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Monday, April 28, 2014
Big Blue Morning: 'Sense of urgency'

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning told reporters in New York City on Sunday that all of the offensive players have been present for the start of the voluntary portion of the offseason program. The link to nj.com's story on this is here, and in it you can also see a photograph of Manning posing with some children and someone in a frighteningly oversized "Dora the Explorer" costume at this weekend's March of Dimes event:
"We got a lot of information, learned a lot asking a lot of questions about the offense," Manning said. "We made some strides, just got to keep working."

There is extra work to be done. Manning, 33, said it feels a lot like his freshman year in college or his first professional season. The new atmosphere seems to have lit a fire underneath him following a year where he threw a career-high 27 interceptions.

"[The changes] bring a sense of urgency to this time of year, to the offseason," Manning said. "For me, [it's] getting healthy, meeting teammates and learning a new playbook. We have a lot of work to do. But [I'm] enjoying the competition of it all, the urgency we're having right now."

Manning is, of course, recovering from ankle surgery he had a couple of weeks ago and likely won't be able to be on the field working at full speed with his offensive teammates when those workouts begin later this month. But with Ben McAdoo installing a new offense in his first year as offensive coordinator, all eyes this offseason will be on Manning's recovery and the speed with which he and the rest of the players on the Giants' offense can attain some level of mastery of the new schemes. It's fun and easy to talk now, but the longer it takes for Manning to get on the practice field, the longer it will take for the Giants to be able to confidently run what they want to run once September comes and the games begin.