EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mike Sullivan is the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants. He addressed the media Wednesday. He spoke for 11 minutes and 18 seconds. He took 17 questions in total.
Not once did he utter the name "Eli Manning."
"Don't think I don't appreciate that," Sullivan said after the news conference, when asked how many offensive coordinators could get through their minicamp media session without addressing the starting quarterback. "I've been in some quarterback situations that were the opposite, trust me."
Manning's ability to disappear into the offseason wallpaper is one of the beautiful things about him. Whatever worries the Giants have, Manning is almost never counted among them. He has not missed a game since he became their starter midway through his 2004 rookie season. He's been Super Bowl MVP twice. Most teams would kill for a quarterback who EITHER never misses a game or clearly has the ability to win a championship. The Giants have a guy who's both.
Coming off two of his best statistical seasons, in good shape and fully comfortable with Ben McAdoo's offense, Manning is on autopilot. My 10-year-old was asking me the other day about how certain guys look at Giants minicamp and he asked me how Eli looks. My answer was, "Exactly the same as he always does."
Think about what kind of comfort that is for a coaching staff and a team -- reliability and consistency at that level from that position. To show up every day and know for sure what you're getting there. It's an offensive coordinator's dream.
The last time Sullivan was an offensive coordinator was 2013, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That was the year of the Josh Freeman flameout and Mike Glennon taking over. There were weeks when the only questions Sullivan got were quarterback questions.
On Wednesday, Sullivan fielded questions about Victor Cruz, the running back situation, Paul Perkins, Sterling Shepard, Andre Williams, Will Johnson, Roger Lewis, McAdoo, Tom Coughlin, the offensive line, Matt LaCosse(!), Odell Beckham Jr. and backup quarterback Ryan Nassib. Manning's name was in one question -- a question about whether Cruz needed time to get back in sync with Manning since he hasn't played in so long. Sullivan didn't say it, but the fact that the quarterback is the same from whom Cruz caught touchdown passes in his healthy prime has to make that process easier.
We write a lot about the Giants and the issues confronting them. We don't write a lot about Manning, especially compared to the coverage other franchise quarterbacks around the league get. That says a lot about Manning and what makes him great. And there's no doubt the Giants appreciate it every day.