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5 things we learned at Training Camp (8/9)

! highlights five takeaways from Wednesday's press conferences:


It was quarterback day Wednesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Josh Johnson, Geno Smith and Davis Webb all met the media as they prepare for Friday night's preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Eli Manning was the lone exception. In an interview Tuesday on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York radio, head coach Ben McAdoo said this has been Manning's best camp since he came to the Giants. McAdoo was asked today to explain his answer.

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"He is completing the ball at a high percentage, he knows the offense like the back of his hand, and he has been in the offense for four years now, so he has been able to teach others," McAdoo said. "That is the best way to learn, the best way to master it."


Johnson signed with the Giants six days before Big Blue opened the 2016 season in Dallas. As such, the 11-year veteran didn't see the field last year, either in the preseason or regular season. That means Johnson, who has suited up for nine teams in his career, will see live game action for the first time as a Giant this Friday night. The Oakland native is looking forward to competing for the Giants backup role.

"It's the NFL, it's a competition between everybody," Johnson said. "You've got competition with the guys who want jobs on the street, you've got competition with the guys in the building. It's all about your performance. It's a performance driven business, so you've got to get out there and perform with the opportunities that you've got. Obviously for me, I keep it simple. Then, the fact that there's only one quarterback that goes out on the field at one time, that's really all that matters, and make sure you're on the same page with those 10 guys that you're out there with. To me, that's what's more important."


It's a crowed QB room in East Rutherford and just like Johnson, Smith has his eyes on backing up Manning. The five-year veteran is coming off a torn ACL he suffered last season but said after practice Wednesday he feels like he's in better shape now than he was before the injury.

"It's going to be fun," Smith said. "I'm excited. Looking forward to it, you know, being my first game since last October. So, it'll be fun. We're going to go out there and cut it loose, play like I know how and just give it everything I got."

On competing against Johnson: "I know that we're competing," Smith added. "We're all competing to get each other better and if it's that one spot, then obviously I'm going for it. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Josh. I think he's a tremendous player. He's been in this league a long time, proven guy. And, I mean, if it is a competition for one spot, as a competitor, you want to win every single competition. That's day-in and day-out."


Last but not least Wednesday was the newest addition to the QB room, rookie Davis Webb. McAdoo confirmed today that Webb will play Friday night, meaning the California product will be making his NFL debut. Webb says when his number is called, he'll be ready to go.

"I've gotten every rep this entire training camp," Webb said. "Mentally I've been tuned in, I've been asking questions in meetings, I'm watching the play progress and going through my reads back there. I might not be throwing it, but mentally I'm throwing it. So, mentally I feel sharp. Physically, it was my first time today in a team setting, but I feel good. I feel ready to go, and once my chance comes, I'll be ready to go and that's Friday night. So, I'm excited."


After five years in Minnesota, tight end Rhett Ellison signed with the Giants as a free agent this offseason. Known primarily as a blocking tight end who helped pave the way for three Adrian Peterson 1,000-yard seasons, Ellison has shown the ability to be a threat in the receiving game as well. The USC product has 51 career receptions for 515 yards and three touchdowns. McAdoo said there could more opportunities for Ellison on the horizon.

"I think he has been underutilized in the pass game," McAdoo said. "We are going to use him a little bit more and give him some opportunities there. He has certainly shown he moves like a football player in space, so I don't see any reason why he can't be a contributor."

"It's whatever coach McAdoo asks me to do," Ellison added. "You don't get to pick what plays you do. It's whatever the coaches want you to do. It's whatever they think is going to put you in the best situation. That's the situation I want to be in."

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