EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** Eli Manning doesn't know precisely what the Giants' new offensive scheme will entail, but he's eager to get started and work with new coordinator Ben McAdoo.
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"I think in a way it will be exciting knowing that you've got to come in and you've got to learn some new things," the Giants' veteran quarterback said on a conference call today. "Right now, I don't know exactly what the changes will be, if it will be completely changed terminology and formations or if we'll keep some of those things and just bring in his concepts. I don't know if the coaches have all figured that out exactly as well. I'm looking forward to figuring out all those things and I want to get to work. I think it's exciting in a sense to (have) a challenge ahead of me and I look forward to it and obviously our teammates and offensive guys are all going to have to do some learning. But I look forward to getting everybody together and kind of going through it together and seeing how we can improve."
Manning spent his first 10 seasons with the Giants working under Kevin Gilbride, who was his quarterbacks coach for three years before becoming offensive coordinator in 2007. Gilbride retired soon after the Giants concluded their 2013 season with a 7-9 record. McAdoo, who had been on the Green Bay Packers' staff for eight seasons, the last two as quarterbacks coach, was hired by head coach Tom Coughlin to replace Gilbride.
"I'm excited about Ben coming in," Manning said. "I talked to him before we hired him … before he interviewed with coach Coughlin and was very impressed with him and his offensive mindset and also his preparation on how he likes to get ready, his drills with quarterbacks and the things he's done in the past. I'm excited about what he'll bring to the Giants and look forward to getting in meetings and getting with him and seeing what I can do better and what I need to learn and how this offense is going to go. So I'm looking forward to getting back to work with him."
Manning briefly worked with McAdoo in the past. Under Mike McCarthy, the Packers have run a version of the west coast offense.
"The Packers' staff was (coaching) in a Pro Bowl a few years ago and I met Ben there," he said. "I was around him. Obviously, he was coaching the quarterbacks and I was there to kind of put together some sort of offense. It probably wasn't exactly their whole offense, but you got a little piece of it. I think the west coast offense has kind of changed a little bit over the years and a lot of people are running a lot of the same plays. They call it different things, but they'll have their little tweaks and different things that they do that they've done in Green Bay, where he's been under that offense. I'm looking forward to learning. You may call it different things. It'll have some different ideas, but it's still about playing football and having great footwork and mechanics and throwing it to the open guy."
Manning's eagerness for a fresh start is understandable. Beset with numerous injuries, particularly on the line, the Giants' offense ranked 28th in the NFL in 2013. Manning threw a career- and NFL-high 27 interceptions.
"I know from the players that have been there over the years and the coaching staff and the ownership that we have, everybody is going to be totally committed to getting back to playing at a high level and getting to the playoffs and being a team that can compete for championships," Manning said. "I know the dedication will be there and we're going to work hard and obviously we've got a new offensive coordinator coming in to shake things up and I think that's an exciting challenge for us, but I'm looking forward to getting back and getting to work and to put everything we can into getting that winning atmosphere back to the Giants organization."
*Manning left the Giants' season-ending victory over Washington on Dec. 29 with a sprained ankle and said it is healing well.
"The ankle is doing good," Manning said. "I'm actually getting a little ice and stim(ulation) on it right now. But it's feeling good and I've been rehabbing and working out and so it's doing good."