Eye on Eli, Part II

Not surprisingly, Tom Coughlin was met with a bevy of questions regarding his rookie starting QB, Eli Manning, after Thursday's practice. Here's a sampling of what Coughlin had to say:

Q: How did Eli do in his first practice yesterday?

A: He did practice. He did a lot of real good things. There are some things that we have to clean up, obviously, from the first day. But he practiced well.

Q: What does Eli have to guard against in his first start as a rookie in the NFL?

A: He has to guard against Atlanta. He has to figure out what they are doing and what they are up to right away. We are trying to simulate all of those things on the practice field for him. Recognition is obviously a key. They are going to try to do something about that. But he will be poised and he does have to understand about the speed of the game. He hasn't been out there. The speed of the game is much different than practice. So that is an important thing that we are constantly reminding him of.

Q: Watching nine games from the sideline?

A: Obviously that is a tremendous learning experience for him. And I hope that is going to be very beneficial for him. It is a lot different when you are standing over the ball.

Q: Is there any concern on your part, with the first start and all of the hoopla that goes around with, that he tries to get ahead of himself, like normal anxiety or anxiousness?

A: I don't think so, I really don't. I have spoken to him on a couple of occasions about what to expect this week and how people are, particularly in this marketplace, in terms of the frenzy that goes along with it. I think he understands that the only real pressure is the pressure that you put on yourself. And that is what he has to live up to…his own expectations.

Q: As a young quarterback, what does he bring to the position?

A: He is a young quarterback. He is looking for his first opportunity to play, and obviously very proud of it. What he brings to the game are all of those talents and abilities. The mental part of the game, hopefully, is something that he has advanced along because of his experience in the summer and throughout the first nine games of the season, and his ability to put some of that information to use on Sunday will be critical.

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