Eli Admits Embarrassment

QB Eli Manning is obviously the least of the Giants' problems, but even he admitted being embarrassed after the Giants stumbled to the 2009 finish line with two blowout defeats. Here's what Manning had to say as the Giants assembled for locker clean-out day Monday morning.

Q. What kind of feeling is it to come in here and for the first time in five years know you are not going to the playoffs?
A. Yeah, obviously we knew that this past week that we weren't going to the playoffs. It is not something that we are used to and we don't want this feeling, we don't like it. I think everybody has the mindset of we've got to come back and have a great offseason, a great spring and work hard like we always have. Make sure we fix some of these problems and this doesn't happen again.

Q. Are you embarrassed by the way these last couple of weeks unfolded?
A. Yeah, I am. That hasn't been us. We don't want to play that way, we don't expect to play that way. Our fans, ownership, coaches don't deserve for us to go out there and perform as poor as we did. Still shocked by it and kind of confused and wondering how that came about. But I think we can put this season behind us. We've got to learn some things. We've got to fix some things, but we've got to put it behind us and move on, see where we need to work and fix some of the problems.

Q. Is there enough leadership here?
A. Yeah, there is. We have good guys on this team. We have good character and guys who want to win, who are committed to working hard and doing the right things. I have always had a lot of respect for the players in this locker room and what they do and how they take their job very seriously. We have good leaders and we are going to need those guys to step up and do their job because we do have a young team, young players. We need to make them realize this is not the way it goes. This is not the way we perform and we've got to fix this. We don't want any bad habits or people thinking this is the way the New York Giants play football.

Q. It is one thing to miss the playoffs, but to lose like you guys did in the last two weeks. Uncertainty is a very easy thing to set in as you go into this offseason. How do you prevent that from happening?
A. We've just got to realize that's not us. That can't be us. We can't let ourselves think that is the way we play football. We know we can perform better. You've got to forget about it and erase that from your memory. This whole season, there are a lot of things we can learn and a lot of things we need to improve on. We have to do those things so you don't forget about those things where you need to make improvement. We also made strides in some areas and you've got to think about some of the good things we did. We just have to have a great offseason. We've got a lot of young guys on this team who are going to get back healthy. When it comes to March, April, start on the basics with these guys and make sure by the time spring hits we are kind of back where we need to be and we are making strides to get forward and not just getting back to where we were this year.

Q. Do you think this team needs to make major changes or just a couple changes here and there?
A. That is for the coaches, personnel and upper management to make those decisions. We've got to make changes in the way we are performing for sure. That is our job. That is the players' job to do that, to work hard and fix some of the bad habits that we have. But I think we have good character on this team and we've got guys who are committed to working hard and preparing each week. I am sure there are going to be changes made, but it is going to be the players who make a commitment to winning and it is going to start in this offseason.

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