Ageless Eli Manning impressing at Training Camp

Posted Aug 8, 2016

QB Eli Manning has had a very impressive Training Camp thus far: 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Eli Manning is not feeling his age physically, but he is mentally, which is all good news for the Giants.

Manning is working through his 13th Giants training camp at age 35. In his second news conference of camp today, he was asked if there are time he feels his age on the practice field or in the hours afterward.

“No, there’s really not,” said Manning, who is easily the longest-tenured Giants player. “I feel healthy, I feel like my arm is live (and) I can make all the throws. I think I’ve gotten smarter over the years just with my training, my warmup, just taking care of my body, having a plan to get through practice and make sure I feel healthy. I used to just kind of roll out of bed and go to practice. Now I need about an hour to get loosened up. It’s just maintenance. I’ve gotten in the routine of doing it over the years, I see the difference and have stayed with it.”


Manning also likes the team’s schedule that was devised by new coach Ben McAdoo. The players arrive a little later in the morning, but practice earlier than they have in the past. Most of their meetings and a jog-thru are later in the day, a routine many players have said is less taxing on their bodies.

“I’ve enjoyed the schedule,” Manning said. “Doing the installs of practice the night before, come in the morning and do a little quick meeting, but really get out on the field and go practice and then hit the film and make corrections, and then at night make more corrections and then install again. I think the schedule has been good. You don’t have a lot of guys sitting in the meeting room for three or four hours before you get out there on the field. So I think things are going well. Now a lot of the offense is installed, you just hope people can retain all the information and you don’t forget what was installed last week. But I think the guys are doing well with that.”

McAdoo, who was the team’s offensive coordinator the previous two seasons, has been impressed with Manning’s camp performance.

“Eli's been sharp,” McAdoo said. “He's worked at it in the offseason, had some good looks and good work in the offseason training program. He's been sharp so far. First pass, he got that out of the way quick, the turnover, but he's been sharp since then.”

Manning’s first pass in a seven-on-seven drill in camp was intercepted by linebacker Devon Kennard. But the quarterback instantly shook it off and has been virtually flawless since.

“(Offensive coordinator) Mike Sullivan has known him for a long time,” McAdoo said. “He says it all the time, ‘if Eli wasn't playing football, he'd probably be the world’s greatest poker player.’ He didn't flinch, he just keeps playing.”

That’s always been Manning’s M.O. Now in his third year in the offense and with vastly more game experience than any of his offensive teammates, he can use his knowledge – football and emotional – to help the Giants’ group of young receivers. Their talent is evident. So, at times are their miscues. Manning has never lost his cool through a long career of successes and disappointments, so he can counsel the wideouts in the benefits of never getting too high or low.


“I think you just understand that mistakes are going to happen,” Manning said. “Going into this, third year in the offense, I understand from their perspective, some of this stuff was new to me two years ago and I didn’t realize. I try and kind of tell them things that it was tough for me to understand the first time, and try and explain it in layman’s terms and to let them understand that this is the first time they’re doing it. It’s not going to be perfect, there’s going to be a mistake and it’s not a mistake, it just can be done better in a lot of ways and you just teach off that. You just talk to them, it’s a lot of talking and that’s how you get better and how you learn. At this stage, if it’s the first time or second time they’re doing it, you can’t expect it to be perfect. That’s not the way it is. You just have to get a rep, get it on tape and have conversations to get it fixed and do it better the next time. Even the next time, there’s going to be adjustments, it’ll be a different look. You only get so many plays, so just try and teach and get examples of it, talk them through it and see if they can get a mental rep to see if they can get through it.”

One of those young receivers is Odell Beckham Jr. Yes, Beckham caught 187 passes and played in two Pro Bowls in his first two seasons. But he won’t turn 24 until Nov. 5, a day before the Giants play their ninth game this season. Manning and Beckham twice connected for big receptions in practice today, including a touchdown to cap the two-minute drill.

“I think Odell just being even more on the same page with things,” Manning said. “He’s very in tune to details of routes and what he’s doing, but just to continue to move him in different spots and grow within the offense and be on the same page, the right timing and be that much sharper. It’s not a whole lot of different routes and different stuff, it’s just doing them better and having a better understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish.”

That’s exactly what a physically-fit, mentally-sharp Manning hopes to do in his 13th season.