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Mike Sullivan Embracing Challenge, New Position As Giants Quarterbacks Coach


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Mike Sullivan always knew there was a lot on Eli Manning’s plate. He just didn’t realize how heavy that plate was until he tried to help him carry it.

 

Sullivan, the Giants’ quarterbacks coach for the past six seasons, was bumped over to quarterbacks coach this past winter when Chris Palmer left the organization for the UFL. Over the past few months, Sullivan has come to truly understand what it takes to lead an offense -- and to coach said leader.

 

“Maybe in the past I didn’t have as great an appreciation of some of the finer points,” Sullivan said today in his first meeting with reporters since being named to his new position in February. “For example, you take a typical running play that maybe as a receiving coach there are rules that apply in terms of alignment or assignment but that’s it. It’s a little bit more limited, as opposed to the quarterback -- the whole identification of the front, who the MIKE (middle linebacker) is and the ball handling.

 

“There are a lot more details that maybe I wasn’t aware of. I understood but didn’t appreciate it until you’re in that seat, in those shoes and having to make those calls and adjustments.”

 

But Sullivan craved the challenge and said he approached Tom Coughlin about moving to a new position on the coaching staff.

 

“I enjoyed my time with the receiving corps and couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments,” Sullivan said. “But being able to expand my horizons, to coach a new position -- a position that is involved with every aspect of the play call, the run game and pass game -- it gives me a chance to sink my teeth into more of the offense.”

 

And at least his first assignment won’t be to build from the ground up with a rookie. Though not always perfect, Manning is at least in his prime as a successful quarterback with a Super Bowl ring.

 

“He’s such a class act, he’s such a professional. I can’t say enough,” Sullivan said. “It’s been very, very exciting and rewarding for me to see a guy that’s constantly trying to get better. We’ve done some little drills and things, 1-on-1 or with the other quarterbacks you’d think someone with his experience would take for granted and not take seriously but he’s right up there saying, ‘How’s this look? Am I overstepping here?’ It makes my job easy when you have someone that’s so committed to trying to improve.

 

“My role is then to make sure that from a consistency standpoint, those great performances you see him have in the past and some of the great things he’s done in his development to this point (continue), that he stay out of those valleys and keep that performance consistently at a higher level and continue to help him improve in all the small areas.”

 

* * * *

 

The guy taking over for Sullivan is Sean Ryan, who was the offensive quality control coach the past few years. Whereas the average quality control coach usually does yeoman’s duty in breaking down film and charting tendencies, Ryan worked closely with Sullivan and the group he now coaches solely.

 

“It’s a natural progression from where I came from,” Ryan said. “The advantage is you know your personnel. And I mean that in terms of what they’re good at, what they need help with and you know them as people -- ‘What’s the most effective way to teach these guys?’ and the things you’ve seen that have been successful for them. So I think in terms of the transition, having been in the room is an incredible advantage.”

 

Ryan said he plans to keep most of the terminology and “buzz words” Sullivan used.

 

“At the same time, what I told them early on is it’s going to have my spin on it,” Ryan said. “I’m not going to be exactly what I’ve had before I’m going to be true to myself in teaching it and teaching it the way I feel is best but at the same time holding some of the same values ‘Sull’ taught which makes it an easier transition for them and me.”

 

* * * *

 

I’ll have more from Ryan later on Ramses Barden, but I wanted to mention now something he said that’s really interesting: Ryan sees much more speed and quickness from Mario Manningham this spring.

 

“There are always flashes of that with Mario. He’s about as talented a guy as you can get,” Ryan said. “Certainly, when I watch the practice tape this year it’s there. It jumps out at you. And it’s important to take care of himself and stay healthy like every football player has to stay healthy and keep that up. But right now, it jumps out at you.”

 

That’s scary, considering speed and quickness were there for Manningham last year. Any issues he had were due to assignments and route running, not his physical ability off the line or downfield. Ryan believes Manningham is improving in those areas as well, which could be part of why he looks faster on the field.

 

“Like any player, knowing your assignments and being more comfortable, now you’re not thinking and now you’re just letting your natural athleticism take over and I think that’s playing a little bit of a role in that, too,” Ryan said. “You stop thinking as much and you’re able to just go. And I think he’s doing that right now.”

 

http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2010/05/mike_sullivan_embracing_challe.html

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Mike Sullivan very much enjoys working with the Giants' most precious commodity.

 

After six seasons as the team's wide receivers coach, Sullivan this year began tutoring the quarterbacks - including Eli Manning, whose performance dictates the Giants' success or failure more than any other player. Sullivan could have played it safe and stayed with the young, talented and rapidly improving wideouts. But when former quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer departed in January, Sullivan approached Tom Coughlin and expressed his desire to fill the vacancy.

 

"I enjoyed my time with the receiving corps and couldn't be more proud of the accomplishments of that young group, last year particularly," Sullivan said. "Being able to expand my horizons, so to speak, and coach a new position and be with a position that, quite frankly, is involved with every aspect of the play call and run game and pass game and is so broad that really it gives me a chance to sink my teeth into more of the offense. And I was really excited about the opportunity."

 

Both Manning and Sullivan are pleased with the early returns from their partnership. They've studied tape of Manning's performance in 2009, worked on fundamentals in offseason drills and are strengthening their bond in the organized team activities. The Giants were on the field for a spirited practice this morning, their last before a Memorial Day break.

 

"It's been going really well," Manning said. "It hasn't been a big transition, just because he's been in this offense. We came in the same year together (in 2004). And even before that, he was with Coach Coughlin in this offense. So he knows everything very well. A lot of it is just communication, how I see things, how I read things from a quarterback's perspective. He's used to looking at the receivers, what routes they have to run. A quarterback's a little different. It's how you read things, how you see things. It's little subtle movements and mechanics and footwork. A lot of it is meetings and talking to each other and seeing how each other thinks."

 

"The transition is going very well," Sullivan said. "I couldn't be happier with the progress that the group is making. It started early on in March once Eli and the rest of the vets came back in. (We had) some individual meetings and the process of looking at the cutups and looking at each passing play - just getting on the same page. I have seen things through the lens of the receivers as the receivers coach in the pass game perspective for the past six years. And to sit down and to look at every play with Eli and make sure we are seeing things the same way - and getting feedback and getting on the same page - it has been going very well so far."

 

Of course, Sullivan has taken a leading role in Manning's development at a much different point in the quarterback's career than Palmer, who assumed the position in early 2007. Manning was then still a young, developing quarterback with many lines to fill in on his resume.

 

Since then, Manning has won a Super Bowl, been selected to a Pro Bowl and, last year, had the finest statistical season of his career. In 2009, Manning completed 317 of 509 passes (62.3 percent) for 4,021 yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a passer rating of 93.1. The completions, percentage, yards, touchdowns and rating were all career highs.

 

Neither Manning nor the Giants believe he has approached his zenith. So a big part of Sullivan's job is to pull him up even higher and help him continue to improve.

 

"I have known Eli for six years and worked closely with him, (though) not to this extent," Sullivan said. "And it has been very, very exciting and rewarding for me to see a guy that is constantly trying to get better. We have done some little drills and some things one-on-one with the other quarterbacks you would think someone with his experience would take for granted and not take it seriously. But he is right up there asking, 'Hey, how does this look? Am I overstepping here?' And it makes my job easy when you have someone that is so committed to trying to improve.

 

"I think from the standpoint of what my role is, it is to make sure from a consistency standpoint, those great performances that we have seen him have in the past and some of the great things that he has done, that he has developed to this point, that we stay out of those valleys and to keep the type of performance consistency at a higher level and then to continue to help him improve in all of the small areas. And again, his attitude and his work ethic make my job a lot easier."

 

Consistency is a favorite Coughlin buzzword and an elusive attribute all players strive for yet find difficult to achieve. Which begs the question, how will Sullivan foster consistency in Manning?

 

"That is the challenge," Sullivan conceded. "I think it all starts with going back, looking at the tape, looking at a play and saying, 'Okay, what were you thinking here? Why were you inclined to make this decision?' And talk through - from my standpoint - 'Well, based upon that now, if we could go back in time, what if we went about it a different way? What if we looked here, what if we made this adjustment, etc?' That kind of give and take makes sense. It is not memorization, it is not, 'I'm doing it because I have to do it.' But it becomes natural, and then just continuing to reinforce the natural. And whether it is in a meeting, out at practice, putting him in those situations where we can again reinforce that habit. Again, with someone with such great talent that he is not out there thinking, he is not out there overanalyzing. He can just go out there and use his God-given ability and make good, fast, accurate decisions."

 

Like all coaches, Palmer had his beliefs and ideas and his own drills, which he thought were best to develop quarterbacks. Some bordered on the unusual, such as when he had the quarterbacks throw big rubber balls at each other last spring. The idea was to get them accustomed to using their feet to evade a rush. Those drills helped Manning to develop into one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks.

 

Sullivan is doing nothing radical, but he does have his own notions about how to improve Manning.

 

"Coach Sullivan has his own ideas," Manning said. "He's researched it and talked to other guys to get different things we need to work on. He might take some things from Coach Palmer, but he might not.

 

"You always work with drills and on your footwork and those things. I've asked him to watch those things closely and tell me if he sees something that I'm not doing right. I can see things on film, but some things you need another person to check out. But we're communicating very well and things are going smoothly."

 

http://www.giants.com/news/headlines/story.asp?story_id=44063

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I actually ran into Sean Ryan, the Giants new receivers coach at a bar in Clifton, NJ last Friday. All my friends said 'how the FUCK do you know who the receivers coach of the Giants is?"

I'd say the same thing.

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I actually ran into Sean Ryan, the Giants new receivers coach at a bar in Clifton, NJ last Friday. All my friends said 'how the FUCK do you know who the receivers coach of the Giants is?"

 

What's the answer? :mellow:

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lol. I remember him from the Superbowl..he was always next to Manning, Gilbride or Coughlin...I think he was the offensive quality control guy back then.

 

back in the day, I used to think that Charlie Weiss was Parcells slightly retarded brother. he was always standing behind bill and he looked slow.

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back in the day, I used to think that Charlie Weiss was Parcells slightly retarded brother. he was always standing behind bill and he looked slow.

 

it's the droopy eyes and squished facial features....

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