Eli Manning: 'I Don't Feel Like It's a Competition' with Rookie Daniel Jones

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIIJune 28, 2019

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passes in front of quarterback Daniel Jones during an NFL football practice Monday, May 20, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

Eli Manning isn't bothered by rookie first-round quarterback Daniel Jones looking over his shoulder. 

"I don't feel like it's a competition," the 38-year-old New York Giants quarterback said Friday, according to NFL.com's Kevin Patra. "I feel like I've got to do my job and I've got to compete every day and try to get better every day.

"That's the way it's been my whole life and that's just the way I've always approached practice every day to improve, to earn my place on the team, to earn the respect of the teammates and do it each year."

New York drafted Jones out of Duke with the sixth overall pick, but head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters in May the Giants "have a starter in Eli" when asked about a quarterback competition.

Shurmur followed up those comments with slightly more vague ones June 11. 

"[Jones is] on track with the goal to be ready to play Day 1," Shurmur said, according to Newsday's Tom Rock. "The QB stuff will be on the front burner for everybody. I get that. But he's on track." 

Shurmur continued: "We're gonna play the very best player. I know we're dancing around the words here, but right now Eli is getting ready to have a great year and Daniel is getting ready to play. We'll just see what happens. ... We feel good where Eli is, he's our starting quarterback, and we've got a young player that we think is going to be an outstanding player getting himself ready to play."

While appearing on The Rich Eisen Show last week, Jones disclosed Shurmur has not told him he'll have a chance to start this season (h/t NFL.com). 

Even if the Giants remain Manning's team in 2019, the expectation is Jones is the future face of Big Blue. And in former Giants center Shaun O'Hara's opinion, Jones is the best parts of both Eli and Peyton Manning. 

"If you put Peyton Manning and Eli Manning in a blender, [Jones is] what you'd get," O'Hara said June 8, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano

Manning has been under the microscope in recent seasons, but the fact remains that he brought two championships to New York. Whenever it is that Jones takes over under center, the work will be cut out for him to lead the Giants back to the pinnacle.

Last season, New York stumbled to a 5-11 record.