Eli Manning and the other Giants veterans who got together last week for player-organized workouts probably didn’t get a ton accomplished besides knocking off some mental rust.
But Manning was satisfied with the week-long workouts at Bergen Catholic High School (N.J.), especially since there were rookies on hand to learn from the veterans. The true goal was to help rookies who have been unable to talk to coaches or practice with a team since being drafted due to the lockout.
“I was happy. It’s kind of the best we could do under the circumstances,’’ Manning said Monday at the Mount Kisco (N.Y.) Country Club where he helped raise money for Guiding Eyes for the Blind according to the New York Post and New York Daily News. “It’s not great work but it’s better than doing nothing. It’s really to kind of get some of the younger guys out there and get Jerrel [Jernigan] and some of the draft picks, Prince [Amukamara] and those guys, kind of get them to meet some of the guys, learn a little bit of the terminology.”
Head coach Tom Coughlin, appearing at a Giants golf event in Westchester (N.Y.) said he was pleased to see the Giants organize large workouts that saw as many as 39 players gather at one point last week.
“I’m glad to see there’s an attempt on the part of the players to do some things together,” Coughlin told the Newark Star-Ledger at the event on Monday. “A big part of what we do in the offseason is team building. We haven’t had the opportunity to do that. Any time you get to spend together is a good thing.”
Five rookies participated in last week’s workouts. Amukamara, the first-round corner out of Nebraska was there. Jernigan, the third-round wide receiver, got valuable time with Manning and other veteran receivers.
Fourth-round tackle James Brewer, sixth-round linebacker Greg Jones and seventh-round running back Da’Rel Scott also got to grill veterans about schemes, techniques, terminology and plays.
"You get worried you don’t know how long this lockout is going to be, if it goes too long they’ll never be able to catch up and it will be a wash of a year for them,” Manning said. “So you’re trying to prevent that.’’
Manning, who organized practices at Hoboken High School (N.J.) to go through passing drills with a handful of receivers last month, is “hopeful” the lockout ends soon.
“I think everybody’s ready to get back and get back to work and see the teammates and the coaches and kind of get back to our normal life,’’ Manning said. “For seven years (we've) been kind of doing the same schedule and the same offseason and all of a sudden to kind of throw a little wrinkle in there this offseason has been a little different. But guys have made adjustments and you try to kind of stay with the same routine and the same schedule that you normally have and make sure you’re prepared whenever they call us back.’’
Manning says he and his receivers can get their timing down in training camp once football resumes.
“We’re throwing routes and we’ve got decent work in a number of days we’ve thrown,” Manning said. “We’ve got guys who have been there before. Trying to get with Jerrel and some of the new guys and get them caught up, if they’re doing the right thing. That’s kind of what it is. It’s also the trust issue, you got to trust the guy to run the right route and get the right depth, read the coverage the correct way, and that’s kind of where the timing comes, guys doing what they’re supposed to be doing.’’
One of the major topics of the day was Plaxico Burress, who spoke to reporters about mentoring children about the dangers of guns and gave an in-depth interview to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and discussed his relationship with Coughlin and Manning.
When asked about a possible Burress reunion, Manning told reporters at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind event, “It’s not up to me, so we’ll see what happens.’’
General manager Jerry Reese told the Star-Ledger at the Giants' golf event that the team will investigate Burress like it does with all free agents.
“We’ll do our homework and see if it makes sense for the Giants and see how he fits for the Giants,” Reese said.