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Phil Simms to Eli Manning: If Brandon Marshall is covered, he’s still open

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) talks

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) talks to wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ, on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. Credit: Brad Penner

Proper use of Brandon Marshall in the Giants’ passing game will require Eli Manning to change his definition of a very simple word: Open.

So says Phil Simms, the former Giants quarterback who had to adjust to a similar passing target during his playing days.

Marshall was targeted just four times and caught one pass on the final play of the game in his debut for the Giants last Sunday at Dallas.

“They had plenty of opportunities to throw him the football,” Simms said last week on “Simms and the Mad Dog,” a weekly hour-long show on SiriusXM. “He was one-on-one. And you know, he’s the kind of receiver, he’s not going to run by you and do all this stuff. But it’s the old thing about Mark Bavaro, who says ‘Hey, Simms, when he’s covered he’s open.’ They’re contested catchers of the football. Brandon Marshall is. Mark Bavaro was.”

Manning and Marshall have only completed one pass together in a game situation, so that type of confidence will come. But for their relationship to truly blossom, Manning will have to trust that he can throw a football to his 6-5 receiver and allow him to fight through a defender to get it.

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