MHR: What were Giants fans' opinions of Brandon McManus throughout training camp and the preseason?
BBV: There were many Giants fans who wanted to keep McManus. You are looking at a 23-year-old placekicker with a tremendous amount of talent vs. a 35-year-old who is more expensive, and obviously closer to the end of his career.
MHR: Had the Giants tried to give McManus any opportunities to kick a field goal in high-pressure situations?
BBV: Unfortunately, no really long kicks came up during the four preseason games the Giants played in. I was looking forward to seeing McManus try one from outside 55 yards. It doesn't count for anything, but I saw him make a 70-yarder during warmups before Friday's game. That was using one of those kicking holders and not with a snap, but it gives you an idea of his leg strength. That's 70 yards in the Meadowlands, not in Colorado.
MHR: Any seller's remorse, or are you happy to be keeping Josh Brown?
BBV: For me there is no seller's remorse. Josh Brown made a franchise record 17 straight FGs last season and 23-of-26 overall. He still has enough leg to have a solid chance from 53 to 53 yards, and he is still driving the majority of his kickoffs deep into or out of the end zone. The guy is solid, and there was no reason to replace him. Now, if McManus somehow winds up with the Eagles (a possibility if you don't keep him) and costs the Giants a game Giants fans will not be happy.
Giants kicker Josh Brown
Q: Both of you guys at the start of camp talked about what the competition would be like. Did he push you the way you thought he would?
A: Absolutely. We've been looking at kickers who are not 35 and some that are, we're watching their kickoffs, we're watching their hangtimes, we're watching their distances. Even where I was last year and everything I did kickoff-wise went up with him here. Absolutely there's positive benefit for me and positive benefit for him as far as just learning. It's never fun. He was upset and it just very easily could've been the other way. I have to be thankful for the job, thankful for the Giants and their trust in me. I just have to continue to do the best that I've been doing and continue to deliver.
Q: Not that you needed a confidence boost but to be a "young gun," so to speak, who clearly was a real challenge has to make you feel good where you stand in this game right now.
A: Absolutely. He's one of those guys that's going to be a lifer. He's going to be a 10-year guy, easily. He's got that kind of talent and he's got that kind of head on his shoulders. So yeah, it does make me feel good to be 12 years in and to be able to continue to produce consistently on a daily basis and he's going to latch on somewhere and sink his feet in. He's going to be good.
Q: How unique is that scenario? You talked about, "This is my job, this is my kids, my family." Everyone's competing for jobs but you're right next to him every day. You're off to the side with him every day. You're there when he gets let go. That's got to be such a unique scenario in the NFL.
A: It is because you build a relationship as much as you may not even want to. It is a bit awkward, but at the same time I told my wife, "He reminds me so much of me. I cannot pick on this kid." If I get him angry, he's going to get that much better. So I became friends with him and I knew what he needed on the field. I could see what he was doing and if he wanted my advice, I gave it to him. I was very honest with him and upfront. I openly talked about the fact somebody was going to lose their job because it is what it is. You have to determine what you want and if you want to be the Giants kicker, you have to come out here and be the Giants kicker. That's what I kept telling myself. This is my job, it's mine and he's going to have to take it from me. [....]...I win. I'm still a Giants kicker, so I'm going to continue to do what I've been doing. I'm going to continue to work hard and continue to deliver so they feel they're always in the right with me.
Q: He's going to end up someplace though?
A: No doubt. No doubt. I would give him 48 hours.
It was more like 48 minutes. Thanks again to Ed for taking the time. Welcome to Denver and the Mile High air, Brandon McManus!