We’ve regurgitated all the angles for seven dragging months — the Giants offense was futile in 2013. It was a “broken” unit. Eli Manning has been raked over the coals by the media all offseason, as it seems most pundits presume he’s washed out at age 33. Big Blue Nation tends to pinpoint offensive line woes for the Giants endless string of malfunctions a year ago, and they wouldn’t be incorrect. Even the running game was like watching paint dry. No explosion, no game breaking potential.
Nevertheless… when sizing up culprits, one pivotal factor that has gone overlooked is QB/WR communication. Or in the case of the 2013 New York Giants, miscommunication. Lack of rapport haunted the on-field connection between Manning and second-year wideout Rueben Randle.
Manning targeted Randle 76 times — 41 passes were caught, five were dropped, and EIGHT resulted in an interception. Certainly not every INT is the result of poor communication, but at least three of them qualify as the unacceptable variety… throwing away possessions and handing teams free points. Have a look:
To review: Randle stopped dead in his tracks on a fade route, darted down the sideline on a quick out, and simply had no idea or interest where the football was on a post route (maybe?). It’s no wonder Eli is spending extra time working with rookie Odell Beckham at the Manning Passing Academy.
“Intelligence, he’s got that. For me, the battle with him is consistency, and I think he’s addressed it in this offseason in the way he approaches his job. I’ve seen a difference in his seriousness towards his work. This spring, I thought he was locked in. I thought he did a good job learning the new offense. Like I said, he’s got some football intelligence to him. Things come to him. He sees things pretty well. But I thought he really worked hard at being locked into the meetings and on the field as well. I noticed a difference in him.”
The Giants better hope so. Randle is the team’s most physically imposing receiver, and they simply can’t afford to have him phased out of the offense. When focused and engaged for 60 minutes, Randle is a high-level athlete capable of producing gems: