Se dirigerait on vers la fin de l’ère Manning? En tout cas, c’est une possibilité vers laquelle se dirigent éventuellement les Giants depuis que leur nouveau coordinateur offensif a annoncé aujourd’hui qu’il y aurait une compétition complètement ouverte,pour le poste de QB titulaire:
This is the result of some lenghty discussions between the general manager, coach Coughlin and myself. We agreed that considering that we were going to install a new scheme for the offensive squad, it would be fair to give everyone a real shot – because this is not going to be some kind of fake open competition where it’s all about giving the impression that the job is open to anyone – a real shot to show what they are made of and to prove to the coaches and the team that they have what it takes to lead this team and help us win. A little competition never hurt anyone. In the end this will help the team get better because whoever gets the job will be the one that gives us the best chances to win.
Quand on demande à l’OC si ce n’est pas un peu sévère mais aussi incohérent de remettre en cause le statut de titulaire d’Eli Manning après que le coaching staff ait que la principale mission de McAdoo était de remettre Eli sur les rails, le coordinateur répond par la négative:
I don’t think this decision is in anyway a shot taken at Eli Manning. Eli has been a great QB for this franchise winning 2 Super Bowls but sometimes even great players need to be challenged in order to get better. Challenging Eli is part of fixing him. So this is more an opportunity for Eli to confirm his status of franchise QB. I am confident that this competition will be very beneficial to Eli and the offense.
Du coup avec ce revirement de situation, on se demande si les Giants comptent inclure un rookie dans cette compétition. Restant fidèle à la stratégie du secret mise en place par Jerry Reese concernant la draft, McAdoo laisse quand même entendre qu’ajouter du sang neuf lui ferait plaisir:
You will have to talk to Jerry regarding the team’s plans for the draft. But I doubt that you’d get anything from him. Let’s just say that there are definetly some guys out there that I wouldn’t mind to have on my team.
De son côté, Tom Coughlin admet que la décision ne fut pas facile mais qu’il est convaincu que c’est la meilleure décision pour l’équipe:
You know, I really wasn’t a fan of this idea when Ben suggested it the first time. But after a long debate with Ben and Jerry, we’ve agreed that it was the way to go in order to improve on the offensive side. This decision even got the approval of the owners who usually don’t get too involved in football operations. This shows you how important the decision was for the team.
Coughlin n’a pas encore parlé avec son QB mais il semble certain que ce dernier ne réagira pas négativement à cette annonce:
Eli is a smart guy and most importantly he is a competitive player. He knows that he is the one who led this team to 2 championships so I have no doubt that he will embrace this challenge and prove once again that this is his team.
Mais Coughlin n’oublie pas les autres candidats au poste de QB:
This is a big opportunity for Ryan (Nassib), Curtis (Painter) and whoever we bring in the near future. Not everyone gets a chance like that. So these guys need to step up and convince us that they have what it takes to make this team win. And let me tell you something: if one of them is able to beat a two time Super Bowl winning QB, then we’ll be in very good hands to wing another trophy soon.
Même Victor Cruz semble aimer l’idée:
You know, being a guy who was not drafted and had to start from the very bottom of the depth chart, I know what it feels like to fight in order to get a job. This made me a better player and I probably wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t challenged to get this job. Competition is good for everyone. And it could be nice to catches passes from someone new.
Eli Manning et son agent ont été contactés mais aucun d’entre eux n’a souhaité faire de commentaire.