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Eli Manning: Receiving skills make Saquon Barkley special

Takeaways from Eli Manning’s time with the media on Friday

New York Giants v New York Jets Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

With the Giants season opener right around the corner, quarterback Eli Manning spent some time with the media on Friday, addressing a multitude of topics. Check out some takeaways from his time with the media below.

On Saquon Barkley as a receiver

That’s what makes him special, the fact that he can be a receiver out of the backfield,” Manning said. “It just makes him that three-down back, finding ways to get him the ball in space. That’s a matchup we like. If we get man-to-man, that’s a matchup we like in the mix. Getting him the ball and letting him be an athlete, get the ball to him in space where he can make guys miss and get some big gains for us. I think it will be helpful, if teams want to play zone and drop back, having the ability to throw check downs and let him make some plays that way.”

On Odell Beckham’s new contract

I was excited for Odell, because of that reason,” Manning said. “I didn’t want that to be a distraction going into Week 1. I think he has done a great job of not making it a distraction. Not talking about it, not making it an issue with the team, he has been at practice and done everything he is supposed to do. I know he is relieved it got worked out, we can put that behind us and worry about going out there and playing football. He’s handled the whole situation well and I’m just excited for him.”

On Pat Shurmur’s training camp

I don’t know if much is different,” Manning said. “All training camps are pretty similar, especially in the first year. You are trying to learn the system, you are trying to get familiar with new players. You are trying to get a lot of work in, a lot of reps. You have to get a feel for the offense, what plays he likes to run against certain looks. When you start game planning for teams, how he is going to call plays in the game. You are just getting a feel for everything and getting a lot work and trying to work on specific things each and every week.”

On how Sterling Shepard has looked

“I thought Sterling has had a great training camp,” Manning said. “I think he’s running routes well, he’s getting separation, we have moved him around a good bit with Odell being out in the spring and being limited early on in training camp. He has got work outside and inside, the last couple of years he has been mostly inside. Moving him around, putting him in different spots, he does a great job of getting open against man, you like that matchup. He gets separation and that’s what you like from those guys.”

On young QBs Kyle Lauletta and Davis Webb

I think Davis, Kyle, and Alex have done a good job picking up this offense as well,” Manning said. “It’s been new for them, they are talented, they can make all the throws. Learning the offense, having great questions, all of us are learning it together. I think they have done a good job picking up on everything and also in the games, making some nice plays.”