By Clifford Davis
New York Giants will only go as far as Eli Manning takes them
Antrel Rolle has already labeled the New York Giants as one of the most talented rosters he has ever been a part of. Rolle, a 10 year veteran, has been around his fair share of teams, but it was a curious statement with all the questions that surrounds this team, on both sides of the ball. Rolle, however, feels strong about his statement.
“We have guys that are hungry, and guys that want to compete,” Rolle said. “More importantly we have a couple guys that can push those other guys and that makes it much more better.”
There are still many questions that will not be answered by this Giants team until the season starts. The biggest question will be on the offense, which struggled mightily last year, and how they will adjust to a new offense for the first time in years. Ben McAdoo was hired by the Giants to replace long time offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Ben’s job is to fix an offense that was deemed “broken” by owner John Mara, after a disastrous season.
Eli Manning was the face of that broken offense, and questions have risen about whether or not he is on the decline. He led the league in interceptions last year with 27. His offensive line did him no favors, however, they were brutal, and he was sacked 39 times. He also sprained his ankle in the season finale last year, putting an end to his worse season since his rookie year.
Now there is a new offensive coordinator, and he has a new offensive line, but there are still questions of whether last year was an aberration, or the beginning of a steady decline for the two-time Super Bowl MVP. General Manager Jerry Reese thinks last year was an aberration, and he expects his Pro Bowl quarterback to play like a Pro Bowler.
“I expect nothing except for him to bounce back and be the Pro Bowl-caliber football player we think he can be,” Reese said. “He’s still a young player all things considered. We expect him to come back, be a leader, bounce back, and not have some of the things that happened to him last year, happen this year.”
Only time will tell if his belief in Eli Manning is justified, but until then there will be a lot of work to do as training camp begin on Monday for the Giants. They’re not expected to be contenders this year, but as everyone has learned before, the Giants are better when no one expects them to do anything.
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