Former New York Jets offensive lineman and current ESPN analyst Damien Woody calls New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning “toast.”
Per Mike Rosenstein of nj.com, the current ESPN analyst was asked to finish the sentence “Eli Manning is….” And, it’s safe to say, Woody had anything but nice words for the long-time Big Blue quarterback.
“Toast. He is toast, Okay,” said Woody. “There’s been one constant with the Giants. They’ve had change at GM. They’ve had change at the head coaching position. They signed Odell Beckham. They drafted a running back. But there’s been one constant, and that’s the quarterback, OK? Eli Manning.”
Although the Giants took two losses in the first two games of the regular season against the Jaguars and the Cowboys, Manning is not the one to blame. In two games, Eli has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 503 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Poor play from the entire team as well as below-average coaching decisions are to blame for the most part. However, Woody doesn’t see it like that.
“When you look at Eli Manning and that Giants offense, he needs like the perfect storm,” Woody mentioned. “He needs everything, the environment, perfect. He needs the protection to be perfect.”
That is true, Woody is correct about that. But that’s how it is with the Giants and the organization needs to understand that. You have a 37-year-old, aging quarterback who is not of the scrambling type. He’s a pocket passer and always has been, and he’s succeeded in the past with above-average offensive line groups. The Giants still just don’t have that right now, despite the roster moves made in the offseason.
“He has the weapons. He has the running back. All those things,” Woody stated. “But that’s not the nature of the National Football League. There’s going to be times when you need to make plays off platform, off schedule. That’s what the really good quarterbacks do.”
Yes, Eli has the receivers and now a running back to put up elite numbers. But the offensive line is the first line protection and that’s an aspect the Giants haven’t peaked at in recent years. Woody makes some points, but Eli is not to blame for this 0-2 start. People who fully believe what Woody is saying need to reevaluate how they look at a quarterback who’s won two Super Bowls…two Super Bowl MVPs, at that.