Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Eli Makes Sure He's Prepared

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Eli Makes Sure He's Prepared

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD - Very rarely does Eli Manning look too far ahead, but this was one of those times.

Just before he and the Giants took the field inside Cowboys Stadium for what promised to be the season's biggest game to date, there were two other opponents on his mind:

Hurricane Sandy and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and neither had hit North Jersey yet.

Preparation is an essential element to the success of the Giants' quarterback, so Manning phoned home in advance of the storm and made arrangements for his laptop to be brought from his Hoboken condo to the practice facility.

It was the first step toward making sure the two-time Super Bowl MVP would be ready for anything the Steelers - and Sandy, for that matter - were going to throw at him and the rest of the Giants offense.

"I didn't know if we'd lose power here, when we'd be in here or what the circumstances would be, so I had my computer dropped off and the [game video] uploaded on there Sunday night," Manning told The Record after practice Friday. "No matter what happened Monday and Tuesday, I'd be ready to do my normal preparation for Pittsburgh. "It's not a team we play all that often, so you've got to watch a lot of it, see if you see any tendencies that can help you out and give an idea as to what they might be doing."

Manning has seen enough to know the Steelers are poised to present a tremendous challenge. They are ranked No. 2 in the NFL in total defense and tops against the pass, using physical play on the outside and an array of blitzes within iconic coordinator Dick LeBeau's schemes to confuse quarterbacks.

Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz praised the way the Cowboys and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan devised a game plan that managed to take away Manning's top two weapons for much of the Giants' 29-24 triumph.

Now comes the challenge of solving LeBeau.

"They play good defense, man," Cruz said. …

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