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Some New Eli Quotes From Super Bowl Media Center

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DALLAS - Eli Manning is hoping the Antrel Rolle/Tom Coughlin storyline will disappear soon, and he did his part in the Super Bowl XLV media center today to help it subside.


The Giants' quarterback defended Coughlin, whom Rolle recently said needs to "loosen up," and believes the Rolle is simply in the process of getting used to Coughlin's ways.


"Yeah, I think so. You have a new guy," Manning said while making the rounds to promote Oreo's new "Heads or Tails" cookies. "Coach Coughlin is the only NFL coach I’ve played for and I like the routine, I like how it’s structured. I like knowing what our schedule’s going to be, I like knowing how our practices are. He gets us prepared.


"It’s not a lot of hootin’ and hollerin’ like Coach (Rex) Ryan, but it’s about getting prepared and going out there and trying to play good football. In that case, I enjoy it and I think he does a great job and a lot of people like the way it is."


Elsewhere on the coaching staff is quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, who moved into that role shortly after last year's Super Bowl. The former wide receivers coach, Sullivan believed he could easily make the move to coaching Manning and the team's passers.


Recently, in a story on Giants.com, Manning made an interesting statement in which he said he has to "have to get him thinking like a quarterback, not a receiver." Manning was asked today what he meant.


"It’s just different," Manning said of Sullivan's switch. "When you play quarterback or you coach a quarterback you’ve got to know everything. It’s not about what routes the receiver is running. You have to be responsible for protections, how you’re going to block this up. If there’s a blitz it’s just ‘How are you going to protect it,’ but what routes go well with it. You’re in charge of a lot of decision making, the run game.


"It’s just kind of how you see things. Some things look good on paper, but all of a sudden you get in a game as a quarterback, you kind of have thoughts as a quarterback of if you can make that throw or the timing of things and the pass rush. Just a lot of things can change."


Of course, Manning threw a career-high 25 interceptions this season, so some have made the connection between Sullivan and his struggles. Manning said such conclusions shouldn't be drawn.


"No, no, that doesn’t go into (the on-field) decision-making. I've been playing this game long enough where I know not to throw it to the opposing team," Manning said. "Coach Sullivan did a great job of getting me prepared and having game plans and breaking down all the film I wanted him to. That wasn’t part of it.


"I just had some bad plays, sometimes trying to make too much happen and trying to force things. I’ve to learn you can try to make stuff happen, but throwing it to the other team is not going to help out the cause."


* * * *


Manning and the rest of the NFL players are facing the potential of a work stoppage one month from tomorrow. If the owners lock the players out, it will mean they can no longer use team facilities for offseason training. Manning is already working on contingency plans.


"I've talked to some players to kind of figure (it) out," Manning said. "You have to wait and see but kind of make some plans to get a high school field to throw at or find a place to lift weights or get a training room for guys who are coming back from injuries and stuff. There's a lot to think into it. But yeah, we definitely have a little time schedule where, if (an agreement) doesn’t happen by (a certain date), we have to start it up and get going by ourselves to make sure we’re ready."


Manning knows, as the quarterback of this team, he'll be the point man.


"Yeah, I think so. There will be a couple of key guys, but from the offensive standpoint, definitely," Manning said. "And you have Justin Tuck and other guys to make sure everybody is set and say Hey, we have to still take care of our responsibilities and make sure when the season starts up we’re ready to go."


* * * *


And finally, Manning was asked if he's looking at the Packers and thinking they've made it here with a playoff spot that could have easily been the Giants'.


"That’s why we always just say, ‘You just want to make the playoffs,’" Manning said. "You get in, you can be the hot team and you can make the run. That’s just the way it is. You just kind of look to some missed opportunities that you had during the season where you could’ve got that 11th win, whether it was the Philly game or an earlier game.


"We had our chances. If we win that Philly game, and then going into that Green Bay game that became like a playoff game for both teams. If we would’ve won in Green Bay we would’ve made the playoffs. They were playing great football. They were kind of the hot team and have been playing great ever since."



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