This isn't the kind of situation Tom Coughlin is built for. A situation that requires patience.
"I've never been very good at it," he said Wednesday. "I've tried it. Some people are obviously better than others, and I'm in the other category."
Yet that's exactly what it seems rebuilding the Giants' offense will require. More time, more work, more everything. Even the team the Giants are playing on Sunday, the Cardinals, recognize that. They may not show any sympathy for the Giants this week, but can certainly can empathize with their situation of teaching a new system to a veteran quarterback.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians, who was in a similar situation last year with Carson Palmer, said it took about half the season for his offense to come together.
"It's very hard for someone to change after you've been in a system," Arians said. "He has ideas that you're trying to re-program. It's much easier getting a rookie and brainwashing him than it is to take a vet and change him totally into a new system."
Palmer agreed with the eight- week assessment for the Cardinals, but said that there is no definitive time frame. "You have to weather the storm," he said.
Here in New York, for a team that plays under such scrutiny, that storm can be more harsh than in Arizona. We want our coffee now, our trains on time, and our football turnarounds immediately. Eight weeks?
"To be honest with you, I've preferred not to do that," Coughlin said of adopting Palmer's philosophy. "I've stayed away from that because it has to be sooner than later for all of us."
Manning, who seems innately more patient than Coughlin, has maintained for a while that it will take time to get comfortable with the offense. Maybe even the entire season.
"I think it's always going to be [finding] plays that you've run the most or things you're going to feel most comfortable with," Manning said of the key to improvement. "The more games, practice that we can have running certain plays and getting great looks, the better off we'll be."
Coughlin agreed with that.
"It's not just what you do best, it's your identity," he said. "Where would you go to hang your hat? Do we have it? I don't think that's been established just yet . . . "
"It hasn't been that way for the last few years because we had the same system and we knew exactly what we wanted and when we wanted it."
Coughlin was reminded by the media Wednesday that he showed patience in 2007 when new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's unit looked miserable through the first two games and well into the third.
"I hadn't thought of that analogy," he said. "I'll have to use it [with the players] tomorrow."
Then again, maybe Coughlin wasn't as patient as he tried to project back then.
"I remember being there for those first two games," he said, "scratching my head and saying 'OK great, here we are, what is it 40 [points]?' ''
That team wound up winning the Super Bowl. And even last year's Cardinals, so quick to offer advice to the Giants, saw a decent level of success despite their learning curve.
"Would I take the 10-6 record that they had last year even if we had to go through some very impatient moments?" Coughlin asked aloud. "Well, we'll see about that, too."