OAKLAND, Calif. — Eli Manning said Sunday after watching the Giants’ 24-17 loss to the Raiders from the sideline that he plans on playing next season, whether it’s for the Giants or somewhere else.
“Yeah, I plan on playing next season,” Manning said.
Here is the transcript of Manning’s first interview since his emotional Tuesday interview at his locker in New Jersey after he had been benched:
How hard was it on Sunday? “Hey, I wanna be out there, I wanna be playing. But this is the situation we’re in. And 2-9, and they want to take a look at other guys, I understand it. I’m not mad at anybody. I think when you’re in this situation, whatever happens there’s a reason and you have to accept it.”
Could it have been handled better? “You know no. I don’t blame anybody for the way it was handled. I think Coach McAdoo tried to do something right by me by saying he we’ll let you play but just knowing I was coming out of the game, I couldn’t play that way. I appreciated it. I thought he was trying to do me a favor. But it’s just not the way I could go into a game, knowing I would be pulled out. So I appreciate him, I appreciate them kind of giving me that option, but I think they understood when I said I couldn’t do it that way.”
Would it have been better if pitched differently? “I don’t know, hey, I don’t deal with the what-if game so this is what it is.”
Did you see the report McAdoo will be fired? “I don’t want that. I don’t want anybody to get fired. When a coach gets fired, it’s usually because the team and the players and myself haven’t performed up to our duties. So I don’t want to see that. So I hope there’s no truth to it.”
How did Manning prepare to handle Sunday? “Well I knew once it got to today I’d be a good teammate, I’d try to support all the guys, be ready to play if I was called upon, and support Geno, support the offensive guys, do what I have to do, if I saw something tell them. But I think the fact the amount of people that reached out to me this week, the importance of being a teammate really kind of hit it home just through the fact that all the old teammates that have reached out to me, called, I appreciate their support, I appreciate the things they say and it’s kind of helped me get through these tough days. But it reminded me I need to be a good teammate to everybody here and do my part.”
Reassess future yet? “No. There’s no point. Can’t control what’s gonna happen, so finish out we’ve got four games left, finish out this season in whatever capacity they need me to do and go from there.”
Reassess if still want to finish career a Giant? “No. I’m gonna finish out this season and see what happens.”
Plan on playing next season, here or somewhere else? “Yeah, I plan on playing next season.”