A fact that may have gone unnoticed by most Giants fans could refer to the future of quarterback Eli Manning in New York.
"I definitely don't want change and think he's a terrific offensive coordinator," said Manning of former coach Kevin Gilbride. "Kevin has been my quarterback coach from Day One and my offensive coordinator. It's been a lot of his offensive stuff from Day One."
That is how Manning felt about getting rid of Gilbride. Whether you want to call him delusional or loyal, I will leave that to you. It does however provide of glimpse inside the quarterback's thinking.
Enter new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. While Coach Coughlin has said a lot of the offense will remain the same, there are sure to be some wrinkles provided by McAdoo. If not, then why even hire the guy? Can Manning handle the changes?
It is easy for us to say yes he can, but that answer may be a bit naive as well. How do we know not only that Manning can accept the changes, but that he can thrive in a new offense? Manning's game is throwing the ball down the field for chunks of yardage, but that is not McAdoo's vision. McAdoo will bring short passes, screens and that change will not only require the WR's, RB's and O-Line to adapt, but Manning as well.
Is he 33 already? Yes he is, and there is no fountain of youth in the swamps of Jersey. The 49ers once said good-bye to Joe Montana. The Colts waved good-bye to Peyton Manning. The Packers jettisoned Brett Favre. For Giants fans to sit blindly just say E;i is here for the duration of his career is ignorant and short-sighted. Extending Manning now for $17-$20 million a season until he is in his late 30's or early 40's is, well, not very smart.
That's a good way to cripple our salary cap figure for the next 5-6 season. Even with the salary cap going up over the next handful of years being fiscally responsible is imperative to keeping the NYG brand competitive for years to come.
Fans were screaming for Nassib to get some run last season after the Giants had nothing to play for. But what if Big Blue brass said we don't want Nassib playing with this offensive line last season? What if Nassib is the future?
The argument could be made that Nassib should have been playing last year, much like Kirk Cousins, to be put on display to possibly trade him for some picks. But what if the Giants simply don't want to trade him because they see the future in this kid? And what does that mean to Eli?
Eli is 33-years-old with two years and a boatload of money left on his contract. A new offensive coordinator who is only three years guaranteed in town, with rumors everywhere that he might be Coughlin's successor. And a much less expensive fourth round pick named Ryan Nassib waiting in the wings.
From what I have read and learned about Nassib, he seems to be a better fit for McAdoo's timing offense then Eli does.
Is it at all possible that the Giants are more than happy to give Eli until the end of his current contract and move on with a 38 year old head coach named Bob McAdoo and a young QB named Ryan Nassib? Similar to the changing of the guard that took place in Green Bay a couple of years ago?
Fans will sit here and speculate, and predict and argue with each other, and there is nothing wrong with that, that is what fans do. But sometimes, behind the walls of your favorite team, they have a plan that doesn't reveal itself for years. It needs room to grow and mature so it can be moved into the spotlight.
For months fans have been debating Manning's cap number and his contract extension, his past accomplishments. And made predictions for his future, some good, some bad. But none of us know for sure the thinking going on in the front office. We can speculate and argue til we are Big Blue in the face, but sooner rather then later the Giants will have to extend, release or trade the two-time Super Bowl MVP,…it's inevitable, and it's approaching quickly.
Maybe Nassib wasn't thrown into the fire because they didn't want the kid shell shocked or ending up getting murdered behind that offensive line. I mean, was there really any reason for Curtis Painter to be in uniform at all?…It didn't make sense at the time, but after reading that quote from Russ, it makes more sense now.
The Giants' decisions about Manning, whether to extend him or not, could come down to the development of a fourth round pick who ran the Saints' offense in Syracuse and with now Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone, so if the kid can play, how long do they wait?
Aaron Rodgers sat on the pine for four years before he got his chance to play. Did that help Rodgers or did the Packers cost themselves by waiting to long to hand over the keys to the offense.
Eli can not play QB forever, and hopefully the Giants stole the future in the fourth round last year…only time will tell.
Steve Young replaced Broadway Joe. Andrew Luck replaced Peyton Manning. Aaron Rodgers replaced Brett Favre. Someone someday is going to replace Eli Manning, the only questions are who?…and when? Do you think the Giants might be setting up a situation where Ryan Nassib takes over for Eli Manning? Only those inside the Quest Diagnostic Training Center know the answer to that. In the interim the Giants have to take care of the current quarterback, but start grooming one for the future beyond Eli Manning.