The Giants’ offseason program officially begins on Monday. It unofficially began on Thursday.
That’s when Eli Manning and a cadre of offensive teammates gathered at Duke University for what has become an annual get-together of running, passing catching and bonding. Manning brings his receivers to Duke because that is where his college coach, David Cutcliffe, is the current coach.
Based on social media posts from the gathering, the list of players is impressive. It includes Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, Roger Lewis Jr., Rhett Ellison, Wayne Gallman and Brandon Marshall. Peyton Manning also appeared to be on hand.
There is not much the players can do to prepare for the new offense that coach Pat Shurmur will install beginning on Monday in New Jersey. Due to CBA restrictions, the players aren’t even allowed to have a playbook until then. But Manning did say he studied a lot of film from the Vikings offense once he knew Shurmur, the former offensive coordinator in Minnesota, would be his coach. And offensive coordinator Mike Shula said that the biggest difference between the offense Manning ran the last few years under Ben McAdoo and this new one would be the language.
“I think there are going to be some things terminology-wise that are going to be different, but he’s been around and seen a lot and been exposed to a lot,” Shula said on Wednesday. “So it’s just going to be a matter of he may have called things differently, but it’s really the same thing. Or maybe he’s been taught to read it a little bit differently, so little things like that that it’s just going to take some getting used to.”