Pat Shurmur: Eli Manning Had 'Outstanding Offseason' Amid Daniel Jones QB Battle

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2019

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks to pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

Following rookie first-round pick Daniel Jones exceeding all expectations during the preseason, New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur talked up incumbent starting quarterback Eli Manning on Friday.

According to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, Shurmur praised the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback: "I think he's had an outstanding offseason. I think he's had, in my mind, an outstanding camp. He's executed well the time he's been in the game. He's certainly a guy that's got a lot of experience."

While Manning is expected to begin the 2019 regular season as New York's starter, Jones has made things interesting.

The selection of Jones with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft was highly criticized, but he silenced many of his doubters during the preseason by completing 85.3 percent of his passes for 416 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

ESPN @espn

First series for Daniel Jones ... 5/5, 67 yds and a TD 🔥 (via @NFL) https://t.co/m1KARhhmhC

Jones' only real missteps were his three fumbles, two of which were lost.

Manning's preseason action was far more limited, but he played well overall, completing 69.2 percent of his attempts for 86 yards with one touchdown and no picks.

The 38-year-old is in the final year of his contract, which means 2019 may be his swansong with the Giants. Although the four-time Pro Bowler's numbers have left something to be desired over the past few seasons, he did complete a career-best 66.0 percent of his passes last season for 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

New York went just 5-11 in 2018, however, and it is a combined 8-23 over the past two campaigns.

The Giants' offense will primarily rely on do-everything running back Saquon Barkley, who was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year last season after totaling a league-best 2,028 yards from scrimmage to go along with 15 touchdowns.

Fans may start to clamor for Jones to get a chance at the first sign of trouble in 2019, but as things stand, Shurmur appears to be confident in what Manning brings to the table.