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Giants Now: Eli Manning believes Giants are 'heading in the right direction' 

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The Giants have garnered plenty of praise from people around the NFL community over the last few weeks for their moves in free agency this offseason.

You can count legendary Giants quarterback Eli Manning in that category.

"It's been great," Manning told Sports Illustrated. "They're obviously committed to turning this around. They feel great about a lot of positions where they are and I think Coach [Joe] Judge has done a great job. The fact that they are a young team, and they've drafted well, have all these guys that are growing within this program and under his leadership, I think they're heading in the right direction.

"In the NFL, sometimes all it takes is a few players to really go from kind of that middle-of-the-pack to a playoff-caliber team."

A few of the splashes the team made in free agency in recent weeks include the re-signing of defensive lineman Leonard Williams to a multi-year extension, along with the additions of wide receiver Kenny Golladay, Adoree' Jackson, and numerous other free agents.

The addition of the 6-foot-4 Golladay has led to many people likening it to when the Giants signed 6-foot-5 wide receiver Plaxico Burress in 2005. Manning spent four seasons throwing the ball up to Burress in the end zone, a connection that led to 33 touchdowns in 57 games.

The two-time Super Bowl MVP couldn't help but compare Golladay to his former teammate.

"They're both tall, rangy receivers," said Manning. "Maybe not the fastest person on the team, but when you're 6-5 and you're 225 pounds or whatever he might be, you don't have to be the fastest. You don't have to be open to be open, if that makes sense. Quarterbacks can throw you open, they can put it in spots where only you can make a play on it. Separation is not needed necessarily to be an open receiver.

"I think having that type of receiver, sometimes it draws double coverage, it gets a safety to help on that side, it can open up for other receivers... I think they have some players around that when you sign a guy like Golladay, it will open up obviously for him to make plays, but open up for some of these other guys to have success as well."

The player that should benefit the most from the addition of Golladay is third-year quarterback Daniel Jones.

Manning's final NFL season in 2019 coincided with Jones' rookie campaign. The young quarterback player under two head coaches and two offensive coordinators in his first two seasons. This season will be the first time he will get to work in the same offense under the same coaching staff for the second consecutive year.

Combine the familiarity in the offense with the addition of Golladay and other offensive weapons such as Kyle Rudolph and John Ross, and it is no wonder why Manning believes Jones is set up to take a big step forward in his development next season.

"It's hard when you have a quarterback in his second year, second offensive coordinator, a lot of changes," Manning said. "The fact that he'll be going into the same offense for two consecutive years will help him, help him grow as a player, be more comfortable in the offense.

"I know he works extremely hard, I know he's committed and dedicated to doing whatever possible, I know it's important for him to have success and to be a leader and to get back to winning football games for the Giants. Having those qualities is the start that you need to eventually have success in the NFL. I think he has those things. He of course has the talent, the ability to make the plays. It's just combining all those together, plus getting the guys around him that can help him, and I think that's what the Giants are doing."

View photos of every move made by the Giants this offseason.

Changes to overtime, jersey numbers among 11 rule proposals on table

The NFL announced a series of rule proposals ahead of the 2021 season.

There are 11 possible changes on the table, four of which were proposed by the competition committee while seven came from clubs. Earlier in the week, the league announced the addition of a 17th game to the regular season, the first expansion of the schedule since it increased from 14 to 16 games in 1978. The four NFC East teams will travel to the AFC East teams that finished in the same position in the standings in 2020, meaning the Giants added a trip to Hard Rock Stadium to face the Miami Dolphins this upcoming season.

During upcoming owners' meetings, clubs will vote on the following proposed rules changes. All proposals must be approved by 75 percent (24) of the owners to be adopted.

COMPETITION COMMITTEE RULES PROPOSALS

By Competition Committee; to amend Rule 16, to eliminate overtime in the preseason.

By Competition Committee; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 3, for one year only, to establish a maximum number of players in the setup zone.

By Competition Committee; to amend Rule 12, Section 2, Article 4, to expand the prohibition on blocking below the waist by offensive and defensive players on scrimmage downs when contact occurs beyond five yards on either side of the line of scrimmage and more than two yards outside of either offensive tackle.

By Competition Committee, Coaches Subcommittee, and Baltimore; to amend Rule 15, Section 3, Article 9, and Rule 19, Section 2, to permit the Replay Official and designated members of the Officiating department to provide certain objective information to the on-field officials.

CLUB PLAYING RULE PROPOSALS

By Chicago; to amend Rule 11, Section 3, Article 3, to ensure the enforcement of all accepted penalties committed by either team during successive Try attempts.

By Los Angeles Rams; to amend Rule 8, Section 1, Article 2, to add a loss of down for a second forward pass from behind the line and for a pass thrown after the ball returns behind the line.

By Kansas City; to amend Rule 5, Section 1, Article 2, to expand jersey number options for certain positions.

By Baltimore and Philadelphia; to amend Rule 16, Section 1, to change the options for winner of an overtime coin toss, and create a true sudden death format.

By Baltimore; to amend Rule 16, Section 1, to change the options for winner of an overtime coin toss, eliminate sudden death format, and eliminate overtime in the preseason.

By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1, to permit a team to maintain possession of the ball after a score by substituting one offensive play (4th and 15 from the kicking team's 25-yard line) for an onside kickoff attempt.

By Baltimore; to amend Rule 19, Section 1, Article 1, to add an eighth official who is positioned somewhere other than the playing field, with full communication to on-field officials and access to a television monitor.

For full details on the proposals, CLICK HERE.

Inside the Film Room: What John Ross' speed can do for Giants' offense

Super Bowl champion Shaun O'Hara breaks down the film of new Giants wide receiver John Ross in this edition of Inside the Film Room.

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