"Sometimes you just have to hit rock bottom. You really do. And the Giants have hit it. So has Eli Manning," Simms said Monday night on NFL Monday QB on CBS Sports Network. "They're going to have to change their football team, their structure. And they're going to have to change the way they're going about what they're trying to accomplish scheme-wise. So there's a big overhaul coming for the Giants. It will be interesting to see."
Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, also appearing on the show, agreed with Simms.
"It's been a bad year for Eli. I've always been a backer of Eli. He has won two Super Bowls. But we can't just keep saying that when they're playing so bad right now," Marino said. "But I think it's the system they're running. They have to re-look at what they're doing offensively. And as far as their talent is concerned, they need to get better players out there for him ... It's not working. It's just not working."
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Manning told WFAN’s Mike Francesa he’s not living in denial or anything like that. He said he’s healthy and mentally the same as always, but can understand why some question if at soon-to-be 33 his best years are behind him.
"It does bother me," Manning said of the doubt and criticism that has been launched his way. "I don’t like hearing that. I guess it is a motivation. You want to prove them wrong and prove that I can still play at a high level and lead this team. I gotta get back to where I’m playing better and doing a better job of being a leader of this offense."
Because he will count for a ridiculous $20.4 million against the 2014 cap — which is expected to be somewhere between $125 million and $130 million — the consensus of the agents and NFL executives surveyed by the Daily News over the last week is that the Giants would be better off doing it sooner than later. And everyone surveyed expects the deal to be at least $20 million per season with $40 million-plus guaranteed.
"Change for change sake doesn’t work," Banks said in an interview Monday with NJ.com. "Most organizations arrive at a decision to make a change based on a series of things that’s based on personnel, based on performance, based on injury and based on whether or not the quarterback and coordinator like each other.
"Keep in mind, most good quarterbacks don’t like new coordinators. They feel comfortable in their system."
By all accounts, Manning and Gilbride have a solid relationship. They’ve spent Manning’s entire professional life together, first with Gilbride as his quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator. Making the change might not be the easiest sell to the franchise quarterback who won two Super Bowl rings with Gilbride in his ear.
Manning could be resistant to the move. He’d be required to learn a new system, adjust his game and watch a friend lose his job.
Midway through the rant, which he later tried to take back on Twitter, he said that if 'ppl on this team wanna take shots at me an say I have no passion they are mistaken.' But when asked if he’d been called out by a teammate, he insisted he had not.
This is what drives him. The record matters, but not nearly as much as the process, as the work. He is man born to coach.
And therein lies the biggest question facing this franchise. The Giants have to make changes after this season, especially on offense. Manning looks like a broken quarterback now. He needs a new voice, a new offense, a new receiver or two – a new everything – for there to be any hope.
So in many ways, the Giants will be starting over in 2014. Is Coughlin committed to making that kind of long-term rebuilding process, which could include firing the same coaches he endorsed unconditionally yesterday? And, if he decides he is, are the Giants comfortable with him leading that effort at this stage in his career?
Will Coughlin even want to return to the Giants? Should Big Blue bring him back? And what about Rex, newly eliminated from the playoffs with Baltimore's Monday night win? Does he have more time with Woody Johnson?
Sunday's five-pick debacle may have signaled the beginning of Eli's end.
Manning, so long the No. 1 Giants solution, is as big a part of the problem as anyone on this roster.
This is no small concession for a two-time Super Bowl MVP, but as the Giants sink deeper into the mess of this ugly season, there is no more leeway left for the man who’s always had the longest leash. He leads the NFL with 25 interceptions, thanks to the career-high five he added Sunday. His team is the only one to have been shut out twice this season. His accuracy is gone, his field vision is off, and his once-charmed connection with big-play receivers has disappeared.
And now, as locker room fault lines begin to crack along the dreaded offense-defense line, Manning is powerless to stop them.