Thursday, February 3, 2011
Updated: February 4, 11:56 AM ET
Eli Manning appreciates Tom Coughlin
By Ohm Youngmisuk and Rich Cimini
DALLAS -- As far as quarterback Eli Manning is concerned, Tom Coughlin is the right coach for him and other Giants.
Manning, who made an appearance on radio row at the Super Bowl, defended his head coach in light of recent comments made by Antrel Rolle saying the coach can lighten up a bit.
"Coach Coughlin is the only NFL coach I've played for, and I like the routine," Manning told reporters at radio row. "I like how it's structured. I like knowing what our schedule is going to be. I like knowing how our practices are. He gets us prepared."
During a radio interview in Miami last month, Rolle compared the Jets and Giants and noted how the Jets had better chemistry under Rex Ryan and how Coughlin should loosen up. Rolle repeatedly talked about how good of a relationship he had with Coughlin and how much he likes his head coach. But the safety, who just finished his first year with the Giants, felt Coughlin could promote a more fun atmosphere like Ryan.
"It's not a lot of hooting and hollering like Coach Ryan, but it's about getting prepared and trying to go out there and play good football," Manning countered. "In that case, I enjoy it. I think he does a great job. A lot of people like the way it is."
Manning joined his fellow captain Justin Tuck in defending Coughlin's coaching style. Tuck spoke to Rolle while the two were teammates at the Pro Bowl last week and Rolle, who did not want to start a controversy, said they were on the same page.
Manning doesn't think this will be an issue that will linger and said he has more important things to worry about -- such as finding a way to throw fewer interceptions.
Recently in an interview with the team website, Manning praised his quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, who transitioned to quarterbacks after being the wide receivers coach for the previous six seasons. But he also noted that he had to get Sullivan "thinking like a quarterback, not a receiver, which he's been working with the last six years."
When asked to clarify his comment on Thursday, Manning made it clear that Sullivan is not the reason why he threw a career-high and league-leading 25 interceptions this season. He was only talking about the differences between viewing the game from a quarterback's perspective rather than a receiver's vantage point and dealing with protection schemes and other complex responsibilities a quarterback oversees.
"No, no, that doesn't go into decision-making," Manning said of any link between his interceptions and Sullivan. "I've been playing this game long enough where I know not to throw to the opposing team. Coach Sullivan did a great job getting me prepared and having game plans and breaking down all the film I wanted him to.
"That wasn't part of it. I just had some bad plays, some trying to make too much happen and trying to force things. I have to learn that you can try to make stuff happen, but throwing it to the other team is not going to help out the cause."
Manning said that if there is a lockout, he will try to organize some offseason workouts for players since they will not be allowed to train at the team's facilities.
"I've talked to some players, yeah," Manning said. "You have to wait and see a little bit, but, starting to make some plans to get a high school field to throw at or find a place to lift weights or get a training room for guys that are trying to get back from injuries."
"If it doesn't happen, we got to start up and get going by ourselves and make sure we're ready," he added. "We have to take care of our responsibilities, so when the season starts up, we're ready to go."
Ohm Youngmisuk and Rich Cimini cover the Giants and Jets respectively for ESPNNewYork.com.