NFC Championship Q&A -- Eli Manning

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NFC Championship Q&A -- Eli Manning

Giants quarterback Eli Manning outplayed Aaron Rodgers on Sunday and now he's coming to San Francisco to try and improve on his previous visit in November, when he threw for 311 yards and two TDs, but also served up a pair of interceptions and lost 27-20.

New York's Super Bowl-winning QB met the media Monday and gave his first glimpse into his mindset for the NFC Championship against the 49ers.

Eli ManningJanuary 16, 2012

Q: What does this win do for you moving forward?
Manning: Its a big win and obviously going against a great team talented on both sides of the football. Their offense had a great year. Their defense did outstanding. Stopping them, getting turnovers and then offensively we did well on third down, hitting some big plays and not giving them turnovers. Theyve been great at getting turnovers all season. We gave them one, but played smart football on both sides of the ball and found a way to win.

Q: How gratifying was the success the team had on third down?
Manning: Thats big. Obviously thats extending drives. Thats giving us opportunities to make big plays. Early on, from the first series, we had a couple big third-and-long conversions. The second series, we had a third-and-long conversion where I hit Hakeem. The next play I throw an in-cut to Hakeem. He breaks a tackle and scores a touchdown. Giving yourself an extra three plays thats big for us. We know offensively that the more plays we get the more opportunities were going to have to hit some big plays and get some touchdowns.

Q: Whats it like to get another shot at San Francisco in the NFC Championship?
Manning: Were excited. Its a big game and theyre playing great football. We know what to expect with them. Theyre very a sound team. Theyre very good. They have good players. They play with great energy. Their secondary has good players in it. Theyre good all around. They play smart football. Their offense doesnt turn the ball over. They run the ball. Alex Smith is playing well. We know were going to have to play that same way. Were going to have to play smart. Offensively, were going to have to be very consistent. Everybody is going to know their assignments. Its just about execution.

Q: How much fun is it to see the confidence building?
Manning: Its fun when youre playing good football, when everybody is executing, when the team is playing well together. And thats both sides of the ball. Offense doing our part scoring points, third down conversions, making big plays. Defensively, theyre getting after the quarterback, theyre getting stops. When things are clicking as a team its a great feeling.

Q: Is revenge a factor this week or is just the fact that its the NFC Championship game enough?
Manning: This is about the NFC Championship. Its an opportunity to get this win and go on to the Super Bowl. We played them once before. We know theyre a good team. Theres no denying that. Theyre playing great football. Theyre playing with great confidence. Its going to be exciting going out there and having another shot and seeing what we can do.

Q: How do the 49er linebackers stack up?
Manning: Theyre about as good as they get. I dont know if there is a better corps in the NFL with their 3-4 scheme and Patrick Willis and Bowman and their outside backers. Theyre talented. Their front seven is as good as you can face in the NFL. And their secondary is talented as well. Theyre solid. They dont have many weaknesses on defense. Its just going to come down to execution and everybody doing their assignments.

Q: Youre one game away from the Super Bowl. Thats another notch up from a playoff game isnt it?
Manning: Definitely. This is exciting. This is where you want to be. We always talk about finishing and playing your best football at the end of the season. Thats what were doing now. Were playing great football on both sides of the ball. We have to continue to do that. Were playing smart. We cant turn the ball over. Hopefully our defense can continue to get some turnovers for us and continue to play well. If were going to continue this thing, its going to take both sides of the ball playing to the best of their ability.

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.

As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.

After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told on Saturday.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.

During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.

Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.

“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.

“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”

Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.