But now, he has another set of instructions: Let it rip.
During his annual state of the organization on Monday, Reese said that he sees the offense under new coordinator Ben McAdoo as one that is developing some cautious tendencies.
Manning, he thinks, can take things in another direction by being more aggressive.
"I just think, as an offense, we have to be more aggressive," Reese said. "I think at times we're a little bit almost too cautious with what we're doing offensively. This is the National Football League. You've got to go out there and you have to win the game.
"You can't think something's going to fall into your lap. You've got to go out and take the games. I think we have to be more aggressive offensively. I appreciate Eli taking care of the ball and not turning it over because that correlates to wins a lot of the time, but you can't be too cautious."
The funny thing is that the team's previous offensive coordinator, Kevin Gilbride, had a system in place where Manning could take more calculated shots down field than many other quarterbacks. It was the team's choice not to hire a coordinator with knowledge of that offense when Gilbride retired back in January.
It will cap an interesting season for Manning, who will be heading into the final season of his seven-year, $106.9 million contract.
Reese would not comment on any possible mid-year extensions Monday. Maybe he's waiting for Manning to stretch the field a little, first.
"We're just trying to win the game Monday night (vs. Indianapolis)," he said. "Those things will take care of themselves after the season."