First published on Examiner
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has played the last two games without number one wide receiver Steve Smith. We now know he’ll be without his number two WR, Hakeem Nicks, for about three weeks. Manning realizes that it’s going to be an uphill battle for the entire New York offense for the rest of the regular season.
“You’ve got your top two receivers out, it’s always a big blow,” Manning explained on Monday. “But we learn how to fight, learn how to fight through it and other guys have got to step up. We’ve got to run the ball, we’ve got to get guys open and get them keyed into what they’ve got do and I’ve got to play great football. You just move on. You adjust, you think, ‘Hey, who’s going to fill that spot? How are you going to game plan and how are we going to go win this game?'”
The Giants are currently 0-2 in the second half of the 2010 NFL regular season, leading many Big Blue fans to worry about yet another November-December letdown. Manning is thus far staying positive, saying “We had a chance to win yesterday. It’s not like we fell apart and got blown out. We had the lead in the fourth quarter and had some opportunities to win the game. We didn’t play our best football at the end of that game. We have this week, and all we can worry about is Jacksonville. You all can worry about the rest.”
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw had yet another fumble on Sunday night, and many New York fans are comparing Bradshaw to former RB Tiki Barber, and not in a good way. Manning didn’t throw his teammate under the bus, saying “I’m not worried about him. He runs hard and he makes a lot of plays for us. Every turnover is going to have its own excuse or own reason. He got kind of picked up in a pile, the guy did a good job of just getting his hands in there and ripping it out with a couple defenders around him. I think he’s going to run hard and make plays for us. Right now, we have six games left and we have Jacksonville this week. They have some talent, and it’s not a team we face very often so we have to have a great week of preparation, go out there, and see if we can play our best football.”
Eli Manning is a professional on and off the field, and none of his comments on Monday come as any real surprise. He is taking responsibility for his own miscues and realizes the offense as a whole must play better. Knowing this and actually doing it, however, are two different things.
All quotes via New York Giants Communications Office