Phil Simms got himself in hot water with Giant fans earlier this week by making a statement that current Giants QB Eli Manning is not an elite NFL quarterback.
Today, he reaffirmed his stance on WFAN with Boomer and Carton this morning on the air.
“I can say with all honesty, as it was coming out of my mouth I went, ‘Oh boy, this will really create some controversy…But I still said it. You know, I could have — like I’ve done — could have said ‘You know, let’s redo that,’ because at that time we were taping a little segment. But I do stand by how I meant it.”
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
I understand what Simms was saying. If you listen to his reasoning, Eli is good, but he is not the difference-maker that some other QBs in this league are. He’s good, maybe even good enough to make the Hall-of-Fame, just like Dan Marino, Warren Moon and Dan Fouts – three QBs that Simms says were great, but not elite.
It’s a ridiculous argument that proves nothing. Simms was merely trying to illustrate what he felt an elite QB was: a player who makes plays others can’t and has “incredible skills on the field.”
That’s all debatable. Ben Roethlisberger and Eli both have two Super Bowl rings, yet Ben is elite and Eli is not. The bottom line is….who cares? Giant fans know what Eli can do, and that is what counts. He hasn’t done much lately, which isn’t in his favor. If Eli was playing at the pace he was the first two months of the season, this space would be empty.
I’ll bet you a dollar to a dime there isn’t one defensive coordinator in this league who gives a damn what the media (and that’s what Simms is now) thinks about Eli. They still have to game plan for him either way.
As for the jealousy angle, I can’t speak to that. Sometimes it sounds like Simms is jealous of this Giant team, that he longs for his days in Blue. Anyone in their 40’s or 50’s understands that feeling. There are some moments in life you want back at times. Simms could be extra-criticical of Eli and the Giants because he doesn’t want to be a homer, either.
Then there’s the angle where Simms might just be tempering Giant fans’ expectations, which have been raised to what some believe are unachievable levels.