For the men who played alongside New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, they know full well what he’s capable of, even at this late stage of his career.
Retired Giants defensive end Justin Tuck is one of those men, and on Tuesday, he shared similar sentiments when he suggested Big Blue stick with Eli and, instead of finding a quarterback replacement, continue working on their offensive and defensive lines.
“The second half of the season showed he really still has a lot in the tank. He’s never been a mobile quarterback. I think when you keep him upright he can be just as good as he always has been,” Tuck told NJ Advance Media. “I hope we continue to add pieces to our offensive line like we did. I love Hernandez. We’ve got to continue to upgrade that position.
“I think the sky is the limit for this team. I love the mix of young talent they have. I would like to see a little more leadership, but it’s a work in progress. I do think Eli still has a lot left. It’s there for us to have it.”
While the Giants’ offensive line was improved a bit from a year prior, it still ranked in the bottom half of the league and Manning was sacked a career-high 47 times. Needless to say, that must be addressed this offseason.
Moreover, Tuck feels, someone has to step up and into a leadership role, specifically on the defensive side of the ball.
“A lot of it has to do with leadership. A lot of it has to do with not getting too highs with the highs and too lows with the lows,” Tuck said. “A football game is going to swing back and forth. It’s the team that stays as even-keeled as possible and is going to make those plays in the final minute that determines the outcome.
“I saw too many people get too upset or too frustrated with one particular play. You might have seen that with us, but we knew the next play was more important than whatever just happened because we can’t change what happened. We only can dictate what’s going forward.”
In the end, Tuck says, the Giants are “close” to contending for another Super Bowl, but they must address some of their lingering problems. We’ll see in short order if general manager Dave Gettleman does exactly that.