There's no denying that New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning, is disappointed in his 2010 season. He had a number of impressive accolades, but struggled with turnovers and the occasional (but more than usual) bad plays. However, of the interceptions that made up those turnovers, Manning was simply not to blame for the vast majority. What might have seemed an errant throw was often one made to elude a defender…only to be bumped off the hands of Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, or Mario Manningham.
Well, despite weekly lashings courtesy of a traditionally tough-on-the-home-team Giants fan base, it seems someone has finally stepped up to defend Manning and his 2010 season. However, it came from an undisclosed, but still unusual source…an "anonymous opponent."
As reported in the Sporting News 2011 Pro Football Preview (in print), this "anonymous opponent" explained:
"I really think Eli's not going to have the turnover-prone year that he had last year. I don't think he's going down; I think he's still trending upwards."
Interesting enough to hear such words from a teammate, but an opponent is even stranger. The use of the word "opponent" also lends itself to this individual playing for a regular Giants opponent; the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, or Dallas Cowboys. However, this "opponent" does not stop there.
He continues by allocating the blame for Manning's shortcomings in 2010 on the shoulders of every Giants fans favorite punching bag, Offensive Coordinator, Kevin Gilbride:
"My opinion is it falls on (offensive coordinator Kevin) Gilbride. I really think his offense, with the players they have, needs to be – I hate to say this – dumbed down. It's too complicated, especially with receivers and the number of young guys they have there. They're required to do a lot more than most teams as far as options on routes."
Did it end there? No.
This opponent went on to dissect his perception of Gilbride's overly complicated offensive schemes, formations, and routes, saying:
"They've got a very, very complicated passing offense and, couple that with the turnovers, and it was kind of a little bit of a disaster there. The turnovers really killed them. The receivers not really being where they should be a lot of times caused a lot of turnovers."
So we an anonymous "opponent" of the Giants coming forward to defend not only Eli Manning, but also chastise the play-calling of Gilbride. It begs the question: could this be an "anonymous Giants player?" Did someone merely speak-up on behalf of Eli Manning? Was Sporting News pranked?
Either way, it seems that someone finally had the stones to step-up and say something on behalf of the New York Giants captain…about time.
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