Eli Manning is the starter for the Giants right now, but his early showing at OTAS will invite calls for Daniel Jones.
As the New York Giants came together for OTAs on Monday, head coach Pat Shurmur was sure to reiterate that Eli Manning is the starting quarterback and there is no open competition.That means first-round pick Daniel Jones will work with the backups this week, even if there’s some optimistic sense he could play right away.
Working in Shurmur’s offense last year, Manning set a career-high for completion percentage (66 percent) with the fourth-best yardage total of his career (4,299) and just 11 interceptions in 576 pass attempts. Most of his other numbers were not as impressive though, and the eye test showed a quarterback continuing to be in decline.
A player’s performance during OTAs, particularly good or particularly bad, tends to be way overblown. With that said, Manning’s early showing on Monday will not inspire confidence from the outside or quell any calls for Jones to get an opportunity to earn the starting job.
Despite the bad results, Shurmur said Manning looked good.
A coach would pick up on subtleties in a way others can’t, and one of Manning’s two early interceptions came off a batted ball. When it comes down to it, a 1-for-6 in a practice before Memorial Day isn’t all that important and will fade from everyone’s memory quickly.
But Shurmur still felt the need to specifically prop Manning up, as the Giants continue to push a broader narrative the two-time Super Bowl MVP isn’t a shell of what he was, with multiple seasons of evidence.
Manning may wind up starting all 16 games again for the Giants in 2019. But after a bungled attempt to move away from him in 2017, albeit under a different coach and general manager, he might make it easier to bench him this year. This time around too, regardless of outside evaluations of Jones as a prospect, the team actually has a successor it’d like to see play.