(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
It’s that time again.
Four years since Eli Manning won a championship, so of course, we will be seeing him and the rest of the New York Football Giants in Santa Clara next February for Super Bowl 50.
It has to happen and they have to face the Patriots, right?
Well, let’s play the games first, but Manning surely loves what he sees.
” I think it’s just the whole team coming in together with that same attitude,” he said before training camp started. :That’s when you get the great teams. It’s everybody buying in, everybody understanding that they got a job to do, and we gotta go do it. You have to have great leaders, but it’s not just one leader, it’s kind of everybody in charge of a group. Kind of one thought that everyone believes in. I think that’s the goal.
“We want to get back to winning games and making playoffs and giving ourselves opportunities to win championships, and doing that this year. We haven’t had one practice yet, though, so it’s all determined on these practices and how much work we put in starting today, and these next few weeks. See if we can stay hungry after three weeks of training camp and still have that same attitude out at practice and that same determination.”
After missing the playoffs for the past three seasons, the Giants and Manning better be hungry and with a year of the new fangled offense from Ben McAdoo, there shouldn’t be any growing pains either.
“I guess last year I didn’t know much about the offense,” Manning said. “You hear ‘West Coast,’ I never had been in a West Coast offense. I didn’t really know exactly what that meant. But I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve enjoyed this past year. Getting to this learn this offense. Each and every day, trying to get more advanced with it—reminder and growing within it. You know, pushing the guys and pushing myself to learn it, get more familiar with it, and get perfect with it. That’s the goal. I like it, I like where we’re going. I like the way that the offense works and the way it hits my head on how I see things and my feet—it all makes sense to me.”
Especially of Victor Cruz comes back to pair with Odell Beckham, Jr. Add Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings out of the backfield and Manning has a complete package when it comes to his offense.
“I think having Victor and Odell and Rueben (Randle) and Larry (Donnell) and Shane (Vereen) and Rashad (Jennings), it’s about having all of them and all of them playing at a high level,” Manning said. “Seeing what the defense will do, their adjustments and how they’ll try to dart them off. It’s great to have weapons, it’s great to have talent and hopefully we can keep them all out there, keep them all healthy and get the best from them.”
Now all he will need is time and that’s where the offensive line comes in. Manning needs to the protection, so he doesn’t rush too many throws. Thankfully, McAdoo’s system forces the quarterback to get rid of the ball quickly, but he still needs some guarding.
” I think it’s a close group of guys, which I think is important,” Manning said. “I think that offensive line we had those years in ’07, ’08, it was the same guys for a number of years, which you don’t see a whole lot. We kind of have some guys who have been in the system for a few years now, been around, but you do see the closeness. They get along well, they work well together, they compete at practice, they like being challenged, they take it seriously. So, from that aspect, they’ve got a little toughness to them. There can be some similarities.”
As there is with the past Giant championship teams. Even though training camp just started, there’s high expectations and Manning knows it.
But he seems up for the challenge, especially after not playing in January for the past few years.
He seems to be getting that itch.