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Quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer, 08.02.09

Q: The wind issue, I know you’re probably getting tired of it. But is there anything that a quarterback can do to compensate for the windy conditions?

A: I think it all depends on how many RPMs you can put on the ball. It really comes down to your wrist and how you spin it through the wind. You look at Giants Stadium, it’s a very difficult place to play. Phil Simms’ lifetime completion percentage there is 56 per cent.  It’s a tough place to play, but you work on it. You try not to muscle the ball. You let the spin, the RPMs, on the ball handle it.

Q: If you try to force it through the wind?

A: That’s when it flutters because it’s a sphere. What you have to do, whether the ball is wet or whether the ball is being thrown in the wind, if it’s wet you don’t want to grip it too hard so you can continue to get that spin and when you throw it through the wind you still want to get it to spin. The great passers that really don’t have trouble with the wind, wind is probably the toughest thing to throw in, have the ability to put RPMs on it and spin through the wind.

Q: Is there anything Eli’s doing differently in the offseason that can improve that?

A: No. The thing we constantly work with is movement in the pocket. Eli’s passing technique, where it is, is he’s at a stage in his career where he’s pretty sound. But we work with the movement in the pocket and avoiding the rush and trying to find the passing lanes. Those are things we work with not just Eli but with all of the quarterbacks.

Q: Does a lot of the RPMs depend on the size and shape of the hand?

A: No, because the size of the hand, you can move up and down the ball to throw. It really is your wrist. One of the drills we’ve used in the past is a guy will lay on his back and try to throw the ball straight up in the air to develop the RPMs. When I coached in college I’d tell them to go to their dorm room, lay on the floor and try to hit the ceiling. I’d go up there and if there would be dots on the ceiling, he did a real good job with the ball. If he there were no dots on the ceiling, then there was a problem with his RPMs on the ball. With young kids you can do that and you can even do that with some pros.

Q: With the receivers this year, is Eli going to have to improve?

A: I think every player tries to improve from year to year. You can never say a player is poor or a player is good because you want to see them improve and it’s a new year. I expect Eli to continue to grow as a player, as a quarterback. I don’t think he’s reached the ceiling. I think that’s a fair statement. We have to coach better and he’s got to play better and I think everybody’s capable of that.