Training camp is time for optimism, so you might as well shoot high.
Or, in the Giants' case with Eli Manning, shoot for one of the greatest seasons in NFL history, in terms of completion percentage.
Giants quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf told the New York Daily News that the goal for Manning this season is to complete 70 percent of his passes. Manning has a 58.5 percent career mark, completed 57.5 percent last year and his career best is 62.9 percent.
"We'd love to be up there at 70 percent," Langsdorf said. "It hasn't been done very often. That's the ultimate goal. We'd like to raise his completion percentage for sure."
Hey, aim really high and even if you come close it will be a success. That makes sense. But if 70 percent sounds really, really high, it's because it is.
Four players in league history have completed 70 percent of their passes: Drew Brees (who did it twice, which is yet another reason he's one of the five greatest quarterbacks ever), Steve Young, Joe Montana and Ken Anderson. So that's three of the top 10 quarterbacks ever, and the underrated Anderson. So, no problem, Eli.
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It's like the Red Sox hoping David Ortiz hits .400 next season. It's great to set lofty goals ... but, no.
Manning will be in an offense that focuses on quick, short passes, so his percentage should rise. The Giants will be running a version of the West Coast offense with new coordinator Ben McAdoo, who was Green Bay's quarterbacks coach the last two years. But keep in mind, even the great Aaron Rodgers never completed 70 percent of his passes. And Manning is coming off a treacherous 2013, when he had 27 interceptions, which led the NFL.
If Manning can get to the mid-60s in completion percentage, he'll have had a fine season. If he gets 70 percent, other teams might want to get Langsdorf on the phone right away to see if he'd like to be their offensive coordinator or head coach, because 70 percent means that he might be a magician.
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- Eli Manning
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