Giants’ focus already on improving season

Eli Manning.
JEFF ZELEVANSKY/GETTY IMAGES

The champs arrived to Albany in slightly quieter fashion than their stadium brethren. When you have a ring, you don’t have to do nearly as much talking.

It was business as usual for defending Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning — get to work and try to improve.

“Well I think it’s the desire to get better as a team,” Manning told reporters on the first day of Giants training camp when asked about the team fearing complacency in camp. “We know we’ve got to improve. We were 9-7 last year in the regular season. That’s not good enough. We were a better team than that. Obviously we showed that throughout the playoffs. We’ve got to have that urgency, that consistency, throughout the whole season and play our best football for the 16 regular season games.”

It’s easy to forget just how much the Giants did struggle in the regular season after a run through the playoffs that so mirrored their 2008 title run. The following season the team started 11-1 before Plaxico Burress shot himself and the team fell apart.

This year’s team is focused on not letting themselves get backed against the wall and having to claw into the postseason.

“When it’s kind of a do or die situation, we seem to step up and play our best,” Manning said. “It’s just a matter of working extremely hard and getting to the point to where we treat every game, every situation, the same.”

Bennett ‘hates’ entire NFL

If you had guessed Martellus Bennett would be the first Giants to open his mouth and provide some bulletin board material you won the pool.

It’s probably no surprise it was a former Cowboy who ran afoul of head coach Tom Coughlin’s preferred understated approach.

When asked about those Cowboys on the first day of training camp, Bennett felt no need to hold his tongue.

“I really just want to kick those guys’ asses,” Bennett said. “You know what I’m saying? That’s what it’s all about, you know? I mean, we’re cool, but we ain’t that cool. I kind of got some ill feelings towards them. It’s a game. Every game is the same way. I kind of hate everybody, honestly, in the NFL.

“I have everybody’s date marked on my calendar, honestly. I’m kind of pissed off about a whole lot, so I think it’ll be a good year for me.”
 
The two teams meet on Sept. 5.


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