Former Giants head coach calls Eli Manning the ‘Greatest big-game QB ever’

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin (right) hands the Vince Lombardi Trophy to quarterback Eli Manning (left) after Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Since Eli Manning’s departure back in 2019, the New York Giants have been desperate for solid quarterback play, which has largely been absent throughout Daniel Jones’ career thus far.

Manning still has the respect of those who were around him during his playing days. Former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who coached Manning during both Super Bowl victories in 2007 and 2011, gave high praise to the future Hall of Famer:

“He’s the greatest big-game quarterback I’ve ever been around or even watched,” Coughlin said to Newsday (h/t GiantsWire) “You look at his eyes on game day and it’s like sending laser beams from his eyes. He was so into what he’s doing.”

Daniel Jones has failed to replicate Manning’s success

Like Jones, Manning came in with high expectations after being taken with the first overall pick in the 2004 draft by the Los Angeles Chargers before being traded to the Giants the same night. The only difference is that Manning brought the team success, while the same can’t be said about Jones in his five-year tenure with the organization.

After it finally seemed like Jones was turning a corner following a successful 2022 season that included a playoff victory, he came back down to Earth last season with struggles both on the field and with his health, two things that have plagued him throughout his career.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
Dec 31, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants injured quarterback Daniel Jones (8) watches warmups before a game against the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In just six games last season, Jones threw only two touchdowns and recorded six interceptions, more than his mark in all of 2022. Turnovers once again gave him trouble fresh off of signing a four-year, $160 million contract the previous offseason. A torn ACL prematurely ended his season in November, and the Giants never were able to persevere from it, as they finished 6-11 and missed the postseason.

The Giants are still searching for the next Eli Manning

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Now, the Giants could find themselves once again looking for their new Eli Manning. They currently hold the sixth-overall pick for next Thursday’s draft. However, it is unclear if they will draft a quarterback or address a different position of need, such as wide receiver. Several mock drafts have New York going after playmakers like LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze.

For now, Jones is expected to be the starter in Week 1 next season, though how long the Giants stick with him as the starting quarterback is all dependent on his performance and health. Nevertheless, the lack of durability and good quarterback play over the past several seasons likely makes Giants fans miss Manning.

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