Chris Culliver has no beef with Mario Manningham. Sure, there's a history - albeit, a brief history - between them. And, yes, there's been some jawing and even some shoving on the practice field. But the cornerback this week insisted it was nothing personal.
"Mario? Nah, nah - he's my teammate now," Culliver said. "No, me and him are cool. Like I said, it's all about competition. At the end of the day, it's not personal. I don't mean to hurt him or nothing like that. Like I say, just move forward from there. Get physical sometimes."
Culliver faced Manningham twice last season when the latter was a member of the Giants. Manningham caught a touchdown pass against the then-rookie in the regular-season matchup, then nearly caught a
go-ahead game-tying touchdown late in the game against Culliver. The pass, however, was overthrown by Eli Manning.
Culliver said neither Manningham nor fellow ex-Giant Brandon Jacobs likes to talk about the Super Bowl title they won in New York in February. "Nah because that's last year," Culliver said. "Like I say, they won that last year. And hats off to those guys. But they're on a new team."
Culliver, meanwhile, was limited to playing left cornerback in 2011 after the lockout-shortened offseason. This year, he's learning how to play the right side, too, and in that way is competing with Tarell Brown for the starting spot. Brown has taken all of the first-team repetitions so far in training camp. Culliver lines up at left cornerback when the first team is in its nickel formation - Carlos Rogers is the slot cornerback - and moves to the right side with the second-string defense.
That movement also allows Culliver, who had only played one season at cornerback upon entering the NFL, an opportunity to cover an array of receivers. "All the guys have something different about them," he said. "This person is quick, this person is fast or that person is experienced like Randy Moss. Like I said, they bring every different element to the table, so you kind of have to be on your ps and qs and think."
-- Matt Barrows