While Eli Manning remains the expected starter for the New York Giants during the 2019 season, head coach Pat Shurmur threw a wrench into the entire narrative.
“Eli is the starter,” Shurmur said. “And this guy’s fighting, getting ready to play.”
Shurmur made it seem like rookie passer Daniel Jones could earn playing time in the season ahead if Manning struggles. The reality is, getting a jump start with your young passer and providing invaluable playing experience will only help him develop and reach a point where he can operate at a high level in the NFL.
Sitting him behind Manning for a season has its benefits too – it allows him to learn from a proven player that has two Super Bowls under his belt and learn the offense at his own pace. So far, Jones’ progression has been impressive, and Shurmur has noticed.
“I think Daniel has had a really good offseason,” Shurmur said. “He’s on track, with the goal of being ready to play Week 1. The quarterback stuff will be on the front-burner for everyone, but he’s on track.”
Being drafted with the 6th overall pick should be a clear indication of his ability to play immediately in the NFL. Drafting a player that high and not believing they can start right away would be a terrible way to approach rebuilding a team. This quote actually confuses me, however, I do like where Jones is at and watching him come into himself playing with NFL talent.
Shurmur didn’t stop there in his quest to leave the quarterback job wide open. It almost seems like he has his foot dipped in two different pools – the Eli is the starter stagnant narrative, and the Jones could be our guy from the get-go story.
The Giants head coach was asked: “The player who, after watching practices and evaluating the film, that gives you the best chance to win will play, or if or Eli will play…”
His response, according to NJ.com:
“The players that give our team the best chance to win play. That’s period,” Shurmur said. “We’ve seen Eli do that for a very long time, so we’ll see what happens as we go down the road.”
Shurmur was very vague when asked if Jones could win the job during training camp, which, in my opinion, is a very fair question to ask considering how the rookie has looked thus far. His passes have only increased in accuracy and the touch on his deep-ball has been great. Now, it’s fair to mention that all of these clips are with Jones in shorts and no actual pressure. Getting a real look at him during the pre-season will be more determining, but he does look the part — Manning could be in for a surprise.
The only two scenarios that would see the New York Giants move on from Eli Manning:
The only two scenarios where I see Manning losing playing time is — the veteran succumbs to injury, or he’s playing so poorly that Shurmur has no choice but to replace him.