Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tom Coughlin says Eli Manning won't be benched this season

Tom Coughlin knows Eli Manning is struggling but believes his two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback is getting too much blame for his winless team's current plight.

And no, there will be no sudden benching of his quarterback this season, and the Giants head coach made that clear on Wednesday during his conference call with Minnesota Vikings reporters.

"If I hear you right," said Coughlin, "That [benching Manning] hasn’t crossed my mind at all."

"I’m sure he would tell you that he would like to play better, there’s no doubt about that," Coughlin added. "I have every confidence in the world that he will."

Coughlin also referred to a remark about the time missed in the offseason by the Giants' top two receivers as a factor in the passing-game problems.

"Everyone is in support of Eli," Coughlin said of Manning, who has thrown an NFL-high 15 interceptions. "He's the guy that's put us in the position we've been in. We know that there's great talent there, and this is something that we're all going through – not just Eli.

"There's some growing pains here with some different people involved and some people that really didn't get the offseason that we would have hoped."

Manning lead the league with 15 interceptions, his 53.7 completion percentage and 64.0 quarterback rating rank ahead of only Blaine Gabbert and Josh Freeman among qualified quarterbacks and he hasn’t led the Giants to a single victory all season. He is headed dangerously close to breaking George Blanda's single-season record of 42 passes thrown to the wrong team.

The Giants veteran said he’s not worried about a benching, although Manning added that he hasn’t earned the right to be above such a move. “I think it’s all a case of what have you done for me lately?” Manning said. “And I have high expectations for myself and expect to bring a contender every year and try to win championships and make the playoffs and play at a high level. I’ve got to make some better plays and make some better decisions when I’m in some bad spots,” he added, “so I’ll continue to work on that.”

Manning said he’s been in contact with older brother Peyton throughout the season.

“He’s been supportive, just saying keep grinding,” Eli said. “Football is a crazy game and that’s just a part of it. Over the years, we’ve talked about how you’ve got to cherish each win because they are well-earned and you’ve got to fight for each one and it’s tough.”

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