New York Giants: Eli Manning details secret ingredient to Odell Beckham Jr.’s success with Los Angeles

giants, eli manning, odell beckham jr.

Former New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. lit the league ablaze back in 2014 when he was drafted in the first round. Beckham finished his rookie season with 1,305 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns, playing in just 12 games after struggling with a hamstring injury to open the year.

What Beckham accomplished during his time with the Giants was illustrious, but the antics and lack of maturity planted a stain on his character. Consecutive losing seasons and a failure from management to build a competent team drove him down a hostile path that the New York media capitalized on.

However, Beckham has found success with the Los Angeles Rams this season after being released from the Cleveland Browns, the team that originally acquired him from the Giants in a blockbuster deal.

Eli Manning spoke about OBJ’s success with Los Angeles on Morten Andersen’s Great Dane podcast.

“They’re winning playoff games and are in a Super Bowl now (with) a chance to win a championship. Happy for him being a part of that.”

Manning is happy that Beckham has taken a step forward in his career and found success, preparing to play in his first Super Bowl on Sunday night. This season, Beckham has tallied 537 yards and five scores coming off an ACL tear.

In just eight games, he’s recorded 305 yards and five scores with the Rams, but his postseason statistics have been important to the team’s success. Last week against the San Francisco 49ers, OBJ recorded 113 receiving yards on 11 targets and nine receptions. His 81.8% catch rate was phenomenal, the Giants fans remember when he dropped multiple passes and recorded a 36.4% catch rate back in 2016 against the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the playoffs.

It seemed as if OBJ has put all of the negativity behind him, focusing on the future, but that didn’t come without evolving.

“Yeah, you wouldn’t think LA, drama, and Odell – on paper it doesn’t work. I think it’s just the fact that you know, he’s just learned his lesson a little bit. He’s grown up some.”

The secret ingredient has always been maturity for Odell, who has all the talent in the world but has succumbed to distractions in the past. The laser focus he currently holds on a successful team is dangerous for opponents, and the Cincinnati Bengals know they will have to limit his contributions if they want a chance at beating Los Angeles.

WATCH: Giants’ Eli Manning drives down the field to win Super Bowl XLII

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

It was February 3, 2008, at the University of Phoenix  Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants had stayed relevant in the game against the New England Patriots with 2:39 left on the clock. A young Eli Manning trotted onto the field with nervous energy, but the gods hand-delivered the drive that won them Super Bowl XLII.

The Giants started at their own 16-yard line with Manning in shotgun in a 3×1 wide receiver set. Eli stepped back into the pocket with jittery feet, launching a pass in between three defenders that Amani Toomer caught at the 28-yard line.

What happened next was a bit more nerve-racking, as Eli scooped a low snap off the floor and threw a pass off his back foot that sailed over the head of Plaxico Burress, which easily could’ve been an interception.

Luckily, the Giants had the football gods on their side that day, as Eli launched another pass off his back foot on a deep out-route by Plaxico Burress from the slot. A Patriots defender jumped up in the air and nearly came down with the game-sealing interception.

At that moment, with Manning under center on a 3rd-and-10 play, he launched another ball off his back foot right to Amani Toomer at the sticks. He was about a yard short, coining arguably the game’s most intense moment. Standing in the offensive backfield on 4th-and-1 was Brandon Jacobs, a 264-pound car of a human being. With an illustrious stretch of his right arm, Jacobs fell forward just enough to secure a first down and gift the Giants a chance at victory.

Many times over the lengthy career of Eli Manning, we’ve seen him get caught from behind and fumble the football. On the very next play, after Jacobs converted, Manning lost control of the ball after being hit from behind but corralled it between his legs, stifling yet another opportunity for New England to end the game.

On 2nd-and-5, Manning threw a prayer to the sidelines with David Tyree cutting his route short. Asante Samuel had a chance to seal the game, but the ball flew right through his hands. New England had three different opportunities to intercept Manning before he crossed midfield on 3rd-and-5 with one of the most insane moments in Super Bowl history.

Manning escaped the clutches of the New England pass rush, heaving up a ball that will forever be remembered as one of the craziest throws and moments the league had ever seen. David Tyree high-pointed the football, clutching it against his helmet as he stayed above the grass and put the Giants in a position to walk away with a miracle.

Soon after, the Giants faced a 3rd-and-11 with 47 seconds left on the clock. Eli hit Steve Smith on the boundary, who tip-toed his way to a first down, putting the Giants in prime position to throw a beautiful fade route to Plaxico in the end zone.

With 35 seconds on the clock, the Giants needed their defense to step up and stop Tom Brady after one of the most exciting drives in Super Bowl history. We all know how the end played out, and we’ve been reminiscing ever since as the Giants fight to climb to the top of the NFL once again.

 

 

New York Giants: Eli Manning in touch with Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll

New York Giants, Eli Manning

Eli Manning spent his entire career with the New York Giants, and those ties to the organization didn’t fade away with his retirement. It was known that Manning provided advisory last season to the Giants under Joe Judge, and it looks like the same offer is extended now that there’s new management in town.

“I told them if they need anything from me in any way, nothing is off limits. I’m happy to help,” Manning told the New York Post, speaking of GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. “I look forward to getting to know both of them better and seeing if I can be of service to them and help them get back on track and win more games. I’m all for that.”

Given the drastic changes within a short amount of time in the front office and coaching staff, it’s easy to see why advice from a veteran name like Manning might be appreciated. After all, few have handled the harsh New York market better.

There’s also few players with a better perspective on the current rebuilding process. By the time of Manning’s retirement during that rebuild, he was the last player to have been around for the heights of the last Super Bowl run.

Manning takes Giants’ side in Brian Flores debate

It doesn’t look like the controversy around Brian Flores is set to go away any time soon, and Manning joined the side of those to come out in defense of the Giants during the same interview.

“I know the Giants organization. I know they do everything possible to give everybody a fair chance. They don’t care, minority or not, they are looking for the best possible candidate,” Manning said. “They are going to do everything properly to look for that perfect candidate. So, I don’t think there was any wrongdoing there.”

If the timeline of events provided by the Giants is correct, it’s hard to argue they didn’t do as Eli said and pick the candidate they believed was the best. Given the string of bad coaching hires the organization has made, the theory that they made their latest one before even conducting an in-person interview is highly unlikely at best.

Still, given the nature of the court system, it’s going to be a long time before we get a definitive verdict one way or the other in this case.

New York Giants: Eli Manning to have number retired by Ole Miss

Eli Manning, New York Giants

Retired New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had an eventful past year.

After spending some time outside of the public eye, Manning has become more of a celebrity presence recently through new ventures such as his gig as an ESPN broadcaster. He was also honored by the Giants this season, as the team retired his number 10 jersey at halftime against the Falcons.

It looks like the Ole Miss Rebels, Manning’s college team, are taking after the Giants in that regard. The school is set to use Saturday’s game as a chance to honor Manning in their own way and retire his jersey.

The festivities also include a peculiar change to the field design. Ole Miss has shown off pictures of the updated field, which reads ‘MANNING’ across both end zones.

During Manning’s time as a Rebel, he threw for 10,119 passing yards and 81 touchdowns. Impressively, basically all of those numbers came from three seasons, as Manning only had 33 passing attempts during his freshman year.

Interestingly enough, Eli may not be the last Manning to take the field for Ole Miss. His nephew Arch Manning is a five star recruit and arguably the top player in his recruiting class. Arch’s list of potential destinations includes multiple blue bloods such as Alabama and Clemson, but Ole Miss is also a contender.

Arch Manning is set to attend when Ole Miss takes on LSU. We’ll just have to wait and see if having his last name written in the end zone is enough to sway his decision in the direction that Ole Miss fans are hoping for.

Ex-NY Jets QB Geno Smith ready for chance at prime time redemption

Geno Smith, New York Jets

Smith, once the future of the New York Jets, has a chance to reclaim the narrative on his NFL career in a new opportunity in Seattle.

No matter what happens during the remainder of his NFL career, Geno Smith will go down as the answer to a trivia question asked by those who cycle through MetLife Stadium’s gates, no matter whether they wear green or blue.

For New York Jets fans, Smith is the last green thrower to toss a perfect game on the gridiron (a 158.3 passer rating) and the only one to do so in the 2010s. In the realms of New York Giants history, he’s the man who ended Eli Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts under center.

Smith is finally free from the incessant spotlight of quarterbacking in the metropolitan area, one that has slightly hardened him as he tries to carve out an extended NFL path. While Smith had settled into a backup role in Seattle, a rare injury to Russell Wilson (one expected to keep him out for at least the next three weeks after he was placed on injured reserve) has thrust him back into the gridiron mainstream. His path starts on Sunday night as the Seahawks (2-3) start the process of salvaging their season in prime time against the Pittsburgh Steelers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).

The visit to Pittsburgh will be Smith’s first regular season start since his infamously historic single outing as the Giants’ primary man in December 2017. The trust bestowed in Smith to help the Seahawks in their most desperate hour in a long, long time is the highest vote of confidence since former blue head coach Ben McAdoo controversially inserted Smith into the woebegone Giants’ starting lineup once they were among the earliest eliminated from the 2017-18 playoffs. McAdoo did in spite of only Manning’s streak but the prescience of then-rookie Davis Webb, who had been the Giants’ highest selection at quarterback since the instantly-traded Phillip Rivers went fourth overall on a fateful spring afternoon in 2004.

At the time, a respectable performance (21-of-34, 211 yards, a touchdown, and two lost fumbles in a 24-17 to the Oakland Raiders) wasn’t enough to withstand the fury of Giants fans eager to see their Super Bowl hero go out on any semblance of a “right” note. When McAdoo was ousted, one of the Giants’ first moves was to re-establish Manning as the top passer.

McAdoo had a parting gift for Smith upon his firing after the Oakland debacle.

“When Coach Mac was let go and left the building, I talked to him before he left, and he had told me he felt like I deserved to play the rest of the season,” Smith told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News after his metropolitan departure in 2018. “He believed in me. A lot of people did. Guys wanted me to do well. But there are some things that are out of your control.”

“I’m not going to cry cry over spilled milk over things I can’t control. That’s only going to hinder my success or progress. It just added fuel to fire, made my offseason workouts interesting because I’m working harder. That opportunity was taken away from me for whatever reason, so every time I step on the field or in weight room, that’s my motivation.”

Going into Sunday night’s crucial contest, Smith is slightly more laid back, yet still enthusiastic, as he believes he’s made the most out of the past two-plus seasons through watching Wilson work.

“It’s not like I haven’t been playing football at all. The difference is now, it’s physical reps,” Smith told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “I’m getting all the reps. You always take mental reps and prepare that way, but this is about physical preparation as well, more than just the mental side of playing quarterback. This week was different because I’m taking physical reps, as well.”

Sunday’s return to the spotlight is nearly four years in the making: Smith spent a year as Rivers’ backup with the Los Angeles Chargers before settling in Seattle in 2019. Wilson’s durability has made the job of Pacific Northwest understudy a bit of an afterthought: Sunday night will mark the first time since New Year’s Day 2012 that someone other than “Russ” will start under center for the Seahawks (that honor going to the late Tavaris Jackson).

Yet, Smith had shown enough, primarily through his lasting starting endeavors with the Jets, that he could be a reliable contingency plan in case of an emergency. The West Virginia alum, after all, had his fleeting flashes of brilliance of green, including those earned in a prime time setting. For example, the second-round pick threw three touchdowns and engineered a game-winning field goal drive in a Monday night triumph in Atlanta as a rookie in 2013. While ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of the standings, Smith managed to provide temporary solace to the tumultuous teams of the 2010s, sending Rex Ryan out on the right note with a 37-24 win over Miami.

Seattle was partly rewarded when Smith allowed them to keep pace in yet another nationally televised instance: as the Seahawks struggled to keep pace with the mighty Los Angeles Rams, the departure of Wilson could’ve been damning.

Instead, Smith rose to the occasion, keeping the increasingly desperate Seahawks in the game through a 131-yard performance that yielded 10 points over his first two drives in the fourth quarter. The affair ended in heartbreak…Smith was forced into a Nick Scott interception when intended receiver Tyler Lockett fell down on a route…but it was enough to keep the faith amongst Seattle brass.

“If Geno is going to play for us some as Russ comes back, you know, he showed that we’re in good hands,” Carroll said in the LA aftermath, per Liz Mathews of Yahoo! Sports. “I was just proud for him and the fact that he hung with us all this time and believed in being part of this program. Then when he got his chance, he did really. That was pretty good.”

“I went right to Geno afterwards and said, you been waiting a long time for your opportunity,” Carroll told reporters. “The faith you’ve shown in our program and us to stay with us, so proud that when he got in there, he did great. He really looked good. He’s been working for that. He’s a talented football player.”

Smith now gets to prove such acument on a long-term basis. The opportunity provided in Seattle affords him a rare chance as a high-profile washout (a status granted through factors partly beyond his control) to reclaim the narrative on his NFL career and perhaps get back on the radars of teams searching for starters.

But Smith appears to be embracing this chance with a sense of healthy abandon, one set to savor every moment of this comeback.

“I’m fresh, I feel like I’m 21 years old. I’m ready!” Smith said during Pittsburgh prep, per Rapoport. “The moment is what it is. We have a Sunday night game in Pittsburgh. It’s one night, not the rest of my life. Mostly, it’s a game I love to play, a game that I’m passionate about. It’s one that I prepare for and am ready for whether I get to play or not. It’s not a chance to showcase anything, that’s how I see it. I’m not going to change my stripes. I’m just looking forward to playing football.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: Eli Manning injects inspiration into Daniel Jones debate

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

With expectations that New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will take a step forward in his progression this upcoming season, the offense should experience growth alongside him. Jones is coming off a troublesome 2020 season at 23 years old, throwing for 2,943 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also threw 10 interceptions and fumbled 11 times, compared to 18 during his rookie season in 2019.

Jones has all the tangible traits to be a fantastic quarterback at the NFL level, and the Giants finally spent significant capital on bolstering the unit, adding the likes of Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and of course, the return of Saquon Barkley.

But Jones has more positive variables set to expedite his improvement, including experience in Jason Garrett’s scheme and his comfort level behind the current offensive line.

The OL is one of the more prominent catalysts in Jones’s development, considering they ranked near the bottom of the NFL in pass-blocking last season. The hope is that better coaching and consistency, including in-person training and preseason, will inspire growth among the young players.

Former Giants quarterback Eli Manning spoke about Jones and his momentum, inspiring optimism into the debate:

“I think also just the fact that from your first year to second year, Jones had a new offensive coordinator, a new coach, and everything going in,” Manning told NFL Network. “Now, at least going from [year] two to three, he has the same offense and the ability to grow within the offense. It’s not just the quarterback getting comfortable; it’s the offensive line, the receivers, everybody getting on that same page. I’m excited for him, I’m excited for the team, and I look forward to good things.”

As we saw during Daniel’s rookie season, he’s capable of throwing 20+ touchdown passes per season and deploying fantastic mobility to pick up yards on the ground. Last season, he tallied 423 yards and one touchdown with his legs but desperately needs to improve with his ball protection and decision-making in the passing game.

The acquisition of Golladay will provide an efficient deep target for Jones, who was one of the most accurate passers 20+ yards downfield in 2020, despite fewer than 10% of his throws traveling that distance.

In addition, signing Kyle Rudolph will provide a safety net in the middle of the field, where Evan Engram was connected to six interceptions last year off tipped passes. The Giants seem to finally be realizing their weaknesses and filling them with players who have those exact strengths. Jones should benefit tremendously, as long as his protection scheme can hold strong in 2021.

New York Giants: Manning brothers to headline alternate Monday Night Football broadcast

New York Giants, Eli Manning

New York Giants fans looking for more of Eli Manning, and his brother Peyton too, will get their wish courtesy of ESPN. The network has been working with both brothers for a while now after their retirements from the league, and the latest development in that is a new deal that will see the Manning brothers host an alternate megacast of Monday Night Football.

ESPN announced the news on Monday, revealing that the deal is set to last three seasons for now and that the brothers will cover 10 games per season. Aside from them, the broadcasts are also set to feature celebrity guests including current and former NFL players.

Produced by ESPN, in conjunction with Omaha Productions, the unique MegaCast option will originate from a remote location. Fans will be treated to a mix of in-the-moment analysis, big picture NFL dialogue, knee-jerk reaction, historical perspective, and more. Peyton and Eli will be joined each week by a to-be-determined host. Iconic and current athletes, as well as celebrities, are expected to appear throughout the season. Fans will never miss any of the action, as a multi-box viewing experience will ensure the game is always visible.

The format seems to be based on the mutli-box megacasts that ESPN has previously used for certain major events such as the College Football Playoff, which display multiple angles and show insights that aren’t on the main broadcast.

It’s just another thing to add to a busy year for Eli Manning. He’s already set to host one ESPN+ show as well as rejoin the Giants organization in a business role.

But considering Eli’s absence from football following his retirement, where not much in the way of news came out about him during that time period, it’s not surprising that he’s added plenty of things to his schedule after his return.

And for Giants fans that want to see more of him after his retirement, there should be no shortage of chances this year as Eli embraces a role in the media more fully.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones and Eli Manning still close in 2021

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterbacks Eli Manning and Daniel Jones didn’t get to spend that long on a team together. While the plan was for Manning to start during Jones’ rookie season, that was quickly thrown off as the Giants got off to a bad start and Jones took over. The Giants didn’t look back. Manning retired, and Jones continued as the starter. However, that doesn’t mean all contact between them was lost when Manning walked away from football.

He’s still been a factor in Jones’ development, and Jones himself recently spoke on that while talking to SiriusXM.

“I think we’re friends and we certainly have stayed in touch. It was a little different this year with COVID. He wasn’t around as much. But yeah, no, we’re friends and I’ve certainly learned a lot from him and he’s helped me a ton,” Jones told SiriusXM.

Manning is finally back with the Giants in an official role for the first time since his retirement. That role, however, seems to be with the business side of the front office instead of one dealing with the team directly. Despite that, it’s hard to imagine Manning’s presence with the organization won’t have any impact on the current roster.

The Giants have a very different looking offense this year, with Jones entering his third season and receiving new help in the form of additional receivers and a returning Saquon Barkley. At a time like this, the experience of someone that’s been a winning quarterback for as long as Manning could prove invaluable.

In the kind of high pressure season that’s to come, that kind of leadership can be the difference between the step forward that everyone expects from Jones and failure.

New York Giants: What Eli Manning has to say about his return

New York Giants, Eli Manning

We know by now that the New York Giants will have Eli Manning with them this season. Not on the field in his former role as quarterback, but in the front office helping with the business side of the organization.

It seems like Manning will have a busy 2021 as it was announced earlier in the offseason that he’ll host a show on ESPN+, but that isn’t the only job on his hands this year. After taking some time away from the game, Eli has decided the front office is where he belongs. What did he have to say about this? Well, according to what he told Giants.com, it looks like this was a plan for some time now.

“I wanted to take a year off anyway… But I was hoping there would be a spot back with the organization to do the things because of what it’s meant to me. The Giants organization is what I know. Since I’ve been out of college, this is all I’ve done and all I’ve ever wanted to do was do well for the Giants and win games and represent the organization in a positive way, and hopefully I can continue to do that,” Manning said.

It seems like the COVID-19 crisis delayed a deal getting worked out. Supposedly, Manning wasn’t allowed at the team’s practice facility last year due to health and safety restrictions. But when those restrictions eased up, it was a meeting between Manning and John Mara that got things rolling.

“I sat down with John Mara and kind of said, ‘Hey, I’d like to get back involved if you think there’s a spot for me or a way that I can help out.’ From there, we did some brainstorming and figured out a way for me to get back involved,” Manning elaborated further.

The meeting did make the news back when it happened, but it was unknown back then if Manning would actually take a role with the team.

Now, we know the answer. It took longer than some might have expected, but it’s not surprising at all that both sides are back together again. Manning, after all, can boast being the quarterback of the Giants for a decade and a half. After all that time, it’s not so easy to just part ways for good.

The New York Giants picked the perfect game for Eli Manning’s jersey retirement ceremony

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

Eli Manning is back with the New York Giants. After retiring at the end of the 2019 season, Eli Manning has made his return to football, this time not as a player. Manning has rejoined the Giants in a business operations & fan engagement role, the team officially announced today.

Along with this announcement, the Giants also announced that they have set a date for Eli’s jersey retirement and ring of honor ceremony. Eli Manning will officially have his number ten retired and be inducted into the New York Giants’ Ring of Honor on September 26th, the Giants’ Week 3 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Giants could have picked any of their home games to induct Eli this season. But the Giants ultimately picked the perfect game to induct Eli Manning into their ring of honor.

Perfect weather

The end of September is the perfect time of the year for football. It is usually sunny out and the temperature is in that perfect stage between the hot summer and the cold winter. Autumn, a beautiful season when the temperature is usually in the 70’s, the sun is out, and football is in full swing.

Football is a unique sport that is played in any weather. That includes the frigid cold of New Jersey’s December. Thankfully, the Giants opted not to schedule Eli’s ceremonial activities in the winter. This date should provide the teams with lovely weather, enticing more fans to pack the stadium full and give Eli Manning the ovation he deserves.

An exciting, winnable matchup

The Giants will likely be the favorites to win their Week 3 matchup this year. The Atlanta Falcons’ roster has depleted in recent years. They possessed one of the NFL’s worst defenses in 2020. Their long-term superstar on offense, wide receiver Julio Jones, was traded away this offseason. Granted, they still have some decent firepower on offense with Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. But the Falcons are expected to be one of the league’s bottom feeders this season.

The new-and-improved New York Giants are expected to be at least middle-of-the-pack in 2021. The team possesses a top-ten defense and made many crucial acquisitions this offseason to fix their offense. Many believe the Giants can make the playoffs if everyone stays healthy this year. It might not be a walk in the park, but the Giants should be able to manage a win over the Falcons on Eli’s big day.

Historic connections

Eli Manning’s first-career start in 2004 was against the Atlanta Falcons. The only home postseason victory of Manning’s career came in 2012 against the Atlanta Falcons in the midst of a historic Super Bowl run. Now, to officially end Eli’s time on the field, he will have his jersey retired and his name placed in the New York Giants’ Ring of Honor during a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. Poetic.