Came across a great article about New York Giants' wide receiver Mario Manningham over the weekend.
The piece is from Manningham's hometown paper, the Tribune Chronicle. I thought it showed a determined player who is maturing, and it left me feeling good about the second-year player heading into next month's camp.
Here is some of it.
"Yeah, I'm playing with a chip on my shoulder. I have a lot to prove," Manningham said. "I want to show what I can do. You know how people can talk. They say, 'Is he this or is he that?' I know what I can do, and my team knows what I can do. Now it's time for me to go out and play and show the world what I can do. ... The criticism from last year, I actually kind of liked it," he said. "I like when people doubt me and say this and that because I know what I can do. I hate when people say they know what they're talking about, when they really don't know too much."
Manningham, of course, slipped to the Giants in third round of the 2008 draft due to some concerns about off the field issues. Then, he did little to justify GM Jerry Reese's gamble by getting hurt in training camp and finishing the season with just four catches for 26 yards.
In the post, Manningham says he learned a great deal from his disappointing rookie season.
"People forgot that I had another year (of college eligibility)," Manningham said. "I'm thankful that I had a chance to sit back and watch how they read defenses from the sideline. How they read the corner and his stance and everything. Those are old-school tips from the vets."
Pretty soon, we get to see just how much of what Manningham learned he can put to use on the field. Hopefully, the answer is a lot.