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Giants' Eli Manning wants to take advantage of every opportunity

The Giants' quarterback talks about Victor Cruz, the offense, and the team taking advantage of the opportunities before them.

William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

The first day of practice for the New York Giants training camp is in the books. To the disappointment of all the beat writers in attendance, it was solely individual drills with no team drills until Saturday's practice.

But that doesn't mean that there isn't anything to learn. We already saw that undrafted free agent rookie Greg Milhouse is starting camp by running with the starting defensive line and that Victor Cruz has no limitations on his practice.

We also got to hear from several Giants, including head coach Ben McAdoo, Victor Cruz, and Eli Manning.

The Giants' quarterback was asked about a wide range of topics, from his thoughts on the offense to Peyton's TV commercials now that he is retired.

On The Offense

There has been uncertainty surrounding who, apart from Manning, will helm the Giants offense. McAdoo was the Giants' offensive coordinator and play caller the last two years. However, will the rookie head coach call the plays? His predecessor preferred to stick to a managerial role while the coordinators called the plays for their units. McAdoo's mentor, Mike McCarthy, on the other hand, calls the plays in Green Bay. The other option is new offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan who has twice been Manning's quarterback's coach, and was the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"Coach Sullivan and I have a great relationship," Manning said "having worked with each other in the past. In a different offense, but just kinda knowing what each other likes, talk the same language. You know, last year it was new for him. Learning this offense, learning this system, but this year both of us are much more comfortable and speaking the same language and on the same page.

Manning was later asked if he feels any "extra sense of urgency" this season after the longest stretch of missing the playoffs of his career, and three losing seasons in a row.

Eli responded in a typically "Eli" fashion, saying "Yeah, I think you want to take advantage of every year. You feel like every year you have an opportunity to do something special and make the playoffs. You don't want to waste a season, you don't want to waste games, you don't want to waste anything. We understand what's ahead of us and we just have to work extremely hard and remain committed to doing whatever it takes to get back to winning more games and get back to the playoffs."

On The Receiving Corps

"I'm excited about the receiving corps. Obviously Odell (Beckham) has proven that he's a play maker, has a tremendous work ethic and does everything right. With Sterling, you know, he still has a lot to learn, but you see the potential, see the play-making ability. We've just got to get to work, it's all a matter of what we can do over the next month or so of practices, preseason games, and take advantage of every opportunity. It was great to see Victor out there running routes and hopefully he can continue to gain more confidence in his ability and his health and get back out there. It's been a while since he's played football, so it's good to get him out there practicing. We have a lot of weapons, a lot of weapons. It's just a matter of 'Can, we stay healthy, can we pick up things fast enough, and make plays'."

Eli was then asked about his offensive line and whether he thought they could give him enough time to find this receivers.

"I think, you know, having those five guys back together." Eli said, "I think that's the most importing thing for an offensive line group, having guys working together and communicating. They all work extremely hard, they're extremely smart, they do a good job picking up everything and I think we'll be fine in that regard."

On the rookies

Later on, a reporter made the observation that Eli's first Super Bowl run (in 2007) was in part fueled by big contributions from that year's draft class. He then asked Eli if he thought the 2016 rookie class could have a similar impact, and Eli said "Hopefully so. You need the rookies to come in and earn their roles, earn their spots, and hopefully they can play well. Eli Apple, we get him at defensive back and hopefully he can turn in the the player we want him to be. And you know, Shepard, obviously we're going to have him right there in the mix at receiver. We need several of these young guys to step up and play well for us.

You can watch the whole press conference below: