Football is finally back as the New York Giants took to the field for the first practice of camp.
Following practice (or rather, the walk-through), quarterback Eli Manning took the podium to talk to the media. While the media certainly wanted to know about the new additions to the offense, namely Evan Engram and Brandon Marshall, with the end of the Eli Manning era becoming more immediate in everyone’s mind, reporters were curious about how his age is affecting this year’s training camp.
As one of the most ... Venerable players on the team, it shouldn’t be surprising that the media’s first question was about Ben McAdoo’s now-famous (or infamous) story to the older players of Frasier The Lion. Of course, Eli was Eli.
“I thought it was good,” he said, “you know, good story. I never heard of Frasier, so good to learn something.”
One of the pieces of news to come out of the first day of camp was that Eli would be on something of a “pitch count,” and the coaches would limit the number of throws he would make. Predictably, Manning seems unfazed by being held back. He said:
“No, nothing new. I’ve been on ‘pitch counts’ before, I don’t know if I’m actually on an actual pitch count, but there’s been a system, really, since McAdoo has been here. Kind of having a system of a ‘heavy’ throw day, kind of filing down to a little lighter, then a heavier load. So there’s always been a system and we’ve talked about it in the quarterback room about which days you’re going to take more throws and which days you’re going to take a little less. It’s more like an individual period and once you get into practice and you get going against the defense, it’s all the same. It’s more in the warm-up period when you’re throwing routes versus air those type of things. Certain days you can limit, maybe 10-15 throws on certain days.
The confirmed ‘pitch count’ shouldn’t really be a surprise. As we’ve noted before, Ben McAdoo’s degree is in Kinesiology, or the study of the body’s mechanics. It only makes sense that he would periodize Manning’s work load as he builds up to the season and to help maintain his arm throughout the season.
Having to throw less also means being more judicious about which receivers to whom he is throwing. Manning confirmed that on those “light days” he would be throwing a higher percentage of his passes to players he is more likely to pass to when it counts for real.
“I mean,” he said, “that’s kinda, on some of the days where you are on a lighter throw day, you had a big load yesterday on the throws, today get your reps with Odell [Beckham], Brandon [Marshall], Evan [Engram], and [Sterling] Shepard. You’re not just getting throws to get throws in.”
As the saying goes, Father Time is undefeated, and Eli was never not going to age. But he is taking a decidedly optimistic stance towards being moderately ancient in “Football Years.”
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being 36, he said. “I’m proud of it. I feel good, I can still make all the throws, I can still run around when I need to. It is what it is, but I don’t see myself slowing down at all and I think I still have great football ahead of me.”
It’s a sentiment Giants’ owner John Mara echoed a short time later, saying:
“I think he’s got a lot of good football left in him. He shows no signs to me of slowing down. He’s highly motivated to try and win another championship. To me he looks as good as he ever has.”
Eli Manning addressing media Friday. Full coverage at bigblueview.comPosted by Big Blue View on Friday, July 28, 2017