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Manning on possible Burress return: I don't have an opinion

Eli Manning says he’s spoken with Plaxico Burress, but doesn’t “have an opinion” on the wide receiver potentially returning to the Giants.

“We’ll see what the coaches and ownership decide to do,” Manning said Wednesday at the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J. “He’s very talented. ... I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. Maybe him and coach (Tom) Coughlin will meet sometime.”

Plaxico Burress

Plaxico Burress

#17 WR
New York Giants

2008 STATS

  • Rec 35
  • Yds 454

  • TD 4

  • Avg 13.0

  • Long 33

  • FUM 0

Manning says he isn’t “concerned” with the potential media circus and distractions Burress’ return would create.

Manning was saddened by the news that two of his long-time teammates, Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert, will likely be released on Thursday. At the same time, Manning says he understands that things like this are going to happen, and you have to be able to move past them.

“Once I got the news on that I talked to both guys,” Manning said. “They’ve been great teammates of mine for my whole career here. We’ve had a great run together and one a lot of games. They’re two great characters, two great teammates and two great leaders. It’s a sad day. (But) when you play this game long enough, these things happen. We’ll miss those guys in the locker room. They brought a lot to the table.”

While Manning is glad to be back now that the lockout is lifted, he has begun to turn his attention toward the fact that the Giants aren’t going to have much time to get acclimated with one another since the first preseason game is a little over two weeks away.

“We’ve missed some time. We’ve gotta get everybody back together,” Manning said. “The way the schedule is, our practices have to be crisp and we’ve gotta get a lot of young guys up to speed on what’s going on. Luckily, we have a lot of veteran guys, but still first- and second-year guys who are going to need to step up in key roles have to learn quickly and have a big training camp. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but we have a veteran crew and we should be ready to go by the time we start practice on Saturday.”

Eli Manning

Eli Manning

#10 QB
New York Giants

2010 STATS

  • Att539
  • Comp339

  • Yds4002

  • TD31

  • Int25

  • Rat85.3

Manning was asked about potentially playing with center David Baas, who reportedly agreed to terms with the Giants on Wednesday.

“I don’t know much about him,” Manning said. “I heard the word (that we signed him), but I don’t know much about him.

Manning said a lot of developing chemistry with a new center has to do with “cadence and rhythm, checks and just getting comfortable with him.”

“It does take a bit of time,” Manning said.

Manning said his biggest concern heading into training camp is all the “missed time.”

He was asked the possibility of the team keeping one of his favorite targets over the years, Steve Smith, but wasn’t sure about where those contract talks were at.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen there,” Manning said. “Will he be able to come back, and really if he comes back.”

Manning seemed to like the idea of going from two-a-days to one-a-day practices.

“I think it’ll be a great setup,” Manning said. “I like the amount of walkthroughs we have. You learn a lot in walkthroughs. ... In two-a-days you’re not getting quality reps. You don’t have (enough) time to watch film and make corrections.”

He sounds excited to start the season.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty with the new guys and a lot going on,” Manning said. “But my focus is that I’m mentally ready and how they’re going to get better.”