Starting quarterbacks never know how much they will play in a preseason opener. New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is no exception.
Manning, entering his 14th NFL season, didn’t play much in last year’s preseason. He appeared in only two of the Giants’ four preseason games, throwing a grand total of 38 passes. The lack of preseason reps didn’t seem to bother him much. He threw for 4,000 yards for the third consecutive season and 26 touchdowns.
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Manning and head coach Ben McAdoo are tight-lipped about how much Manning will play (if at all) when the Giants open their preseason schedule against the Pittsburgh Steelers Friday night at MetLife Stadium.
“We haven’t had our play time meeting yet,” McAdoo said after Monday’s practice, which was held indoors because of rain.
Manning played in the first and third preseason games in 2016. He laughed Friday when someone said McAdoo will leave the decision about playing in Friday’s preseason opener up to him but stressed that he didn’t know what McAdoo would decide.
“I think I got enough action over the last 14 years to get me ready for the upcoming season,” he said.
General manager Jerry Reese said earlier in training camp Manning will be on a “pitch count” and his practice time and game action will be closely monitored. It wouldn’t be a total surprise to see No. 10 watching Josh Johnson, Geno Smith, and Davis Webb in action.
The Giants added wide receiver Brandon Marshall in free agency and drafted tight end Evan Engram to go along with Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.
Marshall is similar to former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, who caught the game winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII. Engram provides a potential nightmare for any linebackers or safeties trying to cover him.
He is hoping to develop the same rapport with Marshall and Engram that he once had with Burress.
“You can kind of talk about everything, but you’ve got to get in as many live reps, one-on-ones, get running different routes, getting on the same timing with things will be good,” Manning said.
“Same with Evan. He’s making some plays, doing a lot of good things but the more one-on-ones, the situations, different things, coming up every practice. There’s something to learn from it every day.”