Last season, many people speculated whether or not Eli Manning suffered a loss in arm strength. Some felt that his deep passes weren’t as accurate as in years prior. People were also speculating whether or not this new offense would cater to his failing arm strength.
Those speculations were put to rest when Manning finished fourth in the NFL in 20-plus yards attempts last season. Although Manning had one of his best seasons statistically last season, the questions from critics about his arm still lingered into the start of this year’s minicamp.
Oct 27, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) warms up before facing the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Now that minicamp has ended, it’s pretty safe to say that Manning’s arm is fine and rumors of his regression at age 34 have been greatly exaggerated. Over the past couple of months according to multiple reports, Manning revealed that he had been working with a baseball coach to implement pitching mechanics to improve his overall throwing motion.
Manning is also another year removed from ankle surgery which has allowed him to move through his progressions quicker. The entire Giants offense as a whole have been moving quicker which shows that they are getting more comfortable in second year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s offense.
Due to Manning’s new mechanics, his passes have been noticeably crisper with much more velocity than he had last season. With a much more lively Manning, along with a healthy Victor Cruz and another year developing chemistry with Larry Donnell and Odell Beckham Jr, it would not be wrong to be excited for the explosive potential of Big Blue’s offense as long as their offensive line that has already lost starting left tackle Will Beatty until November at least.
So fer not Giants fans, your franchise quarterback is not regressing at all, in fact he may be getting stronger. The team is not concerned about his skills despite the lack of contract talks heading into the final year of Manning’s current deal. They are simply making a safe business decision to allow Manning to show why another big money investment in himself is the right way to go. Plus the team knows they can simply place what will be a very costly franchise tag on him next season if talks for a new deal take some time.
Manning looks as ready as ever to do what he has been doing his whole career and that is silencing critics and doubters and proving why he is still an elite NFL quarterback. It will be interesting for sure to see Manning in 5 weeks in training camp firing passes to both Cruz and Beckham to hopefully build the groundwork for what could potentially be one of the best offensive units in all of football.