The man who oversaw Eli Manning’s first throws of 2013 is expecting big things from the rest of them.
David Cutliffe, Manning’s former coach at Ole Miss, watched his protégé pass to Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Louis Murphy at Duke University (where he now coaches) last week.
"His arm was tremendous during this round," Cutcliffe told Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio today. "We do a lot of pure, solid, good-old-fashioned fundamental things that we have been doing with him since he has been coming to camp with me at Tennessee and at Ole Miss … I just have a good feeling about where he is right now. I thought he left here really on fire and I'm excited about seeing what is going to happen [this season].”
Manning, too, said this week that he was pleased with the three-day workout.
“The offseason program starts later,” Manning said after his initial workout. “We used to start in mid-March. It is pushed back a month (with the new CBA). I usually start throwing April 1. So I have kind of kept that routine these last years, just throwing on my own … I thought last week we could just come in and get a lot of on-field work, get my arm back in shape so when I come here I am kind of ready to stride forward.”
While Cutliffe did not address the issue specifically, he hinted that Manning may have been hindered by an injury in 2012. About midway through the season his productivity dropped and it was speculated by some that he had a tired or dead arm.
"Well, there are always a lot of things that we don’t read about or know," Cutcliffe said. "You got little nagging injuries whether it is him or certainly Nicks being hurt all year never helps. It just changes your team and the production of a quarterback will be altered in that regard."
Still, Cutliffe said he expects Manning to bounce back in 2013.
"Let me tell you, number one, don’t ever doubt his courage, his knowledge," Cutcliffe said. “Eli understands how to play quarterback. He has great courage and he is a tough, tough, tough guy."