One day after leaving New York Giants practice early with flu-like symptoms, quarterback Eli Manning declared himself “100 percent” healthy after returning to practice Thursday. The Giants face the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.
“I had a full practice today, I did everything, took every rep. I feel good. Yesterday I at least got to be here and getting into all the meetings and go through the walkthrough,” Manning said. “I didn’t take any live reps, but I know the game plan, I know what’s going on. The arm felt good today, it felt fresh, and it was coming out good.”
Manning was also asked a couple of questions about the Giants often-criticized offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Here is that part of the exchange today between Manning and reporters:
Q: Talk about the impact Kevin Gilbride has had on your career.
A: Coach Gilbride and I have a very close relationship. When I first got here, he was the quarterbacks coach, so I sat in all the meetings with him. A lot of the plays we were running then, even though he wasn’t the offensive coordinator, were his plays and stuff he knew very well. So I got to kind of learn from him, and hearing him directly and watching old film of the Oilers and different things when they were running it. It’s the only offense I’ve been in, it’s what I know. We think the same way on a lot of things and certain looks. A lot of times he doesn’t even need to finish his sentence, because I’m already on the same page. I feel very comfortable with him and telling him my thoughts and listening to him. It’s a great relationship and we work well together.
Q: What’s the best thing you like about his play calls?
A: I think with Coach Gilbride, he wants to throw the ball, I think. He has a quarterback mentality. He also knows, he’s going to be smart and if we’re running it, we’re going to continue to run it. It’s kind of whatever is working. On Sundays if we’re not running it really well and we’re throwing it well, I’ll just go up to him and say, ‘Hey, they can’t stop us throwing it, let’s just keep throwing it.’ And he kind of gets a smile, I think that’s what he likes to hear. He wants to throw it and he wants to be consistent and find completions, but he likes to get the ball downfield and hit some big plays.