October 12, 2018 / 11:49 PM / 2 months ago

Giants' Shurmur: 'We believe in Eli'

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters on Friday that the team is not considering benching quarterback Eli Manning.

Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) leaves the field after a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

“No,” Shurmur said firmly when asked if a change at quarterback is on the table. “We believe in Eli.”

Manning threw an interception on the second play from scrimmage in Thursday night’s 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and finished 24 of 43 for 281 yards. Much of his yardage came in garbage time or on short throws to running back Saquon Barkley (nine grabs, 99 yards), and 11 of his completions were behind the line of scrimmage.

Manning was sacked four times and hit 13 times, but per ESPN, he posted a QBR of 9.0 (out of 100) when not pressured, compared to 0.7 when pressured.

“I know I can play better,” he told reporters Friday. “I didn’t play well last night and I’ve got to make better decisions, just get back to doing my job.

The 37-year-old ranks 20th in quarterback rating (90.9), 22nd in yards per attempt (7.2) and 27th in average pass length (7.0) among qualified passers. He told reporters after Thursday’s game that he remains confident in himself, saying, “I know I can play.”

Shurmur was asked Monday about reports that some players in the locker room are losing confidence in Manning.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Shurmur said. “Nobody’s ever said that to me.”

Shurmur declined to speculate if rookie fourth-rounder Kyle Lauletta would get an opportunity to play later this season, saying, “we’re not talking about a quarterback change yet,” but he did clarify that Lauletta is splitting practice reps equally with Alex Tanney, who has dressed as the backup in every game this season.

“We’re developing him behind the scenes just like we would any rookie,” Shurmur said of Lauletta. “Aside from putting him in a game, he’s getting all of the work he can get.”

Lauletta told reporters he’s always preparing himself to play but added, “Eli’s the guy.”

Shurmur also demurred when asked about the idea that the Giants could regret not drafting a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in April, which they used on Barkley with quarterback prospects Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen all on the board.

“The idea that Saquon Barkley was a mistake?” Shurmur asked. “I don’t see the logic in that. And I just told you that I believe in Eli.”

The Giants are 1-5 for the second consecutive season, but Manning said there’s more optimism for this team than the one that finished 3-13 last year.

“It’s tough, it’s very tough,” Manning said. “You don’t like being in this situation, but I think it’s different from last year because last year we were banged up, lost a bunch of players and it was hard to kind of see the bright side of it. Whereas this year, you see a bright side. It can get better.”

—Field Level Media

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