Eli Manning Sterling Shepard
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Sterling Shepard speak on Big Blue’s first few days of OTAs.

On Monday, the New York Giants began their first day of offseason training assignments for the 2019 season. This is one of the first sessions where the Giants are able to get back into the swing of things and begin preparing for the upcoming regular season.

Now that Big Blue is in its second year with Pat Shurmur as head coach, the offense can now excel even more. Last year it was tough. They had to improve from 2017 as well as learn Shurmur’s offense at the same time. Now, the offense is familiar with Shurmur’s playbook and will be able to start improving from the start.

A few offensive veterans spoke on getting back to work on the field this week.

“Guys get lined up and are playing fast,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “They know what to do. They know plays, adjustments and different things. Just a few new spots here and there at receiver or offensive line. For the most part, a lot of the base guys are returning. They have that second year and will be able to play fast. It is just not thinking as much early on. It should help out on both sides of the ball.”

Veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard also had a few words on beginning OTAs. This will be Shepard’s first season after signing a four-year, $41 million contract extension in April.

“It was a new system for us early on last season,” Shepard mentioned. “Sometimes in a game, you’re thinking about what you have to do instead of just going out and playing your game. Having a year under our belt is huge. Now we know what the coaches expect of us. I think with everybody getting their feet wet with the system, it’s going to be a lot smoother.”

Shepard very well may be the No. 1 target for Manning in 2019. Eli will actually have a few targets to choose from, with receivers Shepard, Golden Tate, and Corey Coleman. Manning will also have tight end Evan Engram and running back Saquon Barkley in the offensive set as well.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.