Ex-Giant Shaun O’Hara took the stage to introduce former teammate Eli Manning.
The pair were promoting a recent “FinDD Eli” contest where a lucky fan would get to join Eli in an upcoming Dunkin Donuts commercial.
When O’Hara brought Eli up to the stage for a brief Q&A, Eli’s first question to him was, “How many munchkins did you eat today?” in which O’Hara, without hesitation, answered “27, does that sound familiar?”
A quick dig at Eli’s 27 interceptions in 2013.
Eli took it in stride and got his payback when asked about his ankle surgery. Asked if there were any truth to the rumors that the procedure would actually make Eli faster, he responded, “Yes, definitely, because I can’t get any slower.” He also explained that because he’s a traditional pocket passer, it’s more about elusiveness in the pocket and his ability to slide around tacklers like “after O’Hara would miss his blocking assignments.”
O’Hara 1, Eli 1
Manning made it clear he has no reservations about the ankle at all effecting him in the upcoming season. One he believes will see them back in the playoffs and hopefully winning another championship.
“Last year we got off to such a rough start, but the way the team finished and stuck with each other, we grew up as a team last year. We gotta remember that and bring it into this season to get back to the playoffs and win another championship.”
After just 12 practices at OTA’s, Manning says the team should come into training camp ready to go.
The New Giants Offensive System
“If anyone mastered a new offense in 12 practices, it would be a pretty simple offense.”
This year will be the first that Eli is playing without offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride (retired), who has been replaced with Ben McAdoo.
Ten years in one offensive system certainly allowed Eli to get more and more advanced throughout his career and become a leader for the offense. The biggest change for Manning is the verbiage of the new system. He noted that when making quick decisions, knowing what to yell out to his teammates is key. With Cruz, now the veteran of the receiving corps, it’s easy for the two to communicate with the language they’ve both become accustomed to. Look for this to increase Cruz’s targets in games where adjustments need to be made on the fly.
With so many new guys, they’re all learning this new system and studying together. Old and new players alike have been putting in the work during OTAs to get the team chemistry going and learning each other’s personalities and on-field communication routines.
Manning feels good about where the team is now and knows the preseason games this year will be highly beneficial in solidifying that chemistry.
Potential For The Giants Receivers
The Giants have a lot of new receivers, and offensive players across the board. Along with the new system, that gives potential to see some different faces rise (and fall) to the spotlight.
Manning spoke about his receiving corps:
Rueben Randle’s gotta step up and have a great year, and has the potential to do so in his third NFL season. According to Manning, it’s time for Randle to be consistent week in and week out.
Manning will continue to look to get to Victor Cruz quickly and let him make plays with the ball.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Rookie Odell Beckham Jr has got a lot of speed and talent. Beckham’s only been out there a few times (sore hamstring), but for a rookie he’s very polished with his route running and his sticks. Manning can see that he was obviously well coached at LSU and in high school. His knack and feel for getting open, and seeing his bursts and his route running have Eli excited.
Jerrel Jernigan & Mario Manningham
With Jernigan showing some talent last season, and bringing back Super Bowl teammate Manningham after his brief stint with the 49’ers, Eli Manning says the offense has plenty of weapons.
The 2014 season should show the New York Football Giants, when fine-tuned, playing very fast. Manning will be getting the ball out quickly letting the receivers be athletic and make plays.
Going into their eleventh season together, Coach Coughlin still always talks about being a professional and taking care of your business. Everyone knows Coughlin stresses being prepared, and Eli is no different. Sticking to the Coughlin school of work hard, be passionate and dedicated, Eli has clearly left last season in the past and ready to take on 2014 with the clarity and focus that you hear promised in commercials for energy drinks.
Manning is focused on making the players around him the best that they can be, and says he’ll have the offensive team prepared to play every week.
Dunkin Donuts “FinDD Eli” Contest
In May, Dunkin’ Donuts launched the “FinDD Eli” on-the-cup promotion, where specially marked medium or large beverage offered guests the chance to “find” the New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning via an exciting on-the-cup peel and reveal game and online scavenger hunt.
Thirty-one winners were invited to meet Eli Manning on Thursday, June 19th at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Ramsey, NJ, where the ultimate grand prize was announced – the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to appear alongside New York Giants Superstar QB Eli Manning in an upcoming Dunkin’ Donuts commercial.
After enjoying a Q&A between Eli Manning and his former teammate Shaun O’Hara, the thirty-one attendees each received a sealed envelope. After counting down from the number ten in honor of Manning’s jersey number, the guests all ripped open their envelopes and the grand prize winner was revealed. David Driscoll of Springfield, NJ was the lucky recipient of the “FinDD Eli” cutout, and will be preparing for his television debut in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial with Eli Manning. All attendees received a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card, tickets to 2014 New York Giants training camp, and a photograph with Eli Manning.
Eli Manning And I Are Actually Twins
In a non-football related discovery, this was my first time meeting Eli Manning in person.
Most people will say that Eli and Peyton look very similar, which they do. Eli even told a (questionably true) story where he was in a local Dunkin Donuts one morning and some guys in the store were debating with him (not realizing who he was) whether he looked more like Eli Manning or Michael Phelps.
I was as shocked as anyone to find out that Eli Manning and I are actually twins, created from a combination of the greatest men on earth as an experiment a la Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito . Like they say, you learn something new every day.