If Pat Shurmur truly believes there’s nothing Daniel Jones can’t do as a quarterback, then he should take over for Eli Manning prior to Week 1.
Giants training camp hasn’t yet begun, but the organization is already effusive with their praise of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. If the first round pick is truly as good as head coach Pat Shurmur says he is, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be the starting quarterback for New York when the regular season begins.
Yes, that means the Giants should unceremoniously bench Eli Manning. The veteran signal caller deserves a lot of credit for what he’s given the organization during his career, but it’s obvious that his best days are behind him. The best role for him on this version of the Giants is to be a high-priced mentor and backup for Jones.
There are no clear signs that the Giants are willing to make a quick change at quarterback, but Shurmur’s recent comments on Jones should raise some eyebrows. He claims the coaching staff “hasn’t seen anything he (Jones) can’t do in terms of playing quarterback.” Specifically, the franchise seems to be pleased with their young quarterback’s mix of arm strength and mobility.
The argument is pretty clear, if Jones is already showing that kind of skill on the practice field, there’s no reason to think the coaching staff can’t get him ready for meaningful action before the start of the regular season. In some circles it might be unpopular to bench Manning, but the Giants aren’t trying to win a popularity contest with their roster management. The job of Shurmur and company is to win as many football games as they can in 2019.
At the very least, inserting Jones into the lineup would give Giants fans some hope. There’s a very low ceiling of what this offense can accomplish with Manning at the helm. He won’t suddenly rediscover the arm strength that made him a two-time Super Bowl winner in his younger days. At best, Manning can do a decent job of managing the game. In other words, he can hand the ball off to Saquon Barkley the vast majority of the time and try to hurt teams via play action every once in a great while.
There are absolutely valid questions about whether or not the Giants are right about the player Jones is now and, more importantly, can become in the future. Those questions can only be answered if he’s given the opportunity to play with the first time when the games really count. Time will tell if the Giants have the nerve to act on their high praise of Daniel Jones.