Giants quarterback Eli Manning struggled through a miserable 2013 season in which he led the league with a career-high 27 interceptions. But it was offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, not Manning, who took the fall.
Now Manning is learning the system of new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms thinks that’s good news in New York.
“I don’t think it’s going to be tough for him,” Simms said of Manning, via Bob Glauber of Newsday. “It’s going to be new information, a new way to do things, but there will be a lot of the same plays that every offense runs, and there will be a new voice telling him and different ways of running those plays.”
Simms thinks McAdoo’s system should do wonders for Manning’s completion percentage, which has dropped from 62.9 percent to 61.0 percent to 59.9 percent to 57.5 percent over the last four seasons.
“I would think this will make it easier on Eli because it will be a more quarterback-friendly system,” Simms said. “I have great respect for Kevin Gilbride winning two Super Bowls. He was worried about hitting four of those big passes every game, and I love that about the Giants’ offense. It wasn’t 17 screens every game. But I would think the West Coast offense and some of the thinking will help the quarterback. It’s not always putting the pressure on the quarterback, which I am a big believer of in today’s game. Give the quarterback 50 percent of his completions as ‘gimmies.’ There are other times you want to make those four or five special throws.”
Simms set off a debate in 2012 when he declared that Manning is not elite. But whether Eli is elite or not, he has to be better this year than he was last year.