Sunday Morning QB: How about Eli Manning just calls the plays?

It was Eli Manning’s opportunity for a hostile takeover of the Giants play-calling and he blew it.

When the communication to his radio helmet from Ben McAdoo’s headset went down early in the fourth quarter last Sunday night against the Cowboys, instead of imploring McAdoo to get him a play — at one point the coach sent Odell Beckham in with the info — Manning should have told McAdoo, “I got this,” turned his back to the sidelines, huddled up and called the play himself.

In fact, I would shake up the Giants’ dreary offense, which has been underachieving all season, and let Manning call all the plays himself Sunday against the Lions and see how it goes. It could create the spark that has been missing all season.

In the days before head coaches became control freaks — yes, such a day existed — quarterbacks actually called the plays themselves.

Really. No kidding.

Ben McAdoo had to resort to using walkie-talkie to communicate plays to Eli Manning in fourth quarter of last Sunday’s 10-7 win over Cowboys.

Ben McAdoo had to resort to using walkie-talkie to communicate plays to Eli Manning in fourth quarter of last Sunday’s 10-7 win over Cowboys.

((Evan Pinkus via AP)/AP)

McAdoo was handed a walkie-talkie on the Giants sideline to communicate with Manning during the technological breakdown — a no-no because the league is powerless to then turn off the communication with 15 seconds on the play clock like it does with the headset communication. The Giants could get fined for breaking the rules.

It’s understandable why walkie-talkies are banned. If there is no system cutoff, McAdoo could conceivably talk Manning through the play as it develops and be an extra set of eyes as he looks downfield.

“Hey, Eli, Cruz is open underneath. No, no, dump it to Vereen. Forget that, Beckham is by himself down the right sideline.” Touchdown.

The Giants offense has been malfunctioning since training camp. Not only should Manning have taken over the play calling for the handful of plays that McAdoo’s headset-to-helmet signal wasn’t working, but if it’s true Manning is actually a coach on the field, could the offense be any less productive if he was calling the plays instead of McAdoo?

This is Manning’s third year in McAdoo’s system. In the first two, the Giants averaged 23.8 points and 26.3 points. This year, it’s all the way down to 19.6 — just about a touchdown per game — despite Manning having improved weapons with the return of Victor Cruz and the contributions of rookie Sterling Shepard.

Why does Eli Manning need to look to his coach to call the plays?

Why does Eli Manning need to look to his coach to call the plays?

(Al Tielemans/AP)

There are many logical theories for the lack of production — no running game, no tight end threat, shaky offensive line — but many of the shortcomings existed the last two years and the Giants were still scoring.

The difference is McAdoo is now the head coach. He has an entire team to worry about 24/7. He’s not able to devote all his time to the offense. Thirteen games is a big enough sample size to conclude something is not working.

Manning might be the smartest quarterback in the league. Nobody studies harder or has a better grasp of the game plan. There is nothing about the offense he doesn’t understand. He has a better feel for the game on the field than McAdoo does on the sideline.

So, let him call the plays. Really, could the offense be any worse?

It would be a faster-paced attack with Manning calling the shot. He always functions more effectively and is more productive out of the hurry up. More quick throws. And certainly more shots down the field to Beckham in addition to the slant route that is unstoppable and explosive.

The issue is coaches don’t trust players to do anything but carry out their orders and audible at the line when the quarterback realizes the play sent in is not going to work.

No coach wanted to be more in control than Tom Landry. He started the messenger system with his guards to bring in the plays. In a 1971 game in Chicago, Landry reached the height of absurdity when he was torn between QBs Roger Staubach and Craig Morton and decided to rotate them every play. Of course, they would bring the plays with them. The Cowboys lost and Landry settled on Staubach and won the Super Bowl that season. But Landry still called the plays.

Eventually, the head coach or offensive coordinator took over the play calling on every team. It evolved into the hand signal system and then to the helmet communication.

The Giants’ offense is a mess. Give Manning a chance to figure this out.

THE HYPOCRITE WAY

Bill Belichick is an enabler and hypocrite. Just a couple of days after receiver Arizona receiver Michael Floyd was arrested for DUI and failure to obey a police officer, the Cards cut their 2012 first-round pick and the Patriots were the only team to claim him.

If a player is late for a meeting or practice, Belichick sends them home (he did that to Darrelle Revis in 2014) or buries them on the depth chart (Jonas Gray got the treatment five days after he rushed for 201 yards in a 2014 game and never re-emerged), but gave Floyd a job after he was found asleep drunk with his foot on the brake at a Scottsdale intersection. Floyd could have killed somebody.

The Patriots Way is a bunch of holier than thou propaganda. It’s the Belichick Way, which adjusts the rules to fit his needs.

Belichick needed a receiver, Floyd is extremely talented although he’s had a bad season, the Pats are about to make a Super Bowl run, and at $76,000 per game for the last three games, Belichick decided it was money well spent and all of a sudden he’s Father Flanagan. Floyd will be a free agent after the season, so Belichick gets a cost effective look.

I was critical of the Giants for bringing back Josh Brown once they found out about his domestic violence arrest. Well, how about Robert Kraft okaying Belichick signing Floyd?

If Floyd’s foot came off the brake while he was sleeping at the intersection before the police arrived to box him in with their cars, there could have been fatalities. Floyd also had a DUI arrest in 2011.

If Floyd has a drinking problem, the Patriots better find out fast and get him help. How is Belichick going to feel if Floyd drives drunk again and endangers lives in New England?

Belichick may be considered a great coach — I can make a strong case he’s overrated and been living off Tom Brady’s excellence — but he is also nauseating.

“We’re aware of the situation that came up earlier in the week,” he said. “We’ll let that legal situation play itself out. We’ll just see how it goes. It’s a player we haven’t had before. Look forward to working with him and we’ll just see how it goes.”

THE REX STEP

It’s not looking good for Rex Ryan to keep his job in Buffalo. But he will walk away with the Bills owing him the last three years of his five-year $27.5 million deal if he gets fired. That’s a $16.5 million golden parachute. Of course, it’s only fitting the Bills finish the regular season at MetLife against the Jets. Is it fair Ryan only gets two years? It seems he’s being held responsible by the Bills’ relatively new owners Terry and Kim Pegula for Buffalo not making the playoffs since 1999, the longest stretch in the league. I believe Ryan’s next job will be adding some energy on the CBS or ESPN pre-game shows. Ryan is entertaining, but he’s not Jimmy Fallon. The networks are going to want him to be stocked with one-liners and he can’t live up to those expectations. He’s a funny guy, but it’s all relative. He’s being compared to other NFL head coaches.

MOVIN’ ON UP

The Chargers’ move to Los Angeles seems inevitable. They have until Jan. 15 to exercise their option to be the Rams’ tenant for $1 per year in the new stadium in Inglewood in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Raiders are determined to move to Las Vegas and have until one month after their season is over to file relocation papers.

Oakland and San Diego have the two worst stadiums in the NFL and neither city is willing to support corporate welfare and cough up the money the teams are demanding to stay.

“I think the Chargers would like to get out of San Diego and try to work something out with (Rams owner Stan) Kroenke,” Giants co-owner John Mara said. “The Raiders would like to play in Las Vegas. There is a lot of financial support behind that move. My personal feeling is when that proposal is brought up to ownership, there could be enough support to approve the move from Oakland to Las Vegas.”

It would be a shame if San Diego lost the Chargers and Oakland lost the Raiders for a second time. The Chargers started in Los Angeles in the AFL and moved to San Diego in 1961. “I don’t see where the support is to stay,” Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said.

The Chargers would be required to cough up a $650 million relocation fee to be paid back over a long period of time. For the next two years, they would play in either the L.A. Coliseum or the StubHub Center in Carson, a soccer-specific stadium which seats only 27,000. It’s far enough from San Diego that they will have to develop a a predominantly new fan base in a city where the Rams’ return (if not their on-field results) has been embraced.

POST FISHER

The Rams are not going to get Jim Harbaugh out of Michigan. He’s going to be at his alma mater for a long time. Why would he leave for the Rams? He has a better team and a better job, his parents just moved to Ann Arbor earlier this year to be near their grandkids and he’s already making NFL money at Michigan in a complex contract. Kroenke would love to have Pete Carroll, who won two national titles at USC. But he signed a three-year extension through 2019 with the Seahawks before the season and there’s no way owner Paul Allen lets him go to a division rival… So, who replaces Jeff Fisher? Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan are the best fits to try and turn Jared Goff into a franchise QB. But will McDaniels wait out Belichick in New England. If Belichick plans to leave with Brady, then McDaniels could be waiting longer than he wants. Brady is 39 but plans to keep on going. He has 22 TDs, 2 INTs and an 8-1 record since serving his ridiculous Deflategate suspension.

SHY OF LT

Brady compared Broncos LB Von Miller to Lawrence Taylor, which is his way of making nice before Sunday’s game in Denver. Miller may be the best since LT, but he is not LT. Brady mentioned he never played against Taylor but he’s “watched a lot of Lawrence Taylor.” Big difference. But Miller did have a big game against Brady in last season’s AFC title game: 2.5 sacks, four QB hits and an interception… The NFL will now play four games in London next year, but they aren’t exactly giving our friends on the other side of the pond elite matchups: Ravens-Jaguars, Saints-Dolphins, Vikings-Browns, Cardinals-Rams… The salary cap is expected to increase from $155 million this year up to $165 million in 2017. In the first year of the cap in 1994, it was $34.6 million. Business is good.

VALUABLE VOTE

I have an Associated Press All-Pro vote. It’s not due until a couple of days after the season. Who is the MVP? The main contenders: Derek Carr, Brady, Matthew Stafford, Dak Prescott, Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott and Matt Ryan. With three games remaining, I’m leaning towards Carr… The Lions’ game at MetLife is their first outdoors since they beat the Bears in Chicago on Oct. 2. The Giants should want the weather as miserable as possible, especially with Stafford dealing with a dislocated middle finger on his throwing hand… Stafford and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw grew up playing youth sports together in Dallas. They were teammates in football and baseball at Highland Park High School. Stafford was Kershaw’s catcher in baseball and Kershaw was Stafford’s center in football. “I think Matthew’s probably got the better arm,” Kershaw said. “Put it this way, he can definitely throw a baseball better than I can throw a football.”

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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