The rest of the football world may be focusing on the upcoming draft. Eli Manning isn’t.
“I don’t know if I’ll sit down and watch the whole thing, but I’ll definitely keep up with who the Giants draft and go from there,” the quarterback said Wednesday. “I’m not going to spend the whole weekend and every day watching every single pick. It’s a lot easier just to go about your business and then catch up every few hours and see how it’s all shaping out.”
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Manning has been focused this week on current teammates, not future ones. He has been participating in the three-day voluntary minicamp that concludes Thursday. It hasn’t been very exciting, but Wednesday at least the team had its first offense-vs.-defense drills.Big BoardNewsday's Big Board: Top 100 NFL draft prospectsInteractiveBe the Giants GM in 2016 NFL Draft
“We played at a fast pace and a faster speed, so I thought we had some good things today,” he said. “You can always learn. Every practice you’re going to learn something. You see what guys are doing. I’m just getting reminders for myself with different adjustments to plays, different things in my reads, in my checkdowns and everything going on. You’re going to make mistakes. That’s fine. That’s what these are for, to learn from them, to get reminders on how you’re supposed to run the offense.”
There were mistakes, but also a few gems. Second-year receiver Geremy Davis looked sharp catching a deep pass down the left sideline. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made a nice interception.
Manning is still getting used to the new faces, new style of coach Ben McAdoo and the new flavors of the practices. That includes music being played not just for stretching but during the workouts.
“They didn’t get it from my phone, I don’t think,” Manning said of the playlist. “I only heard one song that I thought would maybe be on the playlist in my phone. I’m kind of zoned in where I don’t notice all of the songs. Every once in a while I will when we’re stretching, but once things are rolling, I really don’t hear a lot of it. It’s fine. I think it’s good during certain periods just to keep the enthusiasm, keep the tempo going.”
There are also intermittent announcements over the sound system that remind players which period they are going into and what they will be working on. But those words, much like the draft, don’t always register with Manning.
“I haven’t exactly figured that out,” he said. “I’m still adjusting. Sometimes I hear it. Sometimes I don’t.”
Notes & quotes: Manning has worked with Victor Cruz this spring but has not thrown him any passes during minicamp because Cruz is being held out for precautionary reasons. “He seemed sharp and he was able to come out of breaks,” Manning said of his previous work with Cruz. “He looked the same. Hopefully, he can get back out here soon.” And contribute? “You just hope for the best,” Manning said. “You want to be smart, but get him back in the flow of things, get reps and play football again.” . . . WR Ben Edwards was carted off the field after injuring his left leg while attempting a sliding catch near the sideline in 11-on-11 drills . . . Manning said he spent a second straight offseason strengthening his throwing arm, which made a visible improvement last year. “I did some work with the same guy,” he said. “I just continued to do what I was doing last year, and I think I have a good program, a good system to do during the offseason and what I do before practices and after practices. I think I have a good routine and I’m just sticking with it.”