Former Giants receiver Mario Manningham relishes chance against old team

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mario Manningham pulls San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mario Manningham pulls in a touchdown during a game against the Buffalo Bills. (Oct. 7, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty

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Mario Manningham said there are a lot of games on the 49ers' schedule circled by a lot of different 49ers receivers. The Dolphins game will be significant to Ted Ginn Jr. because it's against his old team. Randy Moss has already faced one former team -- the Vikings -- and will face another in the Patriots later this year.

But this week, it's Manningham's circle.

"That's a player's dream, to go out there and beat their old team," he said Wednesday as he prepared to welcome the Giants to his new place in San Francisco. "Now it's my time up."

From the sound of things, Manningham couldn't be happier with his new surroundings. He said he couldn't ask for better teammates, better coaches or even better equipment managers than he has right now with the 49ers. What that says about the teammates, coaches and equipment managers he had for the last four years with the Giants remains open to interpretation.

Although the Giants let him sign on with the 49ers as a free agent, Manningham said he holds no ill will.

"I wasn't mad, or nothing," he said. "It's business. It's all a part of football. That's how it is . . . Do I have a grudge? No. But, am I motivated? Yeah. I'm motivated by every game, especially this game. Who wouldn't be motivated by their old team?"

Manningham has caught 19 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown with the 49ers so far.

"It worked out more than I thought it was going to work out," Manningham said of his cross-country move. "I'm just glad to be blessed and be in this situation. I left a good team, and went to a good team also."

Manningham still keeps in touch with some former Giants teammates. He said he had a two-hour conversation recently with Hakeem Nicks. He's also close with Ahmad Bradshaw. Victor Cruz said he's exchanged texts with Manningham since he left the team.

Two of those friends -- Nicks and Cruz -- are big reasons why Manningham was not resigned by the Giants. He'd already been relegated to a third receiver, the guy Bill Belichick famously wanted the Giants to have to throw to in Super Bowl XLVI. There just wasn't room to add a big contract for a little production.

"I know the position that I was playing, and I know the position that I'm in now," Manningham said. "And I know that I can go out there and go against any corner and win. I'm confident about that . . . Me leaving there and coming over here and getting more chances to get the ball, I mean, a player really can't ask for more than that."

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