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The Trouble with ELI


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Scramble: The Trouble with Eli

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Bill Barnwell and Ian Dembsky

FootballOutsiders.com

Posted: 5 hours ago

 

 

 

 

Bill: In recent weeks I've said some rather mean, nasty things about Eli Manning.

 

But actually, I am, in fact, a Giants fan — I'm not the most hardcore of Giants fans, but I've tolerated some pretty miserable Giants football to get to where they are now, and I feel like I have the right to complain. I've referenced the Danny Kanell jersey I own in the past, and maybe some people thought I was joking, but I can confirm that I do actually own a Danny Kanell jersey, purchased at a Boston-area thrift store for $3 several years ago and worn with pride to this day. I do have a Chris Calloway jersey sitting in storage somewhere.

 

When it comes to criticism of Eli Manning, I think the people who read the Football Outsiders, watch Eli play, and bash us for running Eli through the wringer are warranted in their opinion, certainly. I also think our criticism is sometimes misunderstood — I, for one, know Eli Manning is a much better quarterback than the guys I mentioned above. What makes Eli so frustrating to watch, though, are three basic tenets:

 

 

His mistakes are glaring and obvious. This is the simplest one. Manning attempts to make plays that no other quarterback in his right mind would, like throws off his back foot that would be intentional grounding if it weren't for the fact that they were intercepted. They aren't mistakes that other young quarterbacks make like missing their reads or holding on to the ball too long. (The corollary of this, I suppose, is that Eli's good at some subtle things that other young quarterbacks aren't.) Look at the interception he threw on the drive after the Devin Hester TD on Monday — there's not a Giants WR remotely close to the ball. This is just the freshest example in my mind; he makes throws like that all the time, which leads to Eli tenet #2:

He makes the same mistakes over and over. This is, perhaps, the even more maddening thing. The worst part is that sometimes "mistake" doesn't necessarily mean interception or incompletion; when it comes to throwing to guys like Plaxico Burress, it can mean "completion." It's one thing when Plaxico uses his size to get to a ball purposely thrown a foot or two above his hands, but another when Eli naturally airmails one and it flies over Burress' head for an easy interception. In baseball, you notice young players' strikeouts going down when they stop chasing pitches out of the strike zone as a positive step. With quarterbacks, maybe it's not as obvious, but Eli looks all the world like Jeff Francouer to me. How come Peyton doesn't do that? Well...

He's not Peyton. This might just be me and my own projection of what I expect Eli Manning to be as the #1 overall pick, but I don't think I'm the only one. If he costs two first rounders, then Eli Manning should be one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the league. He should be as good as his brother, or at least reasonably close, and he's not. With a better team around him, he's not on the same level as Peyton. Is he going to be a bust? No. He's going to be a borderline Pro Bowl quarterback, and with the status he was afforded by the package it took to get him, it's not good enough for him to just be a slight upgrade on Kerry Collins. If he were a second round pick, it would be different. I know I said above that I've come to accept the trade, but the more I think about it, maybe I haven't.

Ian: I have a shorter version of why Eli Manning is so frustrating to watch. He seems like one of those players who only turn it on when he wants to, like Kobe Bryant. Early on in games, he's just going through the motions, waiting for the time when he has to turn it on or lose the game. On occasion, we get a glimpse of "Super Eli," leading the Giants to a heroic late comeback, or sealing shut a win with key accurate passing. It needs to happen much more often though. When Peyton lines up in the first quarter, you can sense his focus and determination on every play. With Eli, it's much more like he's waiting to figure out how the game will go before he really begins to try. Until he can turn it on from the get-go, he's not going to be among the elite players in the league.

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Good coaching leads to better QB's. Play calling that takes advantage of the tools the team has makes for a better QB.

 

Why is play action not being used? Do you rember the play action on the goal line to shockey last week, it was as convincing a fake as I have ever seen. Play action by its very nature opens the TE in the middle of the field. That takes advanatge of the Giants two biggest weapons Tiki and Shockey.

 

Why not run the ball 25-30 times a game? That sets up the play action and brings in the saftey opening up Huff's favorite the Deep pass. Not to mention it puts the ball into the hands of our best player.

 

Eli's biggest problem is the shithead of an Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach he has.

 

If Eli had been on the Steelers last year they still would have won the Superbowl.

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Good coaching leads to better QB's. Play calling that takes advantage of the tools the team has makes for a better QB.

 

Why is play action not being used? Do you rember the play action on the goal line to shockey last week, it was as convincing a fake as I have ever seen. Play action by its very nature opens the TE in the middle of the field. That takes advanatge of the Giants two biggest weapons Tiki and Shockey.

 

Why not run the ball 25-30 times a game? That sets up the play action and brings in the saftey opening up Huff's favorite the Deep pass. Not to mention it puts the ball into the hands of our best player.

 

Eli's biggest problem is the shithead of an Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach he has.

 

If Eli had been on the Steelers last year they still would have won the Superbowl.

 

Here, Here!!

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All I know is that I have been watching Giants football since 69' and I have seen a lot of quarterbacks good, bad, indifferent, lousy, brain dead...you get the picture. And one of the biggest reasons that I am still willing to give Opie the benefit of the doubt is that I was one of those idiots who wanted Scott Brunner as number one over Simms. *SIGH* A shame I hold to this day...."Hello my name is TBCVp and I was a Scott Brunner fan over Simms; "HELLO TBCVp". And we all know how that turned out. So I am willing to keep giving Opie the benefit of the doubt because this kid was made for a Fassel type offense and not Coach Cheerleader and his wife Huffie's pathetic attempts at quarterback development. I still really think that Opie will blossom (wrong word there)...will develop into a top tier quarterback with the proper training, support and team. And hell yeah ...put your foot in his ASS when he FUCKS UP like he did last Sunday. No it is not alright Opie that you fucking overthrew everyone like they were fucking Lurch or Herman Munster out there. Even though I am not a fan of the Full Metal Jacket drill sergeant routine...it does have its uses. Opie has been stroked enough. It is now time to drastically reduce the tolerance level for his repetitive fuck ups; not the unavoidable ones; just the ones he keeps repeating.

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How about 24 - 1st and 10... 13 Passes!!!!! WTF. Im not saying never pass on first and 10, but more then half the time?

I can remember as a Giants fan saying these guys never pass on 1st down.....now that is all they do, or it seems like it. Be careful of what you ask for I guess.

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I can remember as a Giants fan saying these guys never pass on 1st down.....now that is all they do, or it seems like it. Be careful of what you ask for I guess.

I would rather see Tiki or BJ handed the ball EVERY SINGLE First and 10.... It is called playing to your strengths..

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