The New York Giants have no idea how many more quality years they’ll get from Eli Manning, their 36-year-old gunslinger. But through careful attention to detail, including managing his snaps, general manager Jerry Reese is hoping that there are still a lot of good years left in Manning’s right arm.
Manning, who has started 211 consecutive games, has attempted 6,825 official regular season snaps in his career. Because of the struggles of the running game combined with the arrival of receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Manning’s pass attempts have topped 600 in 2014 and 2015, falling just short of that mark by two passes last year.
The Giants have begun taking steps to ensure Manning’s arm doesn’t fall off by the time he’s ready to retire. They have reduced his practice workload, for one, and, as was the case last year and will be the case again this year, they cut down on his preseason snaps.
“You have to really try to take care of guys as they get up in age,” Reese said. “You can call it a pitch count. We want to make sure that he’s fresh going into the games and late in the year and hopefully going into the playoffs.”
Reese said that if Manning had it his way, he’d take every snap in practice and every snap in the games, regardless if they counted. However, the general manager also acknowledged that Manning is aware of the need to be smart with his recovery if he’s to not only lead the team back to the promise land, but also finish out his contract, which runs through 2019.
Reese said that the Giants’ third-round pick from 2015, defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, is “ready to go and compete.” Odighizuwa’s offseason took a weird turn when in April he tweeted his intentions to take some time away from the game.
He went on to miss all the OTAs and was excused from the mandatory minicamp last month, but apparently whatever situation he was dealing with has been resolved to allow him to get back to work. Odighizuwa would seem to have an uphill battle to make the roster given the additions of Avery Moss, a fifth rounder in this year’s draft, and veteran Devin Taylor. …
While Reese acknowledged that the team has a lot of work to do before they begin the 2017 regular season, he likes where the roster is at and doesn’t mind the chatter from outside the organization which this year has the Giants in contention for their first super Bowl berth since 2011.
“Everybody’s expectation is to win the Lombardi (Trophy),” Reese said, noting that the club intends to build off last year’s 11-5 season. “We’re not an exception to that.”