: Yes, just throw it away. Not force anything there if there is nothing there. Just throw it out of bounds and go onto the next play.

Q: How pleased are you with the running game as it develops?
A: It was good to see the running game get going. We had a big third and one conversion to Rashad [Jennings] where he broke it for about 20 yards. We had a couple nice runs where we were getting five to six yards a pop. If you can do that, you will get good down and distance, so it is going to help us out.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin


That last drive in the first half was very welcomed, obviously. It put the score at 10 – 7, but it also gave us the idea that we could move the ball; we were in a two-minute mode. Eli [Manning] made some great plays. Rueben Randle hooked up for the touchdown, which was obviously a good thing. I thought we ran the ball pretty good early in the ballgame. It didn’t materialize into any big drives. They had the ball, I think, 36 snaps in the first half. We had 38, so that wasn’t too bad. It was a very physical ball game. They’re a very good team. They’re an excellent, excellent defensive team. Their offensive line performed well. They rushed the ball. But in the second half, our group came out and hung in there, made some plays, got the ball down the field. The drive before the last drive with Andre Williams carrying the ball was a very bright spot for us. They jumped into an eight-man front, then we started throwing the ball and Ryan [Nassib] stuck the ball in there for a couple of big plays as we came down the stretch. We got a couple of guys hurt tonight and that’s very upsetting. I think the report is for you guys – you’ve already seen it – but [Geoff] Schwartz with a dislocated toe, [Marcus] Harris with a shoulder injury, don’t know really much else about [Markus] Kuhn, just a lower leg is all I’ve heard so far. Is that it? [Zac] Bowman, they’re talking about an upper arm injury of some type. I didn’t hear much about that, either.

Q: How serious is Geoff Schwartz?
A: Pretty serious. Hard to play with a toe that’s not functioning.

Q: What about [Marcus] Harris?
A: We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t know anything more about it. We’ll have it wait and see. That’s the best I can do. The doctors haven’t told me anything about time limits for any of them.

Q: How impressed are you with the way Nassib played last week and then this week?
A: One thing that was very impressive was that he didn’t have a very good game two weeks ago and he came back last week and this week and played very well. He ran the offense well. He stuck the ball in there down the field well. He didn’t run the ball today; he didn’t come out of there running it, but he directed the running game into the right spots and that was a good thing as well.

Q: In the first half in the two-minute you had, was that in the new system or did you guys have plays just to exploit personnel matchups?
A: Well, it’s all part of the new system. The play-calling comes from the new system. You’re always looking for the right matchups and we did take advantage of a couple of them. Q; How much do you view the first half with your first team as progress for the offense?
A: I think it was progress. I definitely do.

Q: What about it did you think you progressed, or where?
A: I’ve already said this, and I’ll say it again. I thought we ran the ball early on and I thought that Jennings did a nice job with that. I thought that we blocked the run pretty well. It was inconsistent, which I think the Jets’ defense is very good at shutting down what you’ve just done. And then with the two-minute drive, we did advance the ball with the pass. I think it’s a good step.

Q: The last drive, the protection was obviously great for Eli. Were you concerned a little about the protection on the previous drives before that?
A: He re-established himself as a tough customer tonight because he got drilled a few times and bounced right back up and made plays. You never want to see him hit, but he got hit and he got back up and made some plays down the stretch at the end of the half.

Q: Are you seeing progress with that line or is that still an issue?
A: Well, obviously somebody is doing a pretty good job. We did eventually move the ball. I’m going to have to look at the tape to tell you exactly what my thoughts are on that, but I would say for the most part I think that people got a little bit better today.

Q: Will [Weston] Richburg be your guy there likely if Schwartz [doesn’t return]?
A: We’ll have to wait and see. Let me look at the tape.

Q: Is this clearly the most unlikely 4-0? I know it’s the preseason, but this team is 4-0. Is this the most unlikely 4-0 for you?
A: Why?

Q: Why? First of all, last week you were down 26-0 and you come back and win.
A: I didn’t see anybody writing about how historic that was, either. You guys are not checking your history.

Q: It would’ve been if it had been in the regular season. It would’ve been the best comeback in the history of the franchise.
A: Franchise? How about the league? Fourth quarter, print that one out. I don’t know, you guys are a little bit asleep on the pencil.

Q: Are you considering getting Eli some work in the last preseason game?
A: I think we will. I’ll think about that, but we don’t play until Monday night, so that’s quite a hike. I would think that maybe we’ll play some snaps with the ones. We usually do that – one or two series.

RB Andre Williams

Q: Nice stretch of runs there in the fourth quarter?
A: It was. We were able to put something together in the last quarter. We were stressing the defense with the rally tempo. They weren’t able to line up in their fronts as quickly and we took advantage of that.

Q: Do you have a sense about how much better the offense will feel about itself because of the success tonight?
A: It always gives you confidence as an offense when you are able to convert the third downs and have success putting points on the board. The Jets have some really powerful offensive weapons and it was a challenge to keep up with them. We put it together in the end.

Q: What did you think of your first Jets-Giants preseason game?
A: It was definitely weird to be in that life as the away team. That was definitely strange. I could definitely feel the rivalry between the Giants and the Jets, but really it’s a preseason game and we are just trying to put it together and get right for the season. That is what we are focusing on.

Q: Was it satisfying [winning] after some of the talk this week?
A: Like I said, the game was about getting better as an offense and coming together as an offense. Winning the game was the goal. The goal of every game is to win the game. It really wasn’t about any of that stuff that was going on earlier in the week.

Q: Was that a little bit of a welcome to the NFL moment?
A: Yeah, I was pretty surprised at how that turned out, but that is the nature of things. I just have to watch out and be quiet some times, I guess.

Q: Did you exchange anything with Rex [Ryan] at the end of the game?
A: He shook my hand and told me I had a great game. I said, ‘thank you’ and let him know that I do have the utmost respect for him and his team.

Q: Did it cap the week to score the go-ahead touchdown?
A: It always feels good to cap the week off with a win. That was the main focus of the game was to get better as an offense. We wanted to start faster and we did it, but we weren’t really able to sustain that, so we have to keep working on that. That is what I really take away from the game.

WR Preston Parker


Q: Do you feel like you’ve done enough to have a shot at making this team?
A: I never know. You never know. It’s the NFL. You know how teams are. You know how everything is. You just keep going at it, try to perform and you let them make the decision at the end of the day.

Q: Tell us about your touchdown pass. What happened on that play?
A: Ryan [Nassib] just hit me deep and I caught the ball. It felt good.

Q: Do you feel like you had a good game? It looks like you caught everything they threw at you. Do you feel like you’ve done a good job in games and at camp?
A: Just try hard. Everyday I go out there and I just try to practice hard and I try to bring it to the game.

Q: You’ve been doing a lot of kick return and a lot of punt return. Do you feel good back there, especially returning punts?
A: We’re getting more confident as we go. That’s all you want as a kick returner, punt returner and receiver. Just confidence in the NFL play. You just want confidence and you’ll start to get it. It feels good.

Q: What happened on that touchdown? Did [the defender] grab your shirt?
A: I didn’t feel him. I don’t really know. I know he was kind of hand fighting at first, and after that I just saw the ball and made sure I looked it in and it was a touchdown.

Q: Other wide receivers are fighting for roster spots, obviously. Corey [Washington] has gotten a lot of attention, Marcus [Harris], too. Did you feel pressure like you needed to make a play here?
A: We all want to make plays. That’s why we come out here. That’s what we practice for: to come out in the big games and make plays. Everybody is trying hard. When their name is called, that’s what we try to do – make plays and just go out there and do your best.

Q: You had a pretty decent season for Tampa Bay a couple of years ago. Are you looking at this as a chance to resuscitate your career a little bit?
A: Everybody out here is trying to resuscitate their careers. I really don’t know what it means, but I’m using context clues, but that’s what we’re all trying to do. Just trying to continue and try to live life as a football player as long as we can. Just kind of like what I said, hard work.

WR Victor Cruz
Q: … that drive at the end of the first half to get on the scoreboard.
A: It was good. It was big for us to kind of get into a rhythm and build on some first downs and get things going a little bit. We needed that and we needed it in a bad way. I wish it would have come a little earlier other than the two-minute drill. In typical Eli fashion, we get a two-minute drill and get it done.

Q: Did you feel that the offense progressed efficiently tonight?
A: I think so. I think we started off a little rough but once we got the thing rolling, like I said, we were able to put some first downs together and get things going a little bit.

Q: In the two-minute drill, is that how the McAdoo system is supposed to work, supposed to look?
A: Yeah, I think so. I think it’s supposed to be plays that move the ball down the field efficiently in a smart way, a mixture of runs and pass, in order to keep the defense off balance, and I think we did that.

Q: Coach said the starters might get some snaps against the Patriots. Do you guys want to go out there and play again and try to keep this rhythm going?
A: Absolutely. At the end of the day we just work here and we have to listen to the coaching staff and whatever they feel is right, we have to go out there and do. I’m definitely excited to go out there and get some routes in against the Patriots. Hopefully we can build on what we did this week.

Q: It looks like it’s been a timing thing, like getting the timing down is a big part of it. Those two balls that you caught, it looked like the timing was right. Did it feel like, ‘OK, what’s what it’s supposed to feel like?’
A: Yeah, absolutely. We found the coverage that we were looking for, we found the route combination we were looking for and you could tell that just the timing was right and the energy was right and you could see that Eli was on the same page as me, so it was good.

Q: What’s the biggest thing you really like about the way this offense progressed in this game when the starters were in?
A: I think just the resiliency we’ve shown. We didn’t’ start as good as we wanted to and I think we just came back with the third series and the fourth series and we just kept going. We didn’t sulk or anything, we just kept going. We knew it was going to be a process but we got it done and we were able to move the ball and do some good things.

Q: Could you sense that from Eli, too? The way he was…?
A: Absolutely. You could kind of sense in the play-calling as well that he was really starting to get into a groove a little bit and he was making checks at the line and really starting to figure out the defense. We were able to kind of pick our poison with them and see blitzes before they came and shift the line and things like that ,so it was good to see.

Q: Did you catch Matt Simm’s dance?
A: No, I didn’t see it.

Q: He did a little salsa after his touchdown pass.
A: That’s my guy. Me and him, we train a little bit in the offseason together. He throws me a couple passes here and there when I need a quarterback over there with my trainer. He’s good. He’s a good dude.

Q: The one play, the third and three when you got the window cleared open with you and Rueben on the same side. Is that the kind of play that you guys have been waiting to kind of click with this offense?
A: I think so. I think those are plays that have to be go-to plays for us and the plays we’ve got to hit in certain coverages like the one we faced tonight so it’s definitely one that we’ve been waiting to hit and I think we found it. We’ve got to be able to have that play be a consistent one for us and then we have things off of that play that we could run as well.

Q: That was just as simple as Rueben kind of clearing out underneath for you to go…?
A: Yeah, it was one of those plays where he clears in and I basically have a one-on-one matchup against the coverage we’ve been seeing all week in practice that we anticipated them running. We got it done.

WR Rueben Randle

Q: Talk about the touchdown.
A: I was just staying with the play. Saw Eli looking my way and at that point of time, I was covered so I just rolled to the sideline, he threw the ball and made the play.

Q: How much before that do you think the team was searching for something like that?
A: We need it man. We struggled. The first two drives were okay, we moved the ball a little bit but we didn’t…In the second quarter like that, Eli thrives in the two-minute offense. It put points on the board and keeps us going.

Q: Do you think that is enough if you don’t play a lot next game to give you guys some confidence going into the regular season.
A: I think we are going to have the confidence no matter what. We just confidently grew no matter how the game was going for us. We are just going to stay in the game plan and continue to make plays.

Q: Talk a little bit about both sides kind of having fun after the touchdown…
A: Well, we are just trying to be closer, man. No one is selfish; we are all a part of one team. We win, person makes the play, everybody is excited. Nobody is down and feeling like they need to be that person to make that play….

Q: Does this feel a little different than a regular preseason game?
A: I don’t think so. No matter who we play, I think we are ready to go whoever we line up against. You’ve got to be ready to go….. the tempo depending on the team you are playing. Every time we go out there, we’ve got to be ready to make some plays.

QB Ryan Nassib


Q: Can you talk about when you saw single coverage and just throwing it up?
A: We had a run play called and they kind of loaded the box, we checked to a pass and had single coverage on the outside. Preston [Parker] was able to wiggle free and make a great play.

Q: When you check like that and it turns out like that, did Coach McAdoo say something to you when you got to the sideline?
A: It’s just something that comes with the play. Pretty much every run has a pass option. Depending on a certain look, we might have to get to a pass. When they load the box like that, a lot of runs aren’t very good, so sometimes you have to air it out.

Q: What did the last two weeks do for your confidence as you move forward?
A: I think it does well. As a whole offense, I think we’re getting more and more confident with the system. There’s still a lot left to get better at and still a lot left to improve on. We’re not satisfied yet.

Q: But what does it do for yourself personally to have two solid performances back to back. Especially since you didn’t play well the week before.
A: Thank you. It gets easier when you get into a rhythm and get into a little chemistry with your receivers and are able to go out there and play.

QB Eli Manning

Q: on the first half performance of the offense?
A: It is good to finish it off with a good two-minute drive. That is something that we have been really good at here in the past and our first opportunity in a two-minute situation before half and we were able to go down and get a touchdown, so that was nice. It was the best rhythm we've gotten, and we just had too many negative plays, whether it was penalties or sacks. I have to do a better job protecting the ball with the fumbles. We had some decent drives going and then we would do something to set us back. We had a good finish.

WR Victor Cruz

Q: On the offense in the first half?
A: I thought we started off a little rough, but once were able to get into a rhythm and complete some plays down field and give Eli [Manning] some time to make some decisions, we started to get a little bit of our mojo back and as a result, we were able to get into the end zone, which is always a good thing.

DT Cullen Jenkins

Q: On tonight’s contest
A: I think we fought out there. Still too many mistakes, too many penalties, too many missed assignments. We have to clean it up. You look at the points, we put up 10 points but we still gave them too much…