The New York Giants didn’t have much going for them this season, and their passing attack was an incredibly big disappointment due to a shockingly poor year from star quarterback Eli Manning. Some of those many interceptions and errant passes were indeed on Manning, but circumstances around him didn’t exactly help him out either. For one thing, the Giants offensive line was a mess this year, and the pressure came quickly and from the interior of the line. That hurts most quarterbacks significantly more than pressure from the outside, but it hurts quarterbacks who aren’t running QBs the most.
Moreover, there was a disconnect between Manning and his receivers, as Hakeem Nicks was invisible for much of the year (I think it’s fair to wonder if he was even trying) and Rueben Randle isn’t consistent enough to be relied upon. Randle has excellent talent and upside, but he can’t run routes well enough and isn’t polished. Brandon Myers was far from the safety outlet the Giants envisioned when they signed him, and the fact of the matter is that Victor Cruz was the lone reliable target in the passing game for Manning. That doesn’t absolve Manning of blame, but it’s important to note that bad route-running and a disconnect between a QB and his WRs can have an immensely negative impact on a quarterback, particularly when interior pressure is thrown into an occasion. Remember when Tom Brady stunk at the beginning of the season? Those same general factors contributed to his slump, and fixing those issues will help Manning have a bounce-back year.
Even though Cruz had an excellent season in 2013, he still felt a disconnect with Manning and wants to work as hard as possible in the offseason in order for he and Manning to be on the same exact page in 2014; that’s definitely something for Giants fans to look forward to.
According to NJ.com’s Conor Orr, Cruz stated that he wants to work out with Manning starting after Valentine’s Day. Why wait about a month? To give Manning time to rest, because the QB is dealing with a high-ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 17.
Cruz said, “My date is after Valentine’s Day. I’m going to give Eli some time. He’s got that high ankle. So probably right after Valentine’s Day I’m going to hit him up and see what his schedule is. I know he’s got some offseason things he wants to do individually, so we’ll see if we can link up and get together and throw some balls. Hopefully in a warm climate because it’s pretty cold over here. We’ll see how that goes.”