New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur set the stage for a summertime quarterback competition between Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones on Tuesday.
Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur answers questions from the media during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Shurmur previously said Manning would be the starter and Jones would figure out where he fits in the quarterback pecking order.
That tune changed dramatically when Shurmur said he is “constantly” evaluating which quarterback gives the team the best chance to win.
“We’re gonna play the very best player,” Shurmur said. “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 do 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.”
Manning, 38, has faced questions about his diminished skills and longevity before. Two years ago, then-coach Ben McAdoo ended Manning’s consecutive starts streak to start Geno Smith, fanning the flames for pundits insisting Manning’s best days are behind him.
Shurmur, hired to replace McAdoo, hopped in Manning’s corner. At the end of the 2018 regular season, he said Manning had “years left” as a starting quarterback and insisted he would continue to start because “experience matters.”
Jones, drafted sixth overall by the Giants in April, has a similar demeanor to Manning and has been tutored by Peyton Manning. The team also has 2018 fourth-rounder Kyle Lauletta and veteran backup Alex Tanney.
“I’m not trying to be cryptic about it,” Shurmur said Tuesday. “It is what I said it is. Eli is getting ready to have an outstanding year and Daniel is getting ready to play. That’s really about it.”
Shurmur was strong in his assessment last month of where the quarterbacks stood.
“At the quarterback position, we have a starter in Eli and we have guys behind him, specifically Daniel Jones, who need to do everything they can to be ready to play Week 1. That’s where we’re at,” Shurmur said.
—Field Level Media