NEW YORK (WFAN) — As far as his own play is concerned, Eli Manning has said things aren’t as bad as they seem.
Terry Bradshaw disagrees.
Speaking with WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Tuesday, Bradshaw seemed genuinely perplexed when told the Giants quarterback said he thinks he’s playing well in the midst of his team’s disastrous 0-5 start.
Manning went on Mike Francesa’s show on Monday night and said don’t read too much into his 12 interceptions and 65.8 passer rating in five games.
“I don’t think I’m playing lousy. I’m seeing the defenses well, throwing the ball accurately. I feel like I’m in sync. It’s just a matter of getting in bad predicaments and not catching many breaks,” Manning said.
“Each day as a quarterback you have to learn from your experiences. I don’t feel like I’m forcing the ball into bad situations, tight places,” he added.
Bradshaw, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame after leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl championships, said speaking from his own experience he can’t believe Manning honestly thinks he’s playing well.
Bradshaw played 14 seasons in the NFL and threw for nearly 28,000 yards, but he only tossed two more touchdowns (212) than interceptions (210).
“Listen, you can’t just say ‘hey let’s forget about the interceptions. Let’s push those aside.’ You can’t do that. You’re looking at a guy who in his last Super Bowl year I think I led the league in interceptions. I was one of the worst at interceptions, so I get it. Honestly, they are easy to throw. I get it,” Bradshaw said.
“I guess he’s basing it on he’s making the right reads and people just aren’t open and you turn the ball loose or you get sacked and he’s not an athletic guy whatsoever, so I mean when they get around him … He had a sack the other night, Sunday, when he just fell straight down before they got there and I was like, wow, I’m not quite used to that, feeling the pressure and you drop,” he added.
Bradshaw, who is currently an analyst for Fox, said Manning needs to own up to the fact that as the starting quarterback and leader of his team he needs to take responsibility for his role in the Giants’ dismal start.
“So for his psyche I think he has to say ‘I’m having a good year.’ I think for all of us out there that are paid to give opinions we say I don’t know what you are seeing. I understand all the problems you got and you are part of it, so that’s kind of the way I would look at it. I would say he’s part of the problem,” Bradshaw said.
He said it’s important that Manning keep going on shows like Francesa’s and being the Giants’ public face, but the bottom line is he needs to tell the truth while doing so, not gloss over something that seems pretty apparent to a lot of people.
“If you are honest with the press to a point, then that takes some of the sting away. You gotta be honest. You can’t say you are having a good year when you have that many interceptions. You just can’t say that,” Bradshaw said.
Manning and the Giants will attempt to avoid an 0-6 start when they take on the Bears in Chicago on Thursday night.
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