Even Lawrence Taylor, perhaps the greatest Giants player of all-time, has seen enough of Eli Manning.
The Hall of Fame linebacker weighed in on the 2018 Giants in an interview with Gary Myers of The Athletic and questioned the 37-year-old, two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback’s passion for the game.
“Eli is Eli,” Taylor said. “He has been a very good quarterback throughout the league. Don’t get me wrong – he’s not my type of quarterback. I know he wants to win. I know he wants to perform. But hey, a guy that plays with no passion, is to me, is a waste of my time.”
Manning’s even-keeled demeanor is nothing new. He has carried himself the same way through the two Giants Super Bowls he won as he has the last two seasons — the only difference is the team is no longer winning.
The Giants are 1-7 and are 4-20 since the start of last season and it has opened the door for criticism from someone like Taylor, who played in an era where players constantly got on one another.
“I got to have a guy – Phil Simms will get fired up. You look at Tom Brady – he is out there 17 years and that’s somebody who gets fired up. You understand what I’m saying?” said Taylor. “I know he’s not that type of leader but somebody’s got to do it. Unless you just want to say, ‘I played for the New York Giants,’ that’s fine. Somebody has got to take the reins and start getting on the players’ asses and make them accountable and it can’t be the coach.”
There is one guy who often gets fired up on the sideline, and that is Odell Beckham Jr.
But Taylor added that even the talented Giants wide receiver needs to step up.
“The guy wants to win,” he said. “He is a catalyst on that team. I’m not trying to fault him, but he needs to step up. He’s already a great player. Now we need a great leader.”