“I thought it was a good atmosphere,” said Manning. “It’s good to kind of see all the faces again and see guys excited about this upcoming season.”
As for Eli, playing for the first time since Peyton Manning retired, the veteran quarterback admits it will be somewhat of an adjustment.
I hadn’t really thought about it from that aspect. I think it’ll be a little different just knowing he’s not in OTA’s, knowing he’s not going through training camp; having that call in training camp where you talk about different things that are going on from a football standpoint or a funny story here or there. Also during the season—preparing for a team or talking about a game that we didn’t get to see each other play or talking about a common opponent that we’re about to play. There will be some adjustment.
The conversation shifted to the excitement surrounding Big Blue's big free agent acquisitions as they look to turn around the dismal tides of the 2015 season. On paper, the Giants have the opportunity for more than just a bounce back season, and Manning knows that to do so, chemistry and teamwork is a must.
“I called a lot of the guys weeks ago, several of the new guys we had,” said Manning. “I think the closer the team is together as a group, that friendship and that bond, the better of we’ll be.”
Manning admits he was thrilled about what GM Jerry Reese pulled off during free agency. Top pickups like Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins are players the quarterback had to battle against in the past few years, so he understands the impact they can have at any given time during the season.
“If they can get our defense better and make them stronger, that’s going to make my job easier and help out the team,” said Manning.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP is coming of a miraculous season that included his second straight 4,000-yard season as well as career highs in touchdowns thrown with 35 and a 93.6 QBR rating.
Due to this staggering numbers, the 35-year-old kept the same approach he normally has in the offseason.
“I felt that that [same routine] was very helpful just in my arm care, my arm strength maintaining my arm strength for the entire season,” Manning explained.
The new teammates and new workouts will be put to the test in August when the Giants open up their preseason schedule against Vernon’s old Miami Dolphins. As that seems like eons away, fans can still smile knowing that with the first workout, the Giants’ 2016 season is officially underway.