Plain and simple, the quarterback position depends on the other players, more so than any other sport.
A hockey goaltender and baseball pitcher come close, but it’s still not the same. So when the New York Giants staff spends another week trying to spread the blame for offensive futility, it makes you wonder. This week head coach Ben McAdoo insisted (again) that it’s a group effort.
In the same week, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan tacked some blame on veteran quarterback Eli Manning. Maybe this is Sullivan’s way of thanking Manning for the two Super Bowl rings that he has.
This is what McAdoo had to say earlier this week in advance of the Detroit Lions contest, according to the team’s official website.
"Q: After an offseason of saying that the offensive line is improved, what happens now after Week One when there was no improvement?A: We keep working to get better. But, again, everyone keeps pointing to the offensive line. There was enough to go around. We have to work this week to improve. It’s one week.Q: Does the blame start with the offensive line?A: No."
Fair enough, but most coaches say (rightfully so) that it all starts up front with the offensive line. And most fans would naturally assume that the offensive line, as well as the entire team, continues to work to get better. Right now, no one questions the effort. The questions come in the form of trying to decide if these offensive linemen have the capacity to improve.
New York Giants
It surely does not seem like it.
Sullivan weighs in
There seems to be a lot of chatter around the New York Giants these days. Clearly, many of the comments have a sour tinge of negativity about them. The “rah, rah, we’re going to get better crowd” is beginning to be drowned out, and with good reason.
McAdoo put himself in a tough spot this offseason, and the media finally holds him accountable. After all, it was McAdoo who was the offensive guru that was going to take Tom Coughlin’s tunnel vision to the next level.
Plus, it was McAdoo who promised better in the spring and has not yet delivered.
This week, as the head coach tried to buy more time, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan weighed in. Sometimes New York Giants-watcher Mark Cannizzaro, and New York Post columnist, somehow bought Sullivan’s line.
Cannizzaro wrote this week:
"“[The Dallas Cowboys] saw Manning frustrated. They saw Manning throw the ball into the turf to avoid getting hit. They saw Manning look like he was hesitant to throw the ball down the field. They saw Manning uncharacteristically inaccurate.”"
Umm, Mark, everyone saw that. And somehow if roles were transferred, do you think Tom Brady wouldn’t be the same way?
Cannizzaro attempts to bolster this story by getting this juicy quote from Sullivan.
"“Eli, like everyone else on the offensive side of the ball, had a bad night. [He] had a night that is not up to our standard. [But] to rush to conclusions and where he’s at or where anybody is after one game, would be premature.’’"
From my vantagepoint, the game plan appeared deficient as well. When wideout Odell Beckham cannot play, who exactly is the team’s deep threat? Running Brandon Marshall on a fly pattern doesn’t seem like a high percentage play.
Hey, Beckham could come back on Monday, and the New York Giants could steamroll the Detroit Lions. Not probable, but definitely possible. The Manning-to-Beckham chemistry exists.
But the head coach and offensive coordinator ought to be careful what they wish for. Because if that occurs, it will be proof positive, however, that McAdoo and Sullivan are one-trick ponies.