New quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan had a successful season last year as wide receivers coach with the emergence of Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks.
Now Sullivan is mentoring Eli Manning and he is quickly learning just how complicated the new job can be.
“For example, take a particular running play, as a receivers coach there are rules that would apply in terms of alignment and assignment but that is it,” Sullivan said on Thursday after the Giants offseason training activity. “As opposed to now with the quarterback, the whole identification of the front, who the MIKE is and the ball-handling, there are a lot more details. I didn’t really appreciate until you are in that seat and shoes to make those calls and adjustments.”
Sullivan replaced Chris Palmer, who left the Giants for the UFL. Unlike Palmer, Sullivan inherits Manning in his prime and his job is to help Manning be more consistent.
“That is the challenge,” Sullivan said. “It all starts with going back at the tape, looking at a play and what were you thinking here, why were you inclined to make this decision and from my standpoint, now if we could go back in time, what if went about it in a different way and what if we looked here and made this adjustment. (So) he is not out there overanalyzing.”
• • •
Sean Ryan is the man who replaced Sullivan as wide receivers coach.
Ryan, who was the offensive quality control coach, now is in charge of leading Manning’s young corps of receivers and helping them take another step forward this season.
Ryan likes what he sees so far.
“They standout in different ways,” Ryan said. “A guy may stand out in terms of, ‘boy, this guy just comes to work in a professional manner every day.’ Another guy, speed and quickness may stand out. I look at the work ethic of a Steve Smith, who is out there after practice. The professionalism of a Domenik Hixon stands out. The speed and quickness that Manningham is showing on the field. Ramses Barden has had a good start. Sinorice Moss, the way he comes to work, he can provide you with flexibility of coming in at every position. (Derek) Hagan will run for days. Each of them stands out.”