Cutcliffe: Eli left Duke 'really on fire'

April, 17, 2013
4/17/13
1:47
PM ET
David Cutcliffe knows Eli Manning's game as well as anybody.

And Manning's former Ole Miss college coach says he is feeling really good about how the Giants' quarterback is throwing the ball right now. Cutcliffe, Duke's football coach, had both Manning brothers and several of their receivers at Duke for workouts last week.

"His arm was tremendous during this round," Cutcliffe said on ESPN Radio. "We do a lot of pure, solid, good old-fashioned fundamental things that we have been doing with him since he has been coming to camp with me at Tennessee and at Ole Miss.

"I just have a good feeling about where he is right now," Cutcliffe continued. "I thought he left here really on fire and I'm excited about seeing what is going to happen (this season)."

When asked by ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd what happened with Manning last season, Cutcliffe mentioned Hakeem Nicks' injuries slowing down the offense and hinted that Manning might've been bothered by an injury, as well. When Manning went through a three-game touchdown drought in the middle of the season, there were rumblings that he had a tired arm -- something Manning denied.

"Well, there are always a lot of things that we don’t read about or know," Cutcliffe explained. "You got little nagging injuries, whether it is him or certainly Nicks being hurt all year never helps. It just changes your team, and the production of a quarterback will be altered in that regard."

Cutcliffe said Nicks and Victor Cruz looked good during their workouts last week at Duke. While Louis Murphy joined the contingent, Cutcliffe said he would have liked to have worked with another young Giants receiver.

"We didn’t get ... I would have loved to have had some time with Rueben Randle," Cutcliffe said. "[But] we were able to get [Manning] in a rhythm that I like seeing him in."

"Let me tell you, number one, don’t ever doubt his courage, his knowledge," Cutcliffe added of Manning. "Eli understands how to play quarterback. He has great courage and he is a tough, tough, tough guy."
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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