Now in his first season as quarterbacks coach, Ryan has a much more established player to work with in Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP.
But Ryan said that Manning is constantly trying to improve his game, is “incredibly coachable,” and that makes his job a bit easier.
“He sits down after the season and says, ‘This is what I can improve on and this is what I need to do.’ And you just reinforce that,” Ryan said on Monday. “You bring another aspect to it: 'Hey did you think about this? Can we work on this?' But those great players, they’re that way because they push themselves. So you’re not in a position where you're having to always point it out to him. He comes to you with things: 'Hey, I want to work on this. I know I can get better here.'”
Ryan said he couldn’t ask for a better guy to coach than Manning.
“He never comes across as though he knows everything. He’s been in the system, now, going into nine years -- there’s things that he knows. But every point that you make, even though he knows it, he takes it as -- it’s just something he’s hearing again. It’s being reinforced again,” Ryan said. “Because he’s such a good player, and that’s part of what makes him a great player -- is that, he takes it in again. And every day we do something that he’s done maybe 100 times -- he tries to get something else out of it. He’s one of the most coachable guys that I’ve ever been around at any level.”
As far as improving Manning’s game, Ryan said the two have been spending a lot of time with movement in the pocket.
“I think we spent a lot of time with our movement in the pocket, which is something he improved on last year. But we’re continuing to work on moving in the pocket and keeping our eyes downfield and having good throwing mechanics when we’re ready to pull the trigger after we’ve had to move in and out of the pocket. I think he’s really re-focused on that. We worked on that. It’s something he improved on last year. Always your decision-making and your ball security year in and year out for every quarterback in the league. Especially him, he’s very in tune with that and knows how important that is. It’s another thing we talk about all the time.”
Ryan has been with the Giants since 2007, after several years coaching in the collegiate ranks. He coached quarterbacks at Harvard in 2005.
Other tidbits from Ryan:
• On backup David Carr: “I think David has done a nice job. David is an obviously talented quarterback but very willing to do his role here as the backup, which means he prepares himself to play every week. He’s prepared himself to be in that role so that if anything did happen, he’s prepared to step up and run this team to the best of his abilities, just like Eli would. I think he takes that very seriously. I think he’s done a good job of it. David brings a lot of athleticism to that spot -- his ability to run and make plays and extend plays, stands out to you. He’s made some great throws in practice. We’re working with Dave day in and day out about decision-making and I think he’s taking it seriously and doing well with it.”
• On third-stringer Ryan Perrilloux: “Ryan has got a strong arm. He’s an athletic kid who can move in the pocket really well. He’s working on his progressions and knowing where to go with the football. He does it. He works at it. He’s understanding coverages and where to go with the ball. I think he’s very focused in on making his decisions good and making them consistent. I think he’s worked at that.”
• On Martellus Bennett saying Manning is really good about communicating on how he wants things: “I saw it as much as a wide receiver coach as I see now. [Manning] would constantly come over to the wide receivers and say, ‘This is what I see. This is how I’m seeing this. This is the reaction I’m expecting and this is what I need to do.’ He’s very clear with those guys. He puts it in a way that’s understandable to the players. I think that’s a great tool. He’s definitely done that with Martellus -- Martellus being new to the system. Just going to him and constantly reinforcing what Martellus is being coached on. But having that reinforced by the quarterback is always going to help because it makes you believe, ‘Hey, I got a good chance of getting the ball.’ I think he’s done a great job with that. But he does it with all the offense, but especially the new guys.”