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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Despite horrific struggles in recent weeks, Tom Coughlin still believes that Eli Manning is going to be an outstanding quarterback for the reeling New York Giants.

    Coughlin reiterated Monday that the No. 1 pick in the draft will start against the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-1), adding that giving Manning a week off to clear his head wasn't an option.

    "The rookie player that has this type of opportunity, and this type of experience, it is a priceless experience that does not come without pain," Coughlin said in a conference call as he reviewed a 37-14 loss to Baltimore.

    Not only is Manning winless in four starts since taking over from Kurt Warner, his statistics are dreadful. He has completed 42-of-110 passes for 516 yards, one touchdown and six interceptions. His quarterback rating is a 33.8 percent -- the lowest in the NFL for anyone with 100 pass attempts.

    And the Giants have lost their last three games by at least 21 points, the first time that has happened since 1980.

    Manning has had two good halves, one against Atlanta and another versus Philadelphia. His last two games have been horrible.

    Against the Ravens on Sunday, Manning was 4-for-18 for 27 yards, two interceptions, a lost fumble and a zero rating.

    The Giants, who have lost six in a row, didn't do anything on offense until Warner took over in the fourth quarter and led a touchdown drive. The other TD was provided by the New York defense.

    "Yesterday was a setback," Coughlin said of Manning. "I thought the second half Atlanta and the first half Philadelphia were outstanding, and in the right direction. The last two weeks have not been as such, but I am not changing my opinion one iota. I think you have to play through these things."

    There are valid excuses for Manning's woes.

    The offensive line has struggled since Game 6. Center Shaun O'Hara has missed three games and rookie guard Chris Snee has missed the last two with a baffling glandular infection.

    In the last three games, Manning has faced three of the NFL's top defenses -- Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore. All three have put in wrinkles that confused the young quarterback.

    The Steelers fit in the same category, which doesn't bode well for this weekend at Giants Stadium.

    "It is causing him to pause at the line of scrimmage, which is really affecting the offense," Coughlin said. "We seem to be over the ball too long. We have to make a determination and go."

    The Giants' receivers haven't helped much.

    Amani Toomer has been battling a hamstring injury. Ike Hilliard has had a sub-par year and tight end Jeremy Shockey, who might be the most potent weapon, has not been used well by the coaching staff. The team's two speed receivers, Tim Carter and Jamaar Taylor, have been injured much of the season.

    "I just feel if something good would happen for Eli and the offensive team they would feel a lot better about themselves," Coughlin said.

    Coughlin said Manning had Toomer open deep in the first quarter and underthrew the ball. Shockey fell on another pattern and Hilliard was deliberately tripped by a fallen defender on a play where Coughlin said the officials missed the call.

    Manning, who was not available Monday, was concerned his play had caused teammates to lose trust in him.

    "I do know I haven't proved anything to them," Manning said Sunday. "I have to show them I know what I am doing."

    While he knew the jump from Mississippi to the NFL would be tough, Manning has been surprised by his own play.

    "You never expect it to go like this," said the younger brother of NFL co-MVP Peyton Manning. "I'm struggling now, but I have to find a way to get out of this."

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  2. #2
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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    At this point, I'm glad to see Manning starting. Warner has made his point and shown he can still be an effective starter in the NFL despite a horrible line and inept recievers. While I think he would have done exponentially better than Eli the last four games, I'm glad he's not in there taking a beating. Besides, I'm having too fun watching the spoiled brat get his just reward. Seeing a possible playoff spot foe crash and burn is nice too.

  3. #3
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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    At this point, I'm glad to see Manning starting. Warner has made his point and shown he can still be an effective starter in the NFL despite a horrible line and inept recievers. While I think he would have done exponentially better than Eli the last four games, I'm glad he's not in there taking a beating. Besides, I'm having too fun watching the spoiled brat get his just reward. Seeing a possible playoff spot foe crash and burn is nice too.
    I concur with your assessment

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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    /agree with both of you

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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    Believe me, seeing Warner play those two series against Baltimore was the highlight of my Sunday. Man, I was in such a good mood before the Rams game started.

  6. #6
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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    They made the decision and there's no turning back.
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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Believe me, seeing Warner play those two series against Baltimore was the highlight of my Sunday. Man, I was in such a good mood before the Rams game started.
    I felt the same way Mok. Warner only improved his value with that short stint although detractors would say it was after the outcome was already decided and against a passive defense. To me, it simulated what he could do in a situation where he had a good line and competent recievers in contrast to being judged solely on his stats playing on an offense that gave him little support as a starter.

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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    The other point about that is the Ravens don't really play conservative defense. They weren't rushing three and sitting back in a zone with their backups. They were still playing the same defense that they were playing at the start of the third quarter for the most part. Ray Lewis was still on the field as well as most of the starters.

    Granted, the game was already decided but that's actually in Warner's favor as well. The game was already decided in the 3rd and half of the 4th when Eli was still struggling. There was an obvious improvement when Warner came in the game. Warner looked refreshed compared to his last start vs. the Cardinals. He finally played, like I've been saying all along, like he didn't have a gorilla on his back. He knew where he stood and wasn't worried about making a mistake and losing his job. I still think that's been his biggest problem since 2002, constantly looking over his shoulder.

    No one will believe me since I'm a Warner radical, but it seems that it's a very possible, dare I say, likely scenario?

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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    No QB can perform when the expectation is perfection and they are constantly looking over their shoulder (although Brees might be the exception to that theory this season). Bulger was proof of that last year...look how much better he's playing this year. Sure some of that is just more experience, but I think Warner being gone has also played a part.

    I'm genuinely happy for Warner....yes he's been benched, but he's proved beyond doubt that he can still play. I hope things work out for him next season. I'm tired of him having to play the part of the scarificial lamb on a team with no offensive line.

    On a side note, I think the decision to bench him came from upstairs. I think given the chance, Coughlin would have rather had Manning sit and learn all season long. It's just as well, let the Golden Boy take his lumps behind that sorry excuse for an offensive line.

    I've said it before and I still firmly believe that Warner will prove alot of people wrong before he's done.

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    No one will believe me since I'm a Warner radical
    Fear not, bro....there are still believers out there.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    Fear not, bro....there are still believers out there.
    We're EVERYWHERE, we're EVERYWHERE.

    Good thoughts all.

  11. #11
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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    There aren't a lot of teams that Warner would fit in as an immediate starter next year though. If the Cowboys don't at least make an attempt at Brees they will have a huge fan base to answer to. Denver is intriguing. Baltimore is out as Boller has come on. Collins is firing finally in Oakland so that's out. I wouldn't wish any QB to play behind the Miami line.

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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    There aren't a lot of teams that Warner would fit in as an immediate starter next year though. If the Cowboys don't at least make an attempt at Brees they will have a huge fan base to answer to. Denver is intriguing. Baltimore is out as Boller has come on. Collins is firing finally in Oakland so that's out. I wouldn't wish any QB to play behind the Miami line.
    True, but San Diego is going to franchise Brees. Is Dallas willing to pony up what it would cost to trade for Brees?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    All indications here think that they will. They've stockpiled a bunch of draft picks, and Brees is from Austin Westlake.

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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    All indications here think that they will. They've stockpiled a bunch of draft picks, and Brees is from Austin Westlake.
    Wow, SD would be rolling in draft picks between Dallas and the Giants! That could be quite handy for them, assuming Rivers pans out.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  15. #15
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    If I were the Chargers, I'd consider putting Rivers on the trading block rather than Brees. Its not like Brees is old, and he has now proven he can be a very good NFL QB. Rivers, on the other hand, has proven nothing thus far, and could be the next Heath Shuler, Ryan Leaf or Akili Smith for all they know.

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