Does Eli need Plaxico?

Giants quarterback Eli Manning said publicly that the team is fine at wide receiver without Plaxico Burress. (AP / File photo)

As we've discussed multiple times here at MTC, the Eagles-Giants rivalry has a lot to do with the buzz that is building for the 2009 season in Philadelphia.

New York focused on revamping its defense through free agency, and while the Giants were mentioned in several rumors about adding a veteran wide receiver, they ended up addressing the need for offensive weapons through the draft, much like the Eagles.

Enter Eli Manning.

Earlier this offseason, after the Giants cut ties with Plaxico Burress, Manning voiced his opinion that New York would be well-served to add a receiver.

New York drafted North Carolina WR Hakeem Nicks in the first round of last month's draft and also picked up 6-foot-6 Ramses Barden and Wisconsin TE Travis Beckum in the third.

Manning will have to rely on the young guys right away, so it shouldn't be too surprising that he said the team doesn't need Burress during a TV interview this week.

"I feel confident. They didn’t need to go and get a big wide receiver," Manning said on the Boomer Esiason Show on MSG (via Newsday). "When Plaxico was injured, the guys stepped up and put up big points. It’s not like we need to have him. We put up big points. It’s not like we weren’t playing well because of Plaxico. We just weren’t playing very good football. Steve Smith is coming around in his third year & he’s going to be a guy who gets more playing time. Young guys are getting more experience."

The comments might surprise some, considering that Manning is usually careful during his interviews and manages to say very little. But his job is to instill confidence in the young guys and help groom them to believe they can fill in and play at a championship level.

Whether they actually can or not remains to be seen, but Manning needs them. Look no further than the NFC divisional playoff loss to the Eagles where he threw a couple of interceptions and had a QB rating of 40.7.

So there you have it. We have just completed a blog post about an NFC quarterback and his weapons without mentioning you know who. This is truly a historic moment.

Much more later.

And if you missed it, yesterday we updated the Derrick Burgess and Rod Hood offseason situations.