Eli on Daniel Jones: ‚Don’t feel like it’s a competition‘
New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur’s closing words before breaking for the summer suggested Big Blue would nurture a quarterback competition between Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones when training camp opens.
The comments surprised many following the Giants insisted all spring that Manning remained primed to begin a second season.
Manning himself is not affected by Shurmur alluding to a QB competition. At the Manning Passing Academy, Eli informed NFL Network’s Rhett Lewis Friday he doesn’t believe he is fighting with Jones to keep his job.
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„I mean no, I do not feel like it is a competition,“ Manning said in an interview which will air on NFL Network’s Total Access Friday night. „I feel like I have to do my job and I have got to compete every day and try to get better every day. That’s the way it has been my entire life and that’s only the way I have always approached training each day to improve, to make my place on the group, to make the esteem of their teammates and do it annually.“
Manning doesn’t consider Jones competition and said he’s got no difficulty nurturing a rookie QB the Giants expect will become the next franchise signal-caller.
„We have got new guys and I’m trying to construct a connection together and get them up to speed so I’m attempting to do my job in the quarterback space,“ Manning said. „I have always been good with young quarterbacks, whomever has been in there, trying to get them up to speed, teaching them about guards or styles or what our defense plays. So I am doing exactly the same thing with Daniel and now I’m likely to be a good teammate, I am going to do the best I can do and help everyone on the Giants be successful.“
Manning’s dismissal of a supposed QB contest similarly echoes Jones‘ response to Shurmur’s comments, when the rookie said he had not been told by coaches he would have a chance to get started.
Whether or not it’s a full-time contest, the repetitions each QB gets when training camp opens July 24 will be closely tracked. A buzz will start if Jones gets repetitions with the 1s early in camp, but Manning doesn’t sound worried about that possibility.
Manning noticed that he remembers his own“competition“ with Kurt Warner back in 2004 — that the veteran started the first half of the year before Big Blue turned to Manning to the last seven tilts.
„Definitely drawing back on that and I speak to Daniel and I see so many similarities in the situation and how things are going and what he is trying to do, his personality,“ Manning explained. „He is coming to this group, he is only hoping to learn the playbook, learn the names of everyone, got to earn the admiration of his teammates. He has so much happening. He’s got the New York media, coping with them; all of a sudden they’re saying matters Day 1. … So only work hard, take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously — if you’re able to do that — enjoy your teammates, listen to your coaches and we’re all in this together and we’ll get through it.“
Manning also confessed he’s seen the memes suggesting Jones is a facsimile of himself, also noticed their personalities are similar as rookies.
„I see it,“ Manning explained. „He is a good kid, he’s silent and he’s just trying to learn, get a fantastic feel for when to let his character come out. I was the same way. My newcomer I wasn’t going to say Tiki Barber, Michael Strahan, you have these huge characters — I am just going to keep my mouth shut, be on time, work my tail off at the weight room, ask my questions to the coach after the meeting is finished and also make sure I understand what I’m doing before tell Tiki what his route is or I inform Amani Toomer,’Hey, I don’t believe you did that right.‘ You got to earn the respect. You have to get struck in the mouth a couple of times and get up… until you do a whole lot of speaking.“
Grab Manning’s interview Friday night on NFL Total Access at 7 p.m. ET.
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