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Manning wraps Giants workouts, ready for return to normalcy

Eli Manning admits the players-only workouts he organized don't make for an ideal situation. The New York Giants quarterback knows they're better than the alternative though, making the practices a success.

Manning led a group of around 30 Giants at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, N.J., last week to go through a series of drills. Last month, Manning organized another set of practices at Hoboken High School.

"I was happy. It's kind of the best we could do under the circumstances," Manning told the *New York Post* on Tuesday in his first public comments on the workouts. "It's not great work, but it's better than doing nothing."

The next step for Manning and teammates is to wait. If all goes to plan, the next team gathering will be run by Tom Coughlin and the Giants coaching staff.

Entering his eighth year in the league, Manning understands the importance of becoming familiar with a system, especially with the raw younger players who are new to the organization.

"You get worried you don't know how long this lockout is going to be," he said. "If it goes too long, they'll never be able to catch up and it will be a wash of a year for them, so you're trying to prevent that."

That made the workouts essential for incoming players.

"It's really to get some of the younger guys out there and get Jerrel (Jernigan) and some of the draft picks, Prince (Amukamara) and those guys, get them to meet some of the guys, learn a little bit of the terminology," he said.

Jernigan was selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft in April. Amukamara was the team's first pick.

Manning, the Super Bowl XLII MVP, is looking forward to a return to normality. Professional athletes are creatures of habit, making this unusual offseason jarring in more ways than one.

"I think everybody's ready to get back to work and see the teammates and the coaches and get back to our normal life," he said. "For seven years we've been kind of doing the same schedule and the same offseason, and all of a sudden to throw a little wrinkle in there this offseason has been a little different. But guys have made adjustments and you try to stay with the same routine and the same schedule that you normally have and make sure you're prepared whenever they call us back."

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