It’s the offseason again and for the first time in many years, retired New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning doesn’t have to think about the NFL and the next Giants season. Manning retired this year and hasn’t immediately jumped to a role in coaching or broadcasting, leaving him to a calmer life with family, at least for this year. However, that doesn’t mean Manning has stopped following the team entirely.
He has some takes on this year’s team and he spoke about it with the New York Post in a recent interview, but first talked of the coronavirus pandemic which has already taken hold in New Jersey.
“We’re doing everything possible to get through this. We’re taking the right steps, and obviously, this is an uncertain time. But, I think this country, and the Northeast and New Jersey and New York, are resilient and we’re tough and we kind of find a way to fight through things,” Manning said.
He says that he and his wife have explained things to their kids, and that they’re staying inside a bit and washing their hands.
The measures against the virus, of course, have disrupted the NFL offseason already – offseason activities are being called off, the Draft will likely be conducted virtually, and the Manning Passing Academy may even have to change plans because of it all.
“It’s not until late June, so we do have a little time to kind of see how this all plays out. We’ll see how this next month goes, and then maybe have to start making decisions there,” Eli said when asked about the Manning Passing Academy and its future plans.
Manning did have some takes on some of the new signings that will play for the Giants in 2020, however. He was positive about both Blake Martinez and James Bradberry, both of whom signed deals this year with the team.
“I think he’s a good player. I haven’t studied him extremely well, but he makes a ton of tackles, and he’s around the ball, so I think he will be a good fit and make a lot of plays. I don’t know much about just from a leadership standpoint and all those things, so hopefully he’ll be a great leader and be able to get the defense back on track,” Manning said about Martinez, who will add much needed help to the linebacker position.
But he was also positive about James Bradberry, the player that comes into this season as the replacement for Janoris Jenkins and the number one cornerback on the Giants.
“He does a good job making plays on the ball. It seems like he’s a smart guy reading things and kind of knowing when he can be aggressive and jump certain routes. I feel he is a good player who should be able to fit into the system and play well,” Manning said of the former Panthers cornerback.
Both players will have a lot of weight on their shoulders because of their sizable contracts, which will be a point of contention in the fanbase until they can prove themselves on the field. One can only hope that’s able to happen on time, and that the 2020 season doesn’t end up as another thing pushed off because of this year’s virus.