Eye on Eli

All eyes are on Eli Manning, who will make his first career start Sunday against Atlanta. TGI will take a daily close-up look at Manning as he prepares for his big moment.

First off, Coach Tom Coughlin said the Giants' game plan will not be radically altered because of Manning's inexperience.

"The plan will be an effective plan that will allow us an opportunity to offensively move the ball," Coughlin said. "And there is a regard for what Atlanta brings to the table in terms of their outstanding defensive play and with the fact that we expect to have pressure be a part of the game from the first snap on. So we are obviously aware of that. From that standpoint, that is the way the plan is constructed. Is it any different? In regard to who we are attacking, it is different. But it wouldn't be any different regardless of who the starting quarterback was."

Coughlin said Manning is taking all of the practice snaps with the first-team offense. When Kurt Warner was the starter, he took roughly eight of 10 snaps in a given period, with Manning getting the other two.

"Manning will have to take all the snaps right now," Coughlin said.

* Giants co-owner Wellington Mara was all smiles when he was asked about Manning's upcoming debut.

"He had a very successful training camp," Mara said. "Much better than Phil Simms had before his first year."

Mara also cracked about Manning's inauspicious debut during minicamp in May.

"We knew he had a great arm when he knocked that tackling dummy over during his first practice," he said.

* Manning seemed extremely disinterested when told that quarterbacks from the draft class of 2004 are off to a 10-0 start this season.

"I can't worry about what other quarterbacks are doing in the league," he said on a conference call with the Atlanta media today. "I just have to look at my situation and try and make the best of it. This week, my only concern is getting prepared for Atlanta and going out there and trying to play smart football and hopefully get a win. I've gotten to know Ben [Roethlisberger] before the draft and doing things together. I'm proud of him and support him in what he's doing."

* Finally, Eli said he's conferred with his older brother Peyton since Coughlin named him the starter.

"I talked to Peyton," the Giants QB said. "Really, he called me once he heard and left a message and he said…he didn't have any great advice. His only piece of advice was if they call out the offense before the game, don't trip running out. That was really the only thing he said. He said prepare…this has happened with a lot of people and they call and congratulate you. But it's not really something that you get congratulated on. It's not like you've done anything. It's not like you've won a car or won a Super Bowl or won a game. It's more, I'll get calls that say, ‘Good luck.' I haven't done anything yet. I've still got to go out and play the games and that's what matters."

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