Kevin Gilbride: 'Ludicrous' to say Eli Manning in decline


Outgoing offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride finds it hard to believe that the New York Giants' brass has wondered if Eli Manning has reached the decline phase of his career.

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It would be easy for Gilbride to play along, pinning the blame for his disappointing offense on subpar quarterback play.

Instead, Gilbride shot down the notion as "ludicrous" while appearing on Monday's edition of NBCSN's "Pro Football Talk."

"There's been no deterioration of his arm strength, there's been no lack of preparation and effort," Gilbride said. "I think he's going to be fine as soon as they solidify the offensive line ... and as soon as they get somebody that's going to be productive for them as an outside receiver.

"Victor Cruz is terrific, but they need somebody that when they go match up, bump and run (and) go win for them."

As part of their offseason due diligence, the Giants owe it to themselves to ask if Manning is in decline -- especially with a contract due to expire after the 2015 season.

It's a good bet that the front office has reached the same conclusion as Gilbride, though.

Discussing the issue on Monday's edition of the "Around The League Podcast," we drew a comparison between the current version of Manning and Brett Favre's 2005 to '06 nadir on a rebuilding Packers team with a crumbling offensive line and a disturbing lack of weapons.

The difference is that Favre is one of the top 10 quarterbacks in NFL history, while Eli has been one of the most overrated. If the latter bounces back, it will be to slightly above average -- not great.

The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" covers the Aldon Smith arrest and analyzes the offseason movers and shakers in the NFC East and NFC South.