Eli Manning Says His Presence 'Was Probably Awkward' for Giants' Daniel Jones

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2020

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 29: Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants and Eli Manning #10 warm up prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on December 29, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Eli Manning believes the 2020 season will be easier for Daniel Jones now that he's the unquestioned starter for the New York Giants

Manning, who retired at the end of last season, spoke about Jones' new mindset Monday on SiriusXM's NFL Radio, via Tom Rock of Newsday:

"I think it'll be easier this year for him to step up as that leader. Last year it was probably awkward for him, me being there and me being in meeting rooms, kind of the whole dynamic. Me being gone, he is the quarterback and he is the guy. [It'll be good] for him to have that control and authority over the receivers and offensive line."

Manning had made nearly every start for the Giants from 2005-18 but the Giants took Jones with the No. 6 pick of the 2019 NFL draft. The rookie took over as the team's starter in Week 3.

Jones flashed a lot of potential with 3,027 passing yards and 24 touchdowns in 13 games, although he also made mistakes with 12 interceptions and an NFL-high 18 fumbles.

The Giants finished 3-9 in his 12 starts.

He will try to turn things around in his second season behind new head coach Joe Judge and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Judge has already praised the young quarterback's work ethic and leadership. 

"I love working with this guy every day," the first-year head coach said of Jones on CBS Sports Radio, via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. "He’s got a fire that burns in him. He brings other guys along with him. He shows up every day. ... He sets the tone for the room."

Manning provided similar praise of the quarterback.

"He’s proven to be tough and work hard," he said Monday. "He's done all the right things. He’s gone with that approach of keeping his head down and not saying more than he has to and working hard and earning the respect of his teammates."

Manning also began his career in the shadow of a veteran quarterback, spending half his rookie season sitting behind eventual Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. He took over late in the 2005 season and made 210 straight starts.

Jones will seek a similar path as he tries to establish himself as a franchise quarterback in New York.