New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur’s closing words before breaking for the summer suggested Big Blue would nurture a quarterback competition between Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones when training camp opens.
The remarks surprised many following the Giants insisted all spring which Manning remained primed to begin another season.
Manning himself isn’t influenced by Shurmur alluding to a QB contest. At the Manning Passing Academy, Eli informed NFL Network’s Rhett Lewis Friday he doesn’t believe he’s fighting with Jones to keep his job.
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“I mean no, I do not feel like it’s a competition,” Manning said in an interview that will air on NFL Network’s Total Access Friday night. “I feel like I have to do my job and I have got to compete every day and try to get better every day. That is the way it has been my whole life and that is just the way I’ve always approached practice each day to improve, to make my place on the group, to earn the respect of their teammates and do it annually.”
Manning doesn’t consider Jones competition and said he has no difficulty nurturing a rookie QB the Giants hope will turn into the next franchise signal-caller.
“We’ve got new guys and I’m attempting to construct a connection together and get them up to speed and so I am trying to perform my job in the quarterback room,” Manning said. “I’ve always been great with young quarterbacks, whoever’s been in there, trying to get them up to speed, educating them about defenses or styles or exactly what our defense plays. So I am doing the identical thing with Daniel and I’m going to be a good teammate, I’m likely to do the very best that I could do and help everybody on the Giants be prosperous.”
Manning’s dismissal of a supposed QB contest similarly echoes Jones’ reaction to Shurmur’s remarks, when the rookie said he’d been told by trainers he would have a chance to get started.
Whether it’s a full-blown competition, the reps each QB gets when training camp opens July 24 will be closely tracked. A buzz will start if Jones gets reps with all the 1s early in camp, but Manning doesn’t seem worried about that possibility.
Manning noticed that he recalls his own”contest” with Kurt Warner back in 2004 — the veteran started the first half of the year before Big Blue turned into Manning for the last seven tilts.
“Definitely drawing back on this and I talk to Daniel and I see so many similarities at the situation and how things are moving and what he’s attempting to perform, his personality,” Manning said. “He’s coming to this group, he’s only hoping to learn the playbook, find out the names of everybody, got to earn the respect of his teammates. He’s got so much going on. He has got the New York media, dealing with them; all of a sudden they are saying matters Day 1. … So just work hard, take your job seriously, but do not take yourself too seriously — if you’re able to do that — enjoy your teammates, listen to your coaches and we’re all in this together and we will get through it”
Manning also admitted he has seen the memes indicating Jones is a facsimile of himself, also noted their personalities are similar as rookies.
“I see it,” Manning explained. “He is a good kid, he is silent and he is just hoping to learn, get a good sense of when to allow his character come out. I was the same way. My newcomer I was not going to say — Tiki Barber, Michael Strahan, you got these huge personalities — I’m going to keep my mouth shut, be on time, work my tail off in the weight space, ask my questions to the coach after the interview is over and make sure I understand what I’m doing before inform Tiki exactly what his path is or I inform Amani Toomer,’Hey, I do not think you did that right.’ You got to make the respect. You got to get hit in the mouth a couple of days and get up… until you do a great deal of speaking.”
Catch Manning’s interview Friday night on NFL Total Access at 7 p.m. ET.
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