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Eli ready to lead Giants’ repeat

Eli ready to lead Giants’ repeat

Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 7:00 pm

By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — With the Super Bowl celebrations over and training camp on the horizon, Eli Manning believes the New York Giants will have to improve if they want to repeat.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The Associated Press Monday, Manning said he was anxious to get back to work despite an offseason shortened by the Giants’ impressive run to a second title in five seasons, culminated by their Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots in Indianapolis.
Manning was happy the Giants will report to training camp at the University at Albany Thursday without controversy. He even laughed about former teammate Amani Toomer’s recent comments that Dallas’ Tony Romo was statistically the best quarterback in the NFC East, quipping that he has played with better receivers than Toomer.
“Hopefully, guys have the right mindset and know we have to get better,” Manning said from the site of a Gatorade promotion. “We need to make improvements because we have to become a more consistent team.
“If we do, hopefully, we’ll have a good shot.”
The Giants, who finished 13-7, have question marks on offense despite posting their best season in terms of yards gained.
They have holes at right tackle, tight end, backup running back and even at receiver, considering Hakeem Nicks is coming off a broken foot.
“That why this sport is special,” Manning said. “There are new challenges and new guys and different situations you have to overcome.”
In April’s draft, the Giants selected Virginia Tech running back David Wilson and LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle.
“We have a lot of young guys who don’t have a lot of game experience and will have to come in and play for us,” Manning said. “We have to get them ready in training camp and preseason games, and get them performing at the level we expect them to, so we can be at our best.”
Repeating won’t be easy. No one has done it since the Patriots finished off the feat in 2005. The Giants had a shot in 2008-09, but things fell apart after Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg in a New York nightclub in late November.
“It’s just hard to win a Super Bowl,” Manning said. “It’s just difficult. A lot of things have to go your way. You have to be playing at a very high level, guys have to stay healthy. There are a lot obstacles and different things that can go haywire and make it difficult. Other teams are getting better and you lose guys each year in free agency. You have new guys coming in who have to step up at a young age.
“All you can do is work as hard as you can through this offseason to try to become a better player.”
Published in The Messenger 7.24.12

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