Last month, I had an opportunity to attend a special Father’s Day promotional event sponsored by Oral B and the March of Dimes that featured quarterback Eli Manning as its spokesperson as part of a special assignment. The following is some football talk that came from that “Q&A” with Manning.
Q: This new offense seems to be asking you and your teammates to do things physically that you didn’t really do in the old system. How has that transition been coming along?
A: It’s definitely challenging and some things, yeah, there are some things that are different, some things that there’s kind of some rules for you in the old offense that are kind of flip-flopped in this offense or are different.
The first time things happen, you kind of do what you know and then coached about it, them telling you, ‘Ok, we prefer to do this.’ That’s fine; you learn from it, you discuss it, and some things are up for discussion while other things are like, ‘It’s done this way.’
So it’s about getting that feel, getting that understanding, understanding all the rules and trying to run the offense successfully.
Q: You are entering your 11th NFL season this year. Can you reflect a bit on that, especially given all the youth that has come through the doors over the last couple of years?
A: Well, I still feel young, but you understand that young guys are going to come in every year to help the team. Still, when I look around the locker room and guys tell me when their birthdays are and you hear the 90s was when they were born, you kind of realize that you’re a generation ahead of some of these players.
When you start saying movie and television quotes and they have no idea what you’re talking about because they haven’t seen any of the movies or TV shows, that’s a little weird. But you still have a number of guys that have been there just as long as I have.
I enjoy the younger players because I think being around them keeps you young and keeps you fresh. I enjoy getting to know them, re-teach things and be a kind of player and coach in helping them get on the same page.
Q: With having to start over with a new playbook, did you find yourself to be overwhelmed at first when trying to digest as much as possible before having to run it in practice?
A: Yeah, the first week whenever you get a new playbook, it’s a lot thrown at you so you all the plays and you have some words that used to mean one thing in the old offense now mean something completely different in this offense. So yeah, it can throw you off a little bit.
But after being in it for several weeks, it’s becoming second nature, what with calling things out and seeing things when the coach calls the play, and visualizing it right away. So the more practice, the more times more practice the more times you can keep running plays, the better off you’re going to be as an offense.