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QB and Coach share key leadership trait

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – If personalities were available for purchase, Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning could have selected theirs from the same store shelf.

The Giants' coach and quarterback have similar demeanors. Each is confident and self-assured, neither gets too high or low, and they can make a point, positive or negative, without raising their voice. They are relentlessly calm in times good and bad.

Those traits have been tested this season by the team's 1-5 start. Neither Shurmur nor Manning has provided any hint they're about to change. Experience is certainly a factor in their consistency. Shurmur has been an NFL coach for 20 seasons, Manning a player for 15. They've succeeded in part by understanding that getting too emotional after a win or loss – or multiples of either – is counterproductive.

"I think it's pretty similar," Manning said today of their shared deportment. "You see the passion, you know there's passion and hard work. He's not throwing chairs, he's not screaming and yelling at everybody. He has his own way of motivating guys. I think he's done a good job of just kind of handling the pulse of this team and keeping us together, and I think that's the most important thing."

Shurmur has mentioned several times this season that he likes the fight his players display on a daily basis. At his news conference today, he was asked if he needs to show the team more of his own fight.

Not necessary, he said.

"My team knows my true personality," said Shurmur, whose team will face the 2-4 Falcons Monday night in Atlanta. "For me to rant and rave, or say something that can be written and reported about, and me making it about me, I don't think that makes you strong. And I don't think that makes anybody think that I care anymore than the players in the locker room. They know my true feelings, and that's what I care about. We'll take it from there.

"I'm well aware of competition and how this works. I played in the trenches, I was an overachiever (as a center at Michigan State). I get that, but I also know that as an adult, sometimes, you don't just do it and say whatever the heck you want. This is about team-building and trying to do this the right way, and along the way we've got to win more games and I am aware of that."

Manning, of course, has seemingly never been flustered by anything in his decade-and-a-half with the Giants. He is largely the same person whether he throws four touchdown passes or wins a Super Bowl, or four interceptions and suffers a last-second defeat.

And he appreciates that Shurmur shares those qualities, particularly when the team is struggling.

"It's a tough situation for everybody, but I think he's handled it well," Manning said. "Trying to stay calm. He's leading this team, and pushing guys every day to get better – to stay the course and keep fighting. Everybody just make small improvements."

Manning's teammates have followed the example set by Shurmur and him. Though disappointed by the record, they haven't let it consume them. They are confident the team will improve over the final 10 games.

That includes players who have never been in this situation. Tackle Nate Solder played in four Super Bowls, winning two, in his seven seasons with the New England Patriots. He has never before been 1-5, but to him it's just a minor bump in the long road that is the season.

"I'm really thankful to be in this group," Solder said. "I think it's a wonderful group of guys. We're doing the best we can, we're working hard and you can't look forward, you've got to take it one game at a time, so we're on Atlanta right now, and that's the focus of everything that we're doing.

View the best photos from Giants practice as they prep to take on the Falcons Monday night

"We got everything we need in this locker room. It's amazing, so I'm very thankful to be here. … I do believe that I'm constantly learning about myself. What have I learned? It comes down to us and how we love on each other and take care of each other. You can't do it as one player, you have to do it as a team. It takes everybody on the same page and everybody working hard, and I think we have those elements and it's just a continued process. We have to keep working at it, we have to keep pushing, we can't back down and we have to put our foot on the gas."

Shurmur or Manning couldn't have said it better.

*Three Giants players were limited today in practice: Solder (neck), linebacker Olivier Vernon (ribs), and wide receiver Russell Shepard (neck).

Asked if he's "okay" physically, the ever-polite Solder said, "Yeah, thank you for asking."

Tight ends Evan Engram (knee) and Rhett Ellison (foot) practiced fully.

*The Giants added an intriguing player to their practice squad when they signed Corey Coleman, who was the 15th overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Coleman, 5-11 and 185 pounds, was chosen by the Cleveland Browns, for whom he played 19 games with 18 starts in two seasons with the team. He caught 56 passes for 718 yards (12.8-yard avg.) and five touchdowns.

On Aug. 5, Coleman was traded to the Buffalo Bills, who released him on Sept. 1. Ten days later, he signed with the New England Patriots, who waived him on Sept. 17. Coleman was on the Patriots' practice squad from Sept. 20-29.

The Giants terminated the practice squad contract of wide receiver Kalif Raymond, who was signed on Tuesday.