Q & A: Eli Manning

Eli Manning fielded questions today as the Giants are preparing to face the Bengals this Sunday. Here are some highlights.

Q: Your thoughts on this team that you are taking on Sunday. These guys are in the same boat that you guys were a year ago in losing the first two games.
A: We know they are going to be coming out ready to fight. We have been in that situation. You feel like it is a must-win situation at times. They are going to come in excited, fired-up, ready to go out there and play well. They have tons of talent. They can get hot at any time. You know that. So from a defensive standpoint, they have been playing pretty well and they have playmakers on the offense. So we have to come out ready to play our best football, knowing to expect their best and it should be a good, close game.

Q: When you run the ball like you did last week, with three running backs, does that make your job a lot easier?
A: Yeah, definitely. We can run the ball and rush for close to 200=2 0yards. That is great. That is what we are going to try to do. We are going to try to establish a running game, be physical up front, do some play action, get some big plays. If they load up the box, we can throw it. So we are going to mix things up. Guys are doing a great job, whether we are running, whether we are throwing it, guys are getting open and making plays. So hopefully we can continue to stay balanced and keep executing the game plan.

Q: How much pressure does it take off you as a quarterback to have that stable of running backs? It's almost like an unlimited supply back there.
A: Obviously all of the guys have played for us, played well for us in the last couple of seasons. They know what they are doing; they know how to run the ball. They know all of the pass protections and the routes. I feel comfortable whoever they put in there. They all have a different style, but they all have playmaking ability in them.

Q: RE: Wanting to get Kevin Boss more involved in the offense.
A: Yeah, we would like to get Kevin in. It is not a matter of we are not trying to get the ball to him. It's just certain play calls defenses are playing certain ways where w e have some one-on-one matchups outside and we feel like it is crowded inside. And so we are going to the outside guys right now. He had one catch and it got called back due to the holding call. He is doing a good job. He is getting open on some things. We just have to give him the ball. I am going to go through my reads. Guys are getting open when they are supposed to be getting open.

Q: How has he been contributing in the blocking game for the running backs?
A: Kevin is doing great. We do a lot of running out of our regular personnel with the tight end in there. So for us to run the ball successfully he has to do his job.

Q: With Amani and Plaxico last week, one caught six, one caught five – it looks there is a real, real nice mix?
A: Yeah, I think all the receivers are doing really well. And obviously the starters and Amani and Plaxico are getting open and making some big plays. Then you get the mix of Hixon and Steve Smith and some backs in there. The guys are doing a good job. I'm just going through my reads and whoever has the best matchup, ….progression. Usually my first guy is getting open. So that is always nice. We ar e getting the ball out on time and our guys are making plays.

Q: Carson Palmer and those receivers you pretty much expect that they are going to come out playing a lot better than they did the first two weeks.
A: Yeah, you always expect a team's best. You know they have been able to do it over the past years and score a lot of points and do those things. We don't know what kind of game it is going to be, but from our standpoint, our offense, we have to protect the ball, be consistent, try to have some long drives and keep the ball out of their offense's hands. And really just keep playing the way we have been playing; that is playing it smart and executing the game plan.

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