New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning isn’t viewing the Daniel Jones pick as a sign that there is competition for the starting job this year.
When New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman drafted Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick, it started the countdown clock on Eli Manning‘s tenure as the starting quarterback. However, the Giants have made it pretty clear that they intend to have Manning serve as the starter for this season.
Thus, Manning is entering his 16th NFL season preparing to be the starter. Although his window is closing, he is expected to at least begin the season at the helm. He understands that, telling NFL Network’s Rhett Lewis in an interview that he doesn’t look at it as a competition this season.
“I mean no, I don’t feel like it’s a competition,” Manning said. “I feel like I’ve got to do my job and I’ve got to compete every day and try to get better every day. That’s the way it’s been my whole life and that’s just the way I’ve always approached practice every day to improve, to earn my place on the team, to earn the respect of the teammates and do it each year.”
Manning, despite being a team icon with two Super Bowl MVP awards to his name, has struggled in recent seasons. He has received no help from his offensive line but his game hasn’t looked as sharp as it did when he was younger. He’ll be hoping to prove he has a little more in the tank.
He spoke more to Lewis about his preparation. He spoke about trying to build relationships with new players that have joined the club, an area he is very well-versed in, being a leader of the Giants for such a long period of time.
“We’ve got new guys and I’m trying to build a relationship with them and get them up to speed and so I’m trying to do my job in the quarterback room,” Manning said via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “I’ve always been good with young quarterbacks, whoever’s been in there, trying to get them up to speed, teaching them about defenses or styles or what our defense plays. So I’m doing the same thing with Daniel and I’m going to be a good teammate, I’m going to do the best that I can do and help everybody on the Giants be successful.”
Manning, of course, has some experience on Jones’ side of the situation, having sat for half a season behind Kurt Warner during his rookie season before taking over. He has drawn on that to try and help Jones adjust to life in the NFL.
“Definitely drawing back on that and I talk to Daniel and I see so many similarities in the situation and how things are going and just what he’s trying to do, his personality,” Manning explained. “He’s coming into this team, he’s just trying to learn the playbook, learn the names of everybody, got to earn the respect of his teammates. He’s got so much going on. He’s got the New York media, dealing with them; all of a sudden they’re saying things Day 1. So just work hard, take your job seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously if you can do that, enjoy your teammates, listen to your coaches and we’re all in this together and we’ll get through it.”
He specifically added that he tried to keep quiet and just learn as a rookie like Jones currently is, saying: “You got to earn the respect. You got to get hit in the mouth a few times and get up before you do a whole lot of talking.”
Having a guy who’s done it all like Manning around should help Jones when he’s asked to take over as the starter, whether that’s this season or in the future.