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QB Eli Manning

Q: One of the things that Coach Coughlin mentioned this morning was that he'd like to see the passing game be a little bit sharper. Do you feel that too? That maybe you guys are not where you want to be at this point in camp?

A: Yeah we can definitely get better. We've got a few guys banged up but we've got guys in there and we're throwing in a lot of different things so we can definitely be sharper in the passing game and hit some more completions.

Q: Coach also talked about the heat and humidity and said that practicing in it is actually a good thing. Is it a good thing?

A: It is. It's good to get used to this. Some of those games in early September are going to be hot and it's going to be humid so it's good to get these days in, getting the snap when the ball is wet, so it's good to be able to work on those things, especially because we've got O'Hara out and we've got a new center getting these wet ball drills. Practice throwing - you're getting the ball back and you're throwing a wet football so you practice those throws and I think it's good to get those things in.

Q: Can you re-focus a little bit more at night when it's a little bit cooler? You have a night practice tonight and Coach says it's nice to get a little more time in between practices too.

A: Definitely. Earlier in the week we were having two-a-days with one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Now you get a little bit more of a break in between, a little bit more meeting time to go over specifically what you're doing that day so I think you get a little bit more…especially with the young guys – young receivers, young offensive linemen – they're getting a lot of reps, they'll get a little bit more time to go over everything that's going in and hopefully you're a little bit more focused and in-tune to what is going on. So it should be better and we should get some better practices.

Q: Talk a little bit about Steve Smith. It seems like it didn't take him long to assume the role of go-to receiver. Could you talk about his maturation in his short time with the Giants?

A: Yeah, well Steve…right when he first got here you could tell he's a football player, he works really hard. That first year he missed a little time with injuries but through the end of the season and through the playoffs he was our third down guy so we put him in the slot to run some options and he did some good things. So he's just going from there. Last year really was the first time that he was a fulltime starter, moving around, we put him in different spots and he had a great season. He's a guy who works hard and we communicate well. He wants to get better and he wants to learn and you can see that in his hard work that he's getting open and I've got great confidence in him.

Q: So you guys have a pretty good connection?

A: Yeah. We've learned what it takes. In meeting rooms he sits right next to me so we're talking and going over things while we're watching film as a whole team. After practice he's got questions and he's going over the film from practices and talking in between plays. He's just gotten really good at understanding defenses and getting a feel for where the open holes are and finding ways to get open.

Q: Last year one of the things that changed dramatically is turnovers. How fine a line is that between needing to make big plays and not wanting to throw interceptions?

A: Well, yeah. As a quarterback you want to be aggressive and sense that there is time to be aggressive and there are aggressive throws and then there are stupid throws so obviously the interceptions have got to come down…fumbles – on my part, receivers, running backs, everything, offensive line making blocks – it's just everything coming together. Playing smarter, playing better football. Sometimes turnovers happen. You get tipped balls, while you're throwing you get hit and some of them are hard to avoid but there are some that we can definitely knock down and that's what we've got to do.

Q: Sinorice Moss has been with the team for a while, do you see a difference in him and in his preparation and attitude as his years go on and he's still waiting for that breakthrough?

A: Sinorice is one of the guys who has been here the longest in the receiving corps. He has a great knowledge of the offense and you see him out there making plays. He knows what he's doing, he's getting in there. I have great confidence in him, whether he's at the X or moving around so he's getting a better feel for the holes and the pockets and when he's got to run full speed and when he's got to slow it down and find the holes and so just learn the ins and outs of being a true football player. Obviously he can run. He's got great speed – straight line speed, but he's just learning all the ins and outs of being a receiver.

Q: How do you see the loss of Domenik Hixon affecting the offensive game plan going into the season?

A: Well hopefully it won't affect the game plan. Obviously Hixon was a great player for us, a guy you could move all around the field. He's a blocker, he's a tough guy, a punt returner. Our receiving corps still has a lot of guys who can fill that role. When you've got three returning guys who have started games in Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, and Hakeem Nicks, we need that fourth receiver to step up and that's where we're hoping that Ramses can get in there and take over that spot for Hixon and move him around, put him in different spots, and be that solid guy who you know is going to be there and make plays for us.

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