New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is no spring chicken. Although it feels like just yesterday when Big Blue acquired him from the San Diego Chargers on draft day, Manning is now 31-years-old and just completed his ninth NFL season. With time slowly ticking away, the now elite veteran finds himself extremely disappointed with the way the 2012 season ended for the Giants, and how they let the chance at repeating slip away.
"In my nine years here, I’ve seen talented teams and have been on teams that weren’t as talented. We were able to get by with some things and win games, but we felt that we have talent, we have playmakers, we’ve got guys who get it, who understand what it takes to win, and play at a high level," Manning said. "To waste that opportunity is disappointing."
It wasn't just wasting talent that has Manning upset, but wasting the rare opportunity for a championship. After nine years in the NFL, he understands how difficult it is to assemble a team capable of winning a Super Bowl, and how much harder it is to actually hoist the Lombardi. And with opportunities so few and far between, letting this one slip away doesn't sit well.
“It’s that we felt, or I felt, that we had great talent on this team,” Manning said. “When you have talent, and you have the guys who are committed, focused, and want to be good, and it’s important to them, you hate to waste those opportunities. Because you just don’t know how many times you are ready to win a championship and you have everything in place.”
Manning's comments reflect those of General Manager Jerry Reese, who said on Monday no one "gets paid for go 9-7."
“We don’t get paid here for the Giants to go 9-7,’’ Reese said. “We got away with that last year, things worked out for us, but we don’t go into our season saying, ‘Man, let’s go 9-7.’"
Prior to the start of the 2012 season, Manning expressed the dire need for the Giants to win more than nine games. He suggested they got lucky in previous years making it into the playoffs with such records, and tried hammer home how important it would be to win at least 10 in 2012. In the end, he turned out to be absolutely correct, and it's undoubtedly something he will remind the players next year when they gather at the start of veteran mini-camp.
Also…Eli Manning, Football, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL