Eli Manning, 06.16.09

Q. Nice to get more work in with these guys? Are you starting to feel more comfortable each day?

A. Every day is better, getting some of these young guys in the mix, getting them to learn the offense. It is good seeing their speed, seeing how well they come out of breaks, and getting everybody on the same page. The more you get out there and practice, run the plays, the better and more comfortable everybody gets.

Q. How difficult is the transition with the rookies you have and some of the second, third year guys?

A. No, it’s not a hard transition. A lot of these guys know it. The guys who I am working with, for the most part, are guys who have been here for three or four years and know what is going on. The receivers are doing a great job and getting open. We have a lot of speed at receiver right now. When you have speed and guys can win one on one battles, it takes a lot of the reads out of stuff. You say ‘Hey, run faster than the cornerback and I’ll throw it out there.’ Things are going well, guys are doing a good job, and for the most part, we are not having many mental mistakes. We are going out there and trying to execute and hit the guys who are open.

Q. Last year there were a lot of questions about guys who weren’t participating, contract disputes, distractions, what not. Is it nice to talk about the guys who are actually here.

A. We always try to talk about the guys who are practicing, getting out there, and working hard. It has been good. It has been a good offseason. Guys have, for the most part, stayed healthy and are getting work in. It shows now, coming into the mini-camp and all our OTAs, the guys have a good idea of what is going on. We aren’t having as many mental mistakes. 

Q. Is it nice to turn the page and not have those distractions?

A. There is always going to be distractions that come up during the season. We have to worry about playing good football. The guys who are here and going out there and practicing hard are taking care of business on the field.

Q. Coach spoke about the difference in approach from last year to this year. How much different is it this year?

A. I think you have to approach it the same way. It is about getting better. Last year we knew we had to get better at some points, we did a good job for most of the season, but we didn’t end the way we wanted. This year, we still have areas we want to improve on. That’s why we are working and doing what we are doing. We have to go out there and continue to fight hard.

Q. You guys were out there this morning airing it out, what is that all about?

A. That is something that we have had an emphasis on, trying to hit some big plays. We have done a good job. Now, we have a lot of speed guys at receiver, guys who can get down the field. We like those matchups. If we get single high coverage, the way we run the ball, we get a lot of man coverage; we have to try to get the ball down the field. In the past we have tried it, but we haven’t had great success doing it. Hopefully this year we have a better shot of hitting some deep ones.

Q. How does this team make everybody forget about Plaxico Burress?

A. I think we just go about our business. We aren’t talking about him around the locker room. We are going out there, we’re practicing, we’re doing our deal. We can’t worry about last year or what is going on. We have to be concerned with the guys who are here. I think we have done that. We are concerned with how we are going to get better. What can these guys do, what their strengths are. Every year your offense is going to change a little bit based on who is out there.

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