Giants’ Eli Manning: “Everything is Happening Quicker and That’s Positive”
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning spoke to the media after minicamp. He said that he knows what to focus on during camp to be successful in the fall.
Q: From a personal perspective and from a team perspective, what do you hope to gain out of this camp?
A: I think we’ve just got to continue working on the things we’ve been doing in OTAs. This is really the third or fourth time we’ve gone over the beginning of the installation of the offense and so it should be second nature to us now. Calling plays, everyone should know what they’re doing, no mistakes, playing a little bit faster, getting up to the line of scrimmage quicker, getting the ball snapped and not as much thinking. I think we did a pretty good job today, I thought the tempo was good. It was hot, a lot of plays but I thought we had a good tempo and feel a little more confident with everything that’s going on, with the adjustments, with the changing of the plays. Everything is happening a little quicker so I think that’s positive.
Q: What did you think of the backfield? There are a lot of new names for you, are you getting accustomed to these guys a little bit?
A: Yeah, I think the running backs have done a good job. They had a couple nice blitz pickups today and those guys, changing the protections, and those guys understanding and picking up protections, hit them on a couple routes and get them in the open space and make some plays so I think they’re doing a good job of understanding this offense and their routes and protections and so I think they’ve done a good job and hopefully we can continue to do that.
Q: The emphasis has always been that if they can’t help in protection then they can’t get on the field. Is that still the same in the new offense?
A: Well I think that’s always an emphasis for a running back. It’s not just how well you run the football, you’ve got to be a complete back and you’ve got to be able to understand your protections, know who you’re blocking and then block them. Then be able to catch the ball, be able to get out to your routes and get check-downs and get some key completions and positive plays. There’s a lot to it, we’ve got a number of guys who can do all of those things.
Q: How about the wide receivers? The number three spot is obviously still up for grabs. Pretty much all of the spots are but the number three is the focus here. How about Odell Beckham? I know he hasn’t been able to practice with you guys much lately.
A: Yeah, we’ve got a couple guys who have stepped up and played well. We’re still waiting for Odell to get back out there, he was out there some today running some routes. I don’t know if he did team stuff or not so we have to get him out there, we get Mario Manningham back out there and it will be helpful but we’ve got a couple young guys who have made some good plays for us. They have gotten a lot of reps because of having some guys out and they’ve done a good job getting open and understanding the offense. I’m excited about who we have who’s out there and working right now. Hopefully we can get some guys back healthy for training camp.
Q: Is this an easier offense for guys to come and… kind of gain chemistry with them because it plays a little faster?
A: There are a lot of different plays, a lot of different things going on. Maybe not as much reading as a receiver, if you know what the play is, then you should be fine. It’s just about getting open, you don’t have to make as many decisions probably from a receiver but there are still a lot of things to it. We’re getting better, we’re getting where we need to be but we’re still fine-tuning a few things.
Q: From a quarterback’s perspective, how does the defense look?
A: I think the defense looks good. They’re moving around fast, they’re playing quick. Guys know what they’re doing, they’re showing a number of different looks for us, which is I think good as an offense to go against some different looks, different personnel, different alignments and different defensive fronts. We’re kind of getting everything thrown at us and maybe make some calls on the run that maybe we haven’t gone over yet and then correcting them in the film room and seeing how we want to do it in the future, how we want to protect things or run things so I think they’re looking good and we’re having some good practices. It’s back and fourth.
Q: Has it felt different this offseason? You knew exactly what you were running for 10 years.
A: It definitely felt different. There’s a lot of learning. The past several years, five, six years, you never had too many surprises, you weren’t positive how it was going to all turn out or what a guy might do versus this coverage or thinking about protections and stuff. All of that was second nature. I’m still thinking some out there and trying to make things right, you kind of have to slowly think through it the first time you’re doing some things but overall I feel good about where I am now. This is really the fourth time that we’re going over this, ‘install one’ is what we call it, what we did today, so this stuff is coming out fast and calling the plays quick and getting to the line of scrimmage and making quick calls. That was smoother and hopefully the more times we do it, the better I’ll get.
Q: How much more comfortable do you feel in this offense compared to the start of the offseason program?
A: It’s night and day, from the first meeting we had we had a lot of questions and were trying to understand some of the rules, when you can make changes even from the cadence, there were a lot of things going through and we were playing real slow because you’re thinking, the offensive line’s thinking, you’re trying to explain things to them on the run so there was a lot going on. I feel today we had a pretty good practice, we’re moving around fast and making some plays.
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