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Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Notebook: Eli says Nicks will be ready

By Ohm Youngmisuk

Eli Manning is itching to start throwing to his receivers once offseason training begins.

He obviously hopes Victor Cruz, a restricted free agent, will be catching passes from him this season and will be for a long time to come. And the same goes for Hakeem Nicks. The Giants want to sign both receivers to long-term extensions and Manning said he would be willing to discuss restructuring his contract if the Giants needed.

As for Nicks' health -- he battled through foot and knee injuries last season that hampered the Giants offense -- Manning says the receiver will be fully recovered this year.

“Yeah, Hakeem is doing well,” Manning said at a Samsung event in the city. “Talked to him the other day, and he’s training and getting ready, and he’ll be ready when we start the spring. He’ll be full go and running, so that’s good.”

Eli Manning
Eli Manning says Hakeem Nicks will be fully recovered for the upcoming season.
Nicks needed surgery on his foot last spring and was still making his way back when he injured his knee in the second game of the season last year. While the Giants commended Nicks' will to fight through injuries, they also said that a hobbled Nicks had an impact on the Giants' offense. They need him to be the healthy and explosive Nicks this season.

Another new TE: For the fourth straight year, Manning will have a new starting tight end to work with in the recently-signed Brandon Myers, who is replacing the departed Martellus Bennett.

Manning said he is looking forward to getting to work with Myers.

"Well I guess we've gotten accustomed to it," Manning said of starting over with a new tight end. "We'll get back working and you know, get him in, start teaching him the offense and hopefully he picks it up quickly where he can come in right away. Our tight ends have done a good job the last couple years getting some big catches for us, scoring some touchdowns, so hopefully he can come in and do the same."

Myers had 79 receptions for 806 yards and four touchdowns last season for Oakland. But can he block? That is going to be very important for the Giants.

"We’ve had tight ends catch the ball," head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters at the league meetings today. "Not to the extent that (Myers) did a year ago. But I’m excited about that. And he’s also a well-rounded tight end. He’s a blocker in the running game as well. We’re looking forward to that."

GM Jerry Reese is also still high on last year's developmental fourth-round pick, Adrien Robinson (read here).

Cruz pitch: Manning was thrilled to see the Giants re-sign Will Beatty, saying "as a quarterback you always like knowing who your left tackle is going to be."

Now he wants to see Cruz retained. He and Cruz both share the same agent, Tom Condon. But Manning still made a little pitch for Cruz to stay and perhaps not seek or take a potential contract offer from another team.

"Hopefully everything works out," Manning said of Cruz, who can potentially receive a contract offer from another team which the Giants can match or decline and receive a first-round pick as compensation. "I would think he would want to stay in this area. I mean, he's from New Jersey, he's right in his backyard. I think he likes to be in the spotlight here in New York and all the things it has to offer.

"But in the end, if another team comes in and throws a big contract at him then you've got to make those decisions," he continued. "I think he likes being here, I think he fits very well into our offense. I think he realizes that in what he's been able to do and the success. You never know, if you go to another offense, maybe it doesn't fit as well to your style. He fits very well here and hopefully he stays here."