Daniel Jones will be entering a very crucial sophomore NFL campaign without his predecessor and New York Giants legend Eli Manning.
It’ll be a tad different for Daniel Jones in his second season as the New York Giants quarterback. Entering what’s slated to be his first full year as a starter, Jones won’t have mentor and Giants all-time leading passer Eli Manning by his side.
Sure, it’s a challenge the former Duke Blue Devil must face considering he’ll no longer possess that teacher figure in the quarterback room. Eli certainly provided Jones with a significant level of assistance in 2019, and on Wednesday, the young quarterback ultimately praised the retiree.
“I appreciate everything he did during [last] year,” Jones said to reporters on a video conference call, per Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media. “I don’t know, it will certainly be different in the room. But I really enjoyed working with Eli last year. I thought it was a huge advantage for me to be able to learn from him and talk with him every day.
“It’ll be different [without him], it’ll be an adjustment, but I’m looking forward to this year and this team we have.”
Jones threw for 3,027 yards and 24 touchdowns in 13 games last season while Manning was benched following an 0-2 start. Eli then started two more games — Weeks 14 and 15 — when Jones suffered a high ankle sprain late in the year.
Despite the fact that Eli played a role in paving the way for Jones, comfort in the room wasn’t exactly present 100% of the time, at least according to the 22-year-old.
“I think looking back, [it] was definitely, probably, a little bit awkward at times, certain times,” Jones said. “But, I think we did a good job working together. I know I enjoyed working with him and certainly learned a ton from him.”
This supports what Manning told Bob Papa and Charlie Weis of SiriusXM NFL Radio last week.
“Last year it was probably awkward for [Daniel], me being there and me being in meeting rooms, kind of the whole dynamic,” he said. “Me being gone, he is the quarterback and he is the guy.”
This upcoming season, Jones will have what’s hoping to be an improved offensive line performing in front of him, with first-round pick Andrew Thomas now in the mix at the tackle position.