Eli Manning displayed no bitterness during his first public comments after being demoted as starting quarterback of the New York Giants.
In fact, the 38-year-old Manning vowed Wednesday to be a good teammate and help first-round pick Daniel Jones, who is replacing him as the team’s signal caller beginning with Sunday’s road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I’m not dying,” Manning told reporters. “The season’s not over. There is a lot to be positive about, a lot to be grateful for. So I just have to accept my new role and make the best of it.”
Manning also pointed out that the Giants (0-2) have played just two games this season and that anything can happen.
“It’s not over. The season’s not over,” Manning said. “We have a lot of football. I’m just going to do my part, do my job and get Daniel ready to play.”
Manning said he knew there was a possibility he could be replaced by Jones this season.
He is well aware a team using the sixth overall pick on a quarterback expects that player to become a starter at some point.
“I didn’t know how everything was going to shake out this year,” Manning said. “You know when you draft a young quarterback, yeah it’s a possibility they’ll play him when things don’t go well. We didn’t start fast and that’s the situation we’re in now.”
Manning won two Super Bowls with the Giants and was the top overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. The Giants acquired Manning from the San Diego Chargers on draft day for Philip Rivers.
Of the last 245 games the Giants have played with Manning, including 12 in the playoffs, he has started 244 times. He was benched for one game in 2017 in favor of Geno Smith by former coach Ben McAdoo, halting Mannng’s streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts.
Manning has completed 56 of 89 passes for 556 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions through two games.
Jones, 22, sparkled in the preseason, setting up a potential in-season conflict with Manning. The Duke product was 29-for-34 passing for 416 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions over four preseason games.
Manning joked when asked if he had some advice for Jones.
“Throw it to the guy wearing the same jersey you are. Simple,” Manning said.
—Field Level Media