Don't expect New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning to start winging the ball deep again and again despite general manager Jerry Reese saying this week that Manning and the Giants have been "too cautious" on offense. During a conference call with Indianapolis media on Wednesday, Manning seemed to challenge Reese's assertion.
"Well, I think it's important for us just to play smart football and find completions. If there's opportunities to take some shots down the field and hit some shots down the field, it'd be nice to hit some big plays," Manning said. "We still have to find completions. Some of that's just hitting guys in stride and having a little bit better first down and second down production so you can get into some situations to take some shots. We've just got to keep finding ways to make some plays."
The Giants are 30th in the league in explosive plays -- those of 20 yards or more. Per Pro Football Focus, Manning has completed just 5-of-22 passes thrown farther than 20 yards down the field. The Giants are 24th in the league in passing yards per play.
Manning said Wednesday that he is "comfortable with what we're doing" on offense.
"We've still got to make some improvements and be a little bit more consistent with things, but I feel like we're doing some good things. But there's always room for improvement," Manning said.
I guess when you are a two-time Super Bowl MVP you have the cachet to more or less shrug off criticism from your general manager. Still, it will be interesting going forward to see if the Giants can find more opportunities to take some shots down the field.