The reigning Super Bowl MVP is hoping he can get the New York Giants to a faster start in the regular season this time around.
NFL: Eli Manning wants New York to play like Giants for whole season
"We know we've got to improve," said Manning, whose team sneaked into the post-season last year then went all the way.
"We were 9-7 last year in the regular season. That's not good enough. We've got to have that urgency, that consistency, throughout the whole season, and play our best football for the 16 regular-season games."
Tom Coughlin, the Giants coach, said the key to following up a successful season is to forget about it.
"The great thing about the mountain is everybody starts to climb again at this time," he said.
The Giants open the 2012 NFL season Wednesday (4am Thursday, UAE) when they play host to the Dallas Cowboys, their NFC East rivals. The remaining 30 NFL teams begin play on Sunday and Monday. Michael Coe, the Giants cornerback, expects to be tested by Tony Romo, the Cowboys quarterback. It is a given. Coe, a six-year veteran, is an unexpected starter, having moved into the line-up because of injuries.
"I'm sure any time a new person joins the group or there is an unfamiliar face everyone is going to be watching to see how that person does and how everything gels," Coe said. "I am not oblivious to that fact at all."
He will be trying to prevent Romo from hooking up with the receivers Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Kevin Ogletree.
"I know a team like Dallas and Romo, they definitely are going to execute what they practice," Coe said. "Most teams in this league don't really change a whole bunch. They are going to stick with what they are good at. I am sure he will probably look my way more often than not, so I'll be prepared for that."
Romo will operate behind a revamped offensive line, and the Cowboys, who were 8-8 last season and missed the play-offs, are worried about New York's standout defensive front of Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora.
"They're very disruptive, and they just have a lot of guys they can throw at you with the great bursts, great energy," Romo said.
"They do some different things with their technique that really allow them to disrupt offences. And without getting into detail, I think that can provide you with some difficult situations, and so we just have to do some different things to help that."
The game will be officiated by replacement officials as the NFL continues to lock out its regular officials.
The sides are at odds over salary, retirement benefits and operational issues, and replacements will oversee the first weekend of games.
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