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  1. #1
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    SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB
    Posted: Tuesday November 16, 2004 11:17AM;
    Updated: Tuesday November 16, 2004 1:29PM

    New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin announced the news in his typically stern manner. Eli Manning is the future of his team, Coughlin said during his Monday afternoon press conference, and the future is starting now. He talked about Manning's preparation and attitude and made it seem as if the rookie quarterback was ready to lead a team that is in a mind-boggling free-fall. But Coughlin didn't sound confident. He sounded desperate. And if he thinks Eli Manning is going to change the Giants' fortunes, he's about to be seriously disappointed.

    It's one thing for the New York media to clamor for Manning to replace struggling starter Kurt Warner. But for Coughlin to move to Manning now -- with the Giants sitting at 5-4 in a conference in which nine victories might secure a playoff spot -- smacks of sheer lunacy.

    What exactly does Manning bring to the Giants offense that Warner didn't? He's just as immobile as Warner, which means he'll be sitting in the pocket and probably taking as many sacks as Warner did over the last four weeks. That's the reality of playing behind an offensive line that has started to perform as poorly as many people expected it would when the season began. Manning certainly won't take better care of the football than Warner did last Sunday, when he didn't not give the ball away in a 17-14 loss to Arizona. Warner atoned for a four-turnover performance a week earlier by not giving the ball away once in a loss to Arizona. And the last time I checked, Manning wasn't playing both ways, so he couldn't help a defense that has blown double-digit leads against offensively challenged teams in consecutive weeks.

    There are countless issues for the Giants to address but apparently Manning is the man who will have to overcome them. It's a difficult position to place him in. He's only played in two games, both when the outcomes were clearly decided, so he'll have little feel for the action. He also didn't look so hot in his season-opening debut in relief of Warner, when Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jerome McDougle hit him so hard that Manning briefly resembled a life-sized Bobblehead doll. Coughlin wisely stuck with Warner as his starter after that game, if for no other reason than that it made more sense for a 33-year-old quarterback to take that kind of abuse than the first pick in the draft. Now Manning is surely going to face worse treatment.

    His first opponent up will be Atlanta, a team that had seven sacks in a win over Tampa Bay last Sunday. He then gets an Eagles defense that will be blitzing him all afternoon. Then comes Washington, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, three teams that all rank among the NFL's top five defensive units. If people thought Warner was having problems moving the offense, wait until they see how Manning fares against those squads.

    This isn't to say that Manning is going to be a bust. He's the son of Archie, brother of Peyton. He'll be fine in a year or two. His place as the NFL's next poster boy is secure. But he won't be this season's next Ben Roethlisberger. He doesn't have any of the support that Roethlisberger has enjoyed. No outstanding defense. No sturdy offensive line. No power running game. And no low expectations. When Roethlisberger replaced an injured Tommy Maddox earlier this season, even his teammates weren't anticipating much from him. Any positive he gave them was a nice benefit. Manning is being asked to save a team's season. A team from New York, no less, which only heightens the pressure.

    It's the worst way for a quarterback to learn how to play in the NFL. Nobody in the Giants locker room will be talking about how great Manning will be in the coming years if his play costs them games now. They'll be watching all the other ordinary teams in the NFC chugging by them in the postseason race. They'll know that they'd be better off with an experienced quarterback at this time of the season than a rookie who has barely played a half of football. And the fact is Warner has earned the chance to play through these problems. He hasn't been spectacular but he's a big reason why they started the season with four wins in their first five games.

    Given Warner's experience in big games and handling a roller-coaster career, there's a good chance he might have weathered this stretch of adversity. He understands the ups and downs of NFL life as well as anybody, which would certainly give him an advantage in this season of ebbs and flows. Look around the NFC. Green Bay and St. Louis are sitting in first place in their respective divisions after many miserable moments. Minnesota and Seattle have cooled off after inspiring talk that they could reach the Super Bowl. None of these teams has panicked. The Giants, however, have done just that by going with Manning. He's definitely their future. But right now, that future looks far brighter than their present.


    Jeffri Chadiha covers the NFL for Sports Illustrated and is a frequent contributor to SI.com.

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  2. #2
    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    I guess the other side of the coin is:

    Manning may get sacked as much as Warner, but Warners hand has proven to be more prone to have that ball pop out when sacked. It's not so much a concern in passing, but hanging on to the ball when getting sacked.

    It's what the fans want, and if they don't start Manning now, they would really get some flak to try to put him in later in the year. At this point it's not like "we give up". In week 12, however, it would be a sign that they are looking to next year, so might as well do it now.

    Too bad for Kurt. He might have taken the G-men to the playoffs, which would have been interesting.

  3. #3
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    Re: SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    Tom Coughlin should be the poster boy for idiotic decisions, not Mike Martz. This decision just makes no sense, not when your 5-4 and in the thick of the playoff race. If Manning is successful, I for one will be shocked. Of course as a Warnerite and Manning hater ever since he snubbed the Chargers, I'm hoping he falls flat on his face. That is if he's able to keep his head attached to his shoulders. Welcome to the regular season Eli, your gonna love it.

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    Re: SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    Just for everyone's info, and to try and dispell a popular misconception, Warner, through 9 games this year, was 6th on the list of qb's and how often they fumble per sack. I realize that most people don't care about the facts in this regard and would rather just go by impression and perception but I thought I would throw it out there.

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    Re: SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Just for everyone's info, and to try and dispell a popular misconception, Warner, through 9 games this year, was 6th on the list of qb's and how often they fumble per sack. I realize that most people don't care about the facts in this regard and would rather just go by impression and perception but I thought I would throw it out there.
    Right, but are you saying that's okay, to be sixth?
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    Re: SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    The solution to this dilemma is simple. One of Atlanta's defensive players takes one for the team and knocks Eli out in the 1st series. Warner has to return and NY lives with the results.

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    Re: SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    Quote Originally Posted by afrightertoo
    The solution to this dilemma is simple. One of Atlanta's defensive players takes one for the team and knocks Eli out in the 1st series. Warner has to return and NY lives with the results.
    What a horrible thought - I wonder if adarian agrees with you.

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    Re: SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    What a horrible thought.
    You have to forgive me. There is a war or two or three going on right now. This is no time for morality, the story is still unfolding, and halloween is still being celebrated somewhere. Horror is the thought of the day.

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    Re: SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    Quote Originally Posted by afrightertoo
    You have to forgive me. There is a war or two or three going on right now. This is no time for morality, the story is still unfolding, and halloween is still being celebrated somewhere. Horror is the thought of the day.
    Wait a minute...I thought I just heard Adariantoo speaking. I'M SO CONFUSED! :redface:

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    Re: SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    Tom Coughlin should be the poster boy for idiotic decisions, not Mike Martz. This decision just makes no sense, not when your 5-4 and in the thick of the playoff race. If Manning is successful, I for one will be shocked. Of course as a Warnerite and Manning hater ever since he snubbed the Chargers, I'm hoping he falls flat on his face. That is if he's able to keep his head attached to his shoulders. Welcome to the regular season Eli, your gonna love it.
    OH HELL YES. I'm with you on that r8rh8r!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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