Eli Manning on Michael Vick’s ‘Dynasty’ Comment: “We’ve got to play football. We’ll see Philadelphia down the road.”
After enjoying his time off this spring and early summer, Eli Manning is eager to start training camp as the defending Super Bowl Champions are preparing for a date with the Dallas Cowboys on opening night of the 2012 season. The two-time Super Bowl MVP knows the Giants will have to be more consistent this season in their title defense. No.10 has also heard all the other news making the headlines this offseason, whether it be former teammate Amani Toomer claiming Tony Romo is a better player than him, and Michael Vick saying the Philadelphia Eagles have the potential to be a dynasty. Manning takes all of it in stride because he’s the quarterback in the NFC East with the 2 Super Bowl titles on his belt.
Eli Manning joined 660 WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to discuss the role of rookies David Wilson and Rueben Randle on the Giants offense, Michael Vick’s comments about the Philadelphia Eagles having the potential to be a ‘dynasty’, Amani Toomer’s comments that Tony Romo is a better player than him, looking forward to opening up the season on a Wednesday night against the Dallas Cowboys and the health status of Hakeem Nicks.
Your initial thoughts on rookies David Wilson and Rueben Randle?
“They both had a good spring. The thing about David Wilson is he’s the fastest running back we’ve ever had. I mean, this guy’s quick, he’s explosive, so that’s kind of exciting. Our running backs over the years have been the powerful, big guy. With those young guys at running back, it’s all about learning protections. If I start changing plays, they have to know exactly what they’re doing, the routes off that and blocking guys. You slowly work them in, you have a small amount of plays in a special package for them that they can get comfortable with and then you get them in the mix. So training camp will be a big help for [Wilson], getting him in some live games in the preseason will help and the same thing for Rueben. I thought he had a good spring. He has a good feel for things, very smooth, catches the ball well, I think he picked up our offense pretty well for the first time hearing it. So the same thing – training camp just more repetitions, some live action and making decisions, making adjustments on the routes based on the coverage and just learning all those things.”
Did you hear about the dynasty down in Philadelphia? What did you think of Michael Vick’s comments?
“Of course, of course. You always have to have some breaking news in the offseason. Obviously, we’ve got to play football. I know they’re a talented team and they’ve got great players. We’ve got some good players on our team as well, so we’ll see Philadelphia down the road. Right now, we’re just getting ready for training camp and seeing how we can get better.”
The news in the offseason never stops for you guys in this day and age. What are your thoughts on Amani Toomer’s comments?
“Things have changed. Football has become so much more popular where everybody is into it. Fantasy football is a huge sport and there’s a lot of talk and people are talking about getting excited for the season and so it’s a long offseason and a lot of conversation, so it’s one of those deals as a player you really just can’t get caught up into it. People are going to say things. If you listen to every show or whatever every single person says about me or about the Giants and you get defensive about it or it makes you upset you are going to have some problems. You’ve got to laugh about it. I saw Toomer’s [comments] not too long ago. I just walked up to him and said, ‘You know what, I thought Ike Hilliard (was) a better Giants receiver than you were. Willie Ponder was probably a better receiver than you were.’ You’ve got to laugh about it instead of getting upset. There’s no point. Amani’s been a good pal of mine and still is, so you’ve got to laugh about it.”
Do you like opening up Wednesday night against the Dallas Cowboys? Would you rather play a Sunday game at 1 p.m.?
“To open it up [the 2012 regular season] will be special. Wednesday night, opening up the season at home. There will be a great crowd. You’ll still have a normal week to prepare. You’ll still…it’s not going to be a short week just because our last preseason game is on Wednesday, so you’ll have the full preparation to get ready, so I don’t mind it in that sense, but a Sunday 1 p.m. [game] that is kind of your normal routine. You wake up early. You go play football and that’s what you like. Playing in those prime time games are obviously very special as well.”
Have you talked with Hakeem Nicks? Any update on his health?
“Yeah [I’ve] been around Hakeem, talked to him throughout the summer. He said he’s feeling good and getting better. Obviously, just gotta wait until Thursday and see him at training camp and see kind of what his progress and what his training camp schedule practice-wise will be. He’s always been a fast healer. He always has the right mindset in saying he is going to be back quickly and get back faster than what the doctor says and work hard enough to make sure he is healing up. I know he is doing everything he possibly can to get back on the field. He wants to be with us competing all throughout training camp, so I’m sure we’ll be smart enough to make sure he is going to stay healthy and it’ll be great to have him most of training camp and most importantly for the start of the season.”