An inside look at how Giants’ Daniel Jones felt with Eli Manning in the room in 2019

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones opened up about Eli Manning being benched in 2019 and what the feeling was like:

The 2019 season was built around the idea that Eli Manning had one more successful campaign in his bones. Co-owner John Mara wanted to give Manning the exit he deserved, allowing him to remain the starter for one final season before eventually replacing him with a young quarterback. This was an everlasting problem the Giants had faced as they contemplated committing fully to a rebuild.

General manager Dave Gettleman tried to scoot around the concept of a rebuild by drafting Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in 2018. He stated they would attempt to win while rebuilding, which ultimately was a flawed plan and forced them to hit the restart button after just one year. The hope was that Manning could retain his spot as the everyday starter at quarterback and the New York Giants could retool a roster that had voids across-the-board.

Ultimately, they were unable to do so and resorted to drafting Daniel Jones out of Duke in 2019. This made things a bit awkward for Jones in the locker room, especially after Manning was benched in week three after two consecutive losses to open the season. Jones took over and immediately won two games, starting his career on a high note and putting Manning in the rearview mirror. Jones ended up missing two games later on the season to give Eli a chance at exiting on a high note. He eventually overcame a lowly Miami Dolphins team that allowed him to walk into the sunset.

However, a year of ups and downs at the position left an uncomfortable feeling in Jones’ mind at times.

He stated on a Zoom call with media members on Wednesday:

“Looking back there was definitely .. probably a little bit awkward at times, certain times,” Jones said. “But we did a good job working together. I know I enjoyed working with him and certainly learned a ton from him and appreciate everything he did during that year.”

The class video of Eli and Daniel playing flip-cup a Hoboken bar leaves us with glowing memories of the two, but that didn’t mean the quarterback’s room wasn’t awkward and tumultuous at times in a year that was supposed to be Eli’s.

Manning stated after officially retiring, via Sirius XM NFL Radio:

“I think it will be easier this year for him to kind of step up as that leader,’’ Manning said. “Last year was probably awkward for him, me being there, me being in meeting rooms and just kind of the whole dynamic. Me being gone and, hey, he is the quarterback, he is the guy, for him to have that control and the authority over receivers and offensive line.

Things will be different for Jones in the future, as he will be the commanding officer in the room at all times (player-wise), and Manning thinks he’s ready for the job.