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Friday, February 21, 2014
Eli Manning 'eyes' rebound in 2014

By Rich Cimini

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tom Coughlin expressed confidence Friday that Eli Manning will return to championship form. How does he know?

"I see it in his eyes," the New York Giants' coach told reporters at the NFL scouting combine.

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Coughlin addressed a variety of issues, most of which focused on the Giants' "broken" offense, as co-owner John Mara described it at the end of the season. Coughlin spoke highly of new coordinator Ben McAdoo and took issue with speculation the organization is concerned with Manning, who threw a career-high 27 interceptions.

"I don't know where the internal concern is," Coughlin said. "We're very confident Eli will, with the help of others around him, return to the high stature we hold him in. I feel very good about that."

The Manning-McAdoo marriage will be one of the big storylines in 2014. Manning has spent his entire career under Kevin Gilbride, who retired abruptly after the season amid talk that he could be fired. Many have assumed that McAdoo, a disciple of Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, will install a West Coast offense, predicated on quick, short passes. That's not necessarily so, accoring to Coughlin.

"[McAdoo], interestingly enough, doesn't describe it as a West Coast offense," he said. "He thinks more in terms of being vertical, down the field, if the opportunities present themselves."

Even though he hired McAdoo to call the plays, Coughlin said he'll remain involved in the offensive operation. He said all parties have agreed they must maintain a commitment to the running game. It sounds as if Coughlin was sold on McAdoo during the interview. He said the former Packers assistant showed up with a detailed video on his teaching methods.

Coughlin didn't get into Xs and Os. He left everything on the table, saying, "As far as changes, they may be subtle or they may be drastic ones."

The 67-year-old coach, who announced that he has agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2015, seemed invigorated by the changes on offense. He described it as exciting and stimulating, admitting it's a challenge for him to learn the new system.