As the New York Giants close out spring workouts this week with their final sessions of OTAs, coach Pat Shurmur appears to be putting a base for a possible quarterback battle through training camp in late July between Eli Manning and Daniel Jones.
Asked about the rookie’s preparedness through the offseason workouts, Shurmur emphasized the game for an incendiary discussion that could take up the six months of downtime between the conclusion of workouts per week and coaching camp next month.
“He’s on course with the goal to be ready to play on Day 1,” Shurmur said of Jones, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “The QB material will be on the front burner for everyone. I get that. But he is on track.”
While the group has spent the offseason buttressing Manning, with GM Dave Gettleman cooing about how the veteran has multiple years of good play abandoned, Shurmur just opened the doorway for Jones to potentially slip the gig.
The trainer said, like each position, the staff is”continuously” comparing the QBs trying to ascertain who gives the Giants the best opportunity to win.
“We are gonna play with the very best player,” Shurmur said, per Rock. “I understand we’re dancing round the words here, but right now Eli is getting ready to really have a fantastic season and Daniel is getting ready to play. We will just see what happens. We feel good where Eli is, he’s our starting quarterback, and we’ve got a young player that we believe will be an outstanding player getting himself ready to play.”
Shurmur seems to be talking out both sides of his mouth, provided that Manning can not have a”good year” at the exact same time Jones plays. As it was pointed out that those two can not happen together, Shurmur responded:
“Have at it, I guess,” Shurmur said. “I don’t wish to be mysterious. … The players that give our staff the best chance to win play. Period. We’ve seen Eli do that for a very long time, so we’ll see what happens as we proceed down the street.”
Saying”have at it” to the New York press is similar to wagging a new steak before a pit bull. Shurmur just invited discussions of Jones taking the job out of Manning sooner than anticipated.
Given the nature of trainers, we don’t believe that this was an accidental slip from Shurmur, but rather a remark that is calculated.
Eli Manning is your starter… for now. What happens later depends on each player’s performance during preseason, training camp and the start of the regular season. If Jones continues to impress with his athleticism and precision, he’ll make the decision tougher down the road.
The leash for Manning was constantly going to be brief given his play the previous few years and the group using the No. 6 overall pick on a QB. Shurmur just yanked that leash a bit Tuesday.
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