Eli Manning: We weren’t as good as we thought

Sports Radio Interviews is a streaming independent sports blog which provides analysis on breaking sports news, upcoming games, and sporting events from a sports radio perspective. SRI articles frequently appear on SportingNews.com.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning said he feels comfortable as leader of his team's offense.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning said he feels comfortable as leader of his team’s offense.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning had perhaps his best season as a pro in 2009, throwing for 4,021 yards and 27 touchdowns. However, the Giants couldn’t build upon a 5-0 start, struggled down the stretch, and missed the playoffs.

Manning joined Michael Kay on 1050 ESPN Radio in New York to talk about the season, the disappointment of not making the playoffs, the hot start to the year, and the team’s horrible finish in the last two games.

Asked what he thought happened to the Giants after a 5-0 start to the season:
"I don’t know. I don’t have that answer, either. I wish I did. I wish it was something you can put your finger on, because then you would know exactly how to fix it. I don’t have that answer.

We didn’t play well. We didn’t run the ball. We didn’t throw the ball well. We weren’t in sync, and we couldn’t convert third downs. Offensively, we just couldn’t get anything going. Minnesota plays well; they play very well at home. They do a good job of jumping the silent count with their pass rush … You are going to lose some games in the NFL, but we did not need to play that way. Our ownership, players, and coaches didn’t deserve to go through that.

It wasn’t a lack of effort. We prepared during the week at practice, we were doing the right things, but we just didn’t bring it to the field and just didn’t play well."

Asked if there were enough winners on the team:
"There are enough winners on the team. There are guys committed to this football team, and they take a lot of pride and work hard at their job, take it very seriously, and are committed to it.

It was just a tough season. We just weren’t used to losing that many games and going through those stretches. Even during the toughest stretches when you’re losing four games in a row, we were still out there preparing and fighting. For whatever reason, we weren’t as good a team as we thought we were. I don’t have the exact answer why and I know we can make a change and play better than we did.

We had some young guys on this team and we got to make sure they don’t think this is the Giant way of playing football, this is not what we are used to, and make sure they don’t start thinking this is how it’s going to be, because it is not. We do have to make a change, we do have to make a difference, and it’s not in the coaches. It’s in the players being responsible for what they are doing and go out there and play the way we are coached to play."

Asked about the leadership on the Giants team and Manning being the leader of the offense:
"I think you can always improve on being a leader and I think I definitely feel comfortable as the leader of the offense. Especially with the young guys at skill positions that I am working with and making sure they are mentally prepared for what we are expecting that game.

Each team has different ways of playing defenses and doing different styles and different approaches. You are trying to make sure that they are thinking about running different routes against different defenses and what their adjustments are going to be.

I did more of a hands on job working with these guys this year then I have in the past. In the past we had guys that were more experienced and been around the block and they kind of knew what was going on because they played in more games. Obviously, we didn’t win as many games. We went through slumps, and you can always look back and say I need to do a better job of leading this team and that’s true. It’s something you work on every year and every year you are going to go through different challenges and things you have to deal with. Maybe I could have reacted differently to certain things to make sure our team was mentally focused and prepared to go through these situations."

Listen to Eli Manning with Michael Kay on 1050 ESPN Radio in New York

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More from SRI

Ray Rice on making the Pro Bowl
Jason Bay on choosing to sign with the New York Mets

Sports Radio Interviews is a streaming independent sports blog which provides analysis on breaking sports news, upcoming games, and sporting events from a sports radio perspective. SRI articles frequently appear on SportingNews.com.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning said he feels comfortable as leader of his team's offense.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning said he feels comfortable as leader of his team’s offense.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning had perhaps his best season as a pro in 2009, throwing for 4,021 yards and 27 touchdowns. However, the Giants couldn’t build upon a 5-0 start, struggled down the stretch, and missed the playoffs.

Manning joined Michael Kay on 1050 ESPN Radio in New York to talk about the season, the disappointment of not making the playoffs, the hot start to the year, and the team’s horrible finish in the last two games.

Asked what he thought happened to the Giants after a 5-0 start to the season:
"I don’t know. I don’t have that answer, either. I wish I did. I wish it was something you can put your finger on, because then you would know exactly how to fix it. I don’t have that answer.

We didn’t play well. We didn’t run the ball. We didn’t throw the ball well. We weren’t in sync, and we couldn’t convert third downs. Offensively, we just couldn’t get anything going. Minnesota plays well; they play very well at home. They do a good job of jumping the silent count with their pass rush … You are going to lose some games in the NFL, but we did not need to play that way. Our ownership, players, and coaches didn’t deserve to go through that.

It wasn’t a lack of effort. We prepared during the week at practice, we were doing the right things, but we just didn’t bring it to the field and just didn’t play well."

Asked if there were enough winners on the team:
"There are enough winners on the team. There are guys committed to this football team, and they take a lot of pride and work hard at their job, take it very seriously, and are committed to it.

It was just a tough season. We just weren’t used to losing that many games and going through those stretches. Even during the toughest stretches when you’re losing four games in a row, we were still out there preparing and fighting. For whatever reason, we weren’t as good a team as we thought we were. I don’t have the exact answer why and I know we can make a change and play better than we did.

We had some young guys on this team and we got to make sure they don’t think this is the Giant way of playing football, this is not what we are used to, and make sure they don’t start thinking this is how it’s going to be, because it is not. We do have to make a change, we do have to make a difference, and it’s not in the coaches. It’s in the players being responsible for what they are doing and go out there and play the way we are coached to play."

Asked about the leadership on the Giants team and Manning being the leader of the offense:
"I think you can always improve on being a leader and I think I definitely feel comfortable as the leader of the offense. Especially with the young guys at skill positions that I am working with and making sure they are mentally prepared for what we are expecting that game.

Each team has different ways of playing defenses and doing different styles and different approaches. You are trying to make sure that they are thinking about running different routes against different defenses and what their adjustments are going to be.

I did more of a hands on job working with these guys this year then I have in the past. In the past we had guys that were more experienced and been around the block and they kind of knew what was going on because they played in more games. Obviously, we didn’t win as many games. We went through slumps, and you can always look back and say I need to do a better job of leading this team and that’s true. It’s something you work on every year and every year you are going to go through different challenges and things you have to deal with. Maybe I could have reacted differently to certain things to make sure our team was mentally focused and prepared to go through these situations."

Listen to Eli Manning with Michael Kay on 1050 ESPN Radio in New York

===

More from SRI

Ray Rice on making the Pro Bowl
Jason Bay on choosing to sign with the New York Mets

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