The Giant Insider Online

Eli Manning Poised to Prove His Critics Wrong – Again

While many pundits and fans around the league have written New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning off after several subpar seasons, Eli himself is not in their camp. He believes he has a lot more football in him and can still lead Big Blue to more Super Bowls.

Manning said that in a recent interview with NFL Network’s Rhett Lewis while at the annual Manning Passing Academy on the campus of Nicholls State in Louisiana. He also shed some light on playing for new head coach Pat Shurmur, who said at the outset of the offseason that he believed Eli was still a top quarterback in this league.

Manning has a reason to be confident. With a rebuilt offensive line, a stud running back in first round pick Saquon Barkley, a top tight end in Evan Engram and star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. returning, Manning could be in line for a renaissance season.

He told Lewis that Beckham looks “healthy” and that he looks “great”, which we can verify from the way he’s moved thus far in the limited workouts he’s participated in.

“I think last year it was tough on him being injured and going through those things,” Manning said. “He wants to come out and have a big year, play well and get to scoring touchdowns and celebrating and having fun again. I think he misses that part of his life — the excitement of playing football and winning games, and enjoying that part of it.”

Beckham’s contract extension is still up in the air, but few see a battle royale on the horizon. Manning hasn’t looked sharp because of the offense that Ben McAdoo asked him to operate was not conducive to his skill set. With Shurmur, he feels the shackles will be off and he will get back into a more vertical offensive attack.

“He’s really worked hard to learn this offense as fast as anybody and again, not just to learn it but to learn all the adjustments,” said offensive coordinator Mike Shula of Manning. “He’s got such a good feel of what he knows we’re going to have to make moving forward even though sometimes we might not have even talked about them here already because it’s just our defense. But all that being said, his timing is good, he’s been accurate, he knows how to find guys if number one isn’t open and those are all things that hopefully he will continue to improve on and he will probably be the first to tell you that he needs to continue to improve and get better for us to keep taking steps.”

One of the perks of the job for Shurmur when he interviewed with the Giants was getting to work with a veteran such as Manning.

“He gets it. Football makes sense to him,” said Shurmur. “He comes out here everyday and displays that. Behind all of that is a whole lot of work. It is the perfect combination of a guy who prepares, a guy that takes it very seriously and then a guy that can come out here, take what he has learned and put it to work. It is the cerebral stuff.”

And that puts the Giants in a much better position than most people think. Had they drafted a quarterback in the first round of the draft, it would have caused chaos throughout the organization. Manning is still healthy and has two years left on his contract. He can still wing it.

Call this a seamless transition for the Giants rather than an unnecessary upheaval.

 

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