Even when he is given a day off, Eli Manning isn’t far from the action.
The quarterback and a handful of other veteran players were bystanders during Friday’s light walk-through practice that lasted just over an hour. But instead of simply observing in his baseball cap, Manning grabbed a walkie-talkie and started calling the plays like an offensive coordinator.
“We wanted to give him a chance to stay dialed in and get those mental reps,” Ben McAdoo said of Manning’s duties. “Eli, he got to use a little empathy today and see how challenging that really is.”
After three days of live contact in shoulder pads, McAdoo said Friday was a day to allow the players to rest their bodies. Manning was among those who were excused from the short workout, along with Brandon Marshall, Damon Harrison, Jonathan Casillas, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins and John Jerry.
The move falls into place with McAdoo’s summer-long plan to rest players when he can. Jason Pierre-Paul was given a day off earlier this week and Weston Richburg has been limited the past few days.
“It’s what’s best for them physically at this point,” McAdoo said. “It’s not what we’d like to do, but it’s the right thing to do.”
The day of rest comes before Saturday’s practice, which is expected to be the longest and most grueling of camp. McAdoo even noted Saturday’s practice as a day that would test the players when he spoke at the opening of camp last week.
“We’ll crank it back up,” he said of Saturday’s plan. “It’s going to be a heavy situational-football day. We’ll have some pads on. It’ll be a good practice.”