What went wrong for Eli Manning during 2013, the worst season of his NFL career? Kurt Warner, the last player to start a game at quarterback for the New York Giants before Manning, thinks he knows. Warner, whom Manning replaced way back in 2004, says "sometimes he [Manning] tries to do too much."
"Eli is a guy very much like I felt I was. When things go wrong around you, you say I'll make up for it myself," Warner said Tuesday at Super Bowl Media Day. "You say, I'll make every throw, every play. I know it's a tight window right there but I'm going to put the perfect ball in there where that guy can catch it and we'll overcome all these things. I know there is pressure in my face but I'll find a way to make the throw.
"I think that is what happened to him this year. A lot of things went wrong and, not that he played perfect, but he tried to do more than one guy can do. You can't do that in this league. In this league, as a quarterback, you make mistakes. And then when all kinds of pressure is on top of you and you're trying to do more than you should, you’re going to make more mistakes."
Getting Manning to play better in 2014 is, of course, what fans care about. Memorabilia lawsuits and Manning's opinion about his brother and the Super Bowl are all secondary.
I think Warner is right -- we have seen this from Manning before. I think 2013, however, is the first time we have seen Manning begin to break down from a fundamental standpoint.
That is why offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf have been hired. It's hardly a news flash, but getting Manning back on track is the Giants' biggest priority.