Since replacing Kurt Warner as starting quarterback in 2004 Eli Manning has been the Giants franchise quarterback. Manning has rewarded the loyalty of Big Blue’s brass by leading the team on two improbable Super Bowl runs. And much to the delight of most Giant fans there is plenty of time left for Manning to add to his legacy before he retires from the game of football.
With Manning playing the most prolific position on the field it would be logical to place the correct assets around Manning for the team to be successful. The 2016 off-season, which will be critical in determining the future of Giants General manager Jerry Reese, was no different. There were two keys moves this offseason that were made to assist Eli Manning.
The first move relates to the head coaching search that started when The G-mens Tom Coughlin, who is the only head coach Manning has had in the NFL, left. The search for a new head coach ended when offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was promoted to head coach. The argument could be made that a major reason McAdoo became head coach was so that Manning does not have to learn a new offensive system. By allowing McAdoo to leave a new offensive coordinator would need to be hired and the 35 year old Manning would have to learn an entire new offensive scheme.
The second influence Manning had on the Giants offseason was who they drafted. While first round pick Eli Apple bares the same first name as the two time Super Bowl champ the second round pick will be an asset for Manning in 2016. Sterling Shepard, wide receiver from Oklahoma, will be a pivotal addition to Manning’s arsenal. Shepard can potentially be the second receiver option that has been needed for Manning with the emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. as an All-Pro receiver.
While these moves are supposed to help Eli and the Giants going forward projections and prognostication are not always accurate. The Lombardi trophy is not handed over the first day of training camp, teams will have to compete week in and week out to get the honor of hoisting the most coveted prize in football. Eli will need to take what is provided for him and try to guide the Giants to a place they have not been since Super Bowl XLI and that is playing in a post season game.