Eli Wraps Up Camp

Giants quarterback Eli Manning shared his thoughts about the Giants first training camp as defending champions in 17 years. Here's what Manning had to say Saturday morning before the club's final practice in Albany.

What questions do you think still have to be answered as you prepare to break camp?
Well, you just got to keep getting better. You answer a lot of questions during the preseason games. We have a lot of young receivers right now who are playing and who have to play in this upcoming game and have to learn some stuff. I think it's good. You see them get better. That's what training camp is all about, seeing some of these young guys improve, come in and really start to understand the offense and what's going on and that's good to see.

Obviously, you've been without Plax and Amani for a long time. Is it comforting at least knowing that those two guys probably can pick right up where they left off?
Yeah, in a way. It's good that they know the offense and know what they're doing. However, it's good when you have all your guys out there and you're able to practice with the guys who will be i n the games with you. So, hopefully they'll get back soon and we'll get some good work together and everybody in the right spots. Also, we're getting some good work with some of the young guys and you've seen some guys step up and get better and maybe help us out during the season.

Are you confident they will be back, or is there a part of you that worries you a little about their health at the start of the season?
Well, I hope they'll be back and that's all I can do.

Eli, what's different this time around being world champions? Does it feel different?
No, it doesn't feel different. We still have to work and prepare for every preseason game and every practice and go out there and execute. So, that's what we're trying to do and I think we've had a good mindset and attitude going into this camp and a good determination to get better. Hopefully, we can go out on Monday and play well and this work has paid off.

How do you like camp this year?
Camp's been good. I don't mind coming here. It's a time where you can get a lot of work done and, you know, a lot of bonding with the other players. You get to know some of the new players and new teammates and so it's a good time.

There was a play yesterday where somebody ran a dig route and Kenny Phillips seemed to come out of nowhere. Can you talk about his play and what you've seen out of him?
Kenny has done a good job. He's aggressive and seems like he's always around the ball. He's got good range and it seems like he's got a good feel on the field for making plays. Hopefully, he can continue to do that during the games and be a good player for our defense. Maybe get some turnovers and get us the ball back.

When you guys break camp tomorrow, are you going to feel good about where the team is?
I think so. I feel good about where we are, and honestly, these last preseason games, there's still work there to be done and there are still some thi ngs to improve upon. Yeah, I feel like the guys are getting a better understanding of things and so we just have to keep that attitude and keep working for these next couple weeks before the real season starts.

What have you seen that you like about the guys fighting to be your backup?
All the quarterbacks are good guys. We communicate well and discuss things in meetings. Anthony has been here last year, so he's got a good feel for what we're doing. David Carr has come in and is understanding everything. Andre, he's a rookie quarterback, first time into the NFL and we've all been there and he asks some good questions, which is good. If he doesn't understand something, he's stepping up and asking questions, which is important for a young quarterback. You try to explain things so he understands it.

Any update on your playing time on Monday?
Well, I think 25 plays is the word right now.

Eli, the Cleveland game, any thoughts?
Yeah, hopefully we can go out there and play well, they're a good team. They' re a 3-4 defense, which we'll see a lot of in the next three preseason games. So, it's good work and it's been good work in practice. We got some good looks at that and getting some good work on that.

When camp breaks, do you have any renewed sense of urgency that the season is getting closer and closer and you guys still have work to do?
Well, we know, obviously, when camp breaks it's a relief and guys are excited to get back home and get into that one a day schedule. That's good, but we still know there's two more preseason games and a lot of time we can tune some things up and get better and that's what we have to do after this upcoming game.

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