With the first game –– and the first hit –– out of the way, Eli Manning told reporters on Tuesday that he’s happy with where the team and the offense is so far.
Manning was 6-7 for 43 yards in limited snaps against the Bills and says he’s already adjusting to the new offense.
“You’re always going to learn a good bit from the first preseason game: things that may come up that haven’t come up in practice, making a different call or making a better decision,” Manning said. “So I think we got better on that approach; kind of declared some things on some of our calls and decisions.”
While the offense may be able to do more things, the loss of David Wilson to a neck injury is devastating. Wilson decided to retire from football after being advised to walk away from the game, a Giants press released stated. The former first-round pick in 2012 carried the ball just 115 times in two seasons, but the running back was explosive when available.
“Obviously, I feel for him and it’s a tough situation,” Manning said of Wilson. “It could’ve been a lot worse and the fact that we’re making the right decision and don’t want to risk anything with that neck.”
Manning is no stranger to neck issues –– though he hasn’t had any of his own. Manning’s brothers, Peyton and Cooper, have both suffered neck injuries in their careers. Eli says Wilson’s injury doesn’t hit him harder because of his family, though.
“I think it hits home whether you have brothers or not,” he said. “It hits home for every football player when early in your career you’re told you can’t play football anymore.”
The Giants have prepared for life without Wilson and have their own injuries to manage. Manning was also reacquainted with the brutality of the game, taking his first hit since having surgery on his ankle. The veteran quarterback was fine.
“No issues,” Manning stated. “That’s the good thing about preseason, getting used to getting tackled a few times. You don't want to take any huge hits, but get tackled and get used to it. It’s a good reminder that it doesn’t always hurt when you get tackled and it’s just part of it.”
Manning also got to experience the new offense in a game situation. New offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo installed a more west coast-style offense in the offseason with the hopes that Manning could get the ball out faster while taking fewer hits. Manning says the new offense is allowing the Giants to do more things this year than they could last season.
“We have to be able to throw the ball down field some, throw it short, hit some screens, take our shots downfield,” he said. “I think you have to have a great mix so the defense can’t decipher exactly what you’re going to do each play.”