Jul 28, 2012; Albany, NY, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) speaks to wide receivers Hakeem Nicks (left), Victor Cruz (second from left) and Rueben Randle (second from right) during training camp at University Field at SUNY Albany. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Manning on Nicks and Cruz: Duke workouts "not a subsitute"

Eli Manning is having a hard time at the New York Giant’s OTAs. He is missing some of his top targets and while at first he was quiet about Victor Cruz his patience is wearing thin. Hakeem Nicks has now missed OTAs as well.

The last time they were together was at some offseason workouts at Duke University with Peyton Manning and the Broncos wide receivers.

“You got some work, but I was really hoping that would be a little starter course to the spring and not a substitute for what we’re doing on the field right now,” Manning said, via Mike Garafolo of USA Today. “This is the stuff where you’re getting to go against cornerbacks. You get to work your technique. You get to practice those things we’re gonna do in the season.”

Victor Cruz technically isn’t under contract right now and has a valid reason to miss OTAs. Nicks is under contract, the final year of a deal in fact. But it is unclear why Nicks is missing OTAs,

“There’s no change. I have not spoken to him,” Coughlin said of Nicks. “We have a mandatory [minicamp next Tuesday through Thursday]. I would expect he’ll be here, . . .

“I don’t know any more information than I did the day he went home for the weekend.”

Certainly his absence from mandatory minicamps would send a strong message, whatever it is.

“Cruz is in a different category,” Coughlin said. “I’d like to have him, don’t get me wrong.”

But Manning is trying to focus on what guys are there for him to work with.

“I’ve gotta worry about the guys that are here. That’s all I can do,” Manning said. “I’ve gotta worry about each practice trying to get better. Making sure I know what I’m doing, working on the things that I need to improve on and then talking it over with the guys that are out there on the field about each play, watching film with them, making sure we’re on the same page and we’ve got a chance to go out there and win the practices.”

Tags: Eli Manning Hakeem Nicks New York Giants Victor Cruz

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