“I think Eli has years left.” – Pat Shurmur
Also Pat Shurmur: https://t.co/JZq0wd4g1H
— Culture Building SZN Ethan (@EthanGSN) December 17, 2018
Eli Manning has not been ruled out as the New York Giants starting quarterback for the 2019 season, and if you take what head coach Pat Shurmur says at face value, the franchise will pick up his roster bonus in March.
On Monday during a conference call with Giants reporters, Shurmur provided a vote of confidence in his veteran two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback when he named him his starter for Week 16. In naming Manning the starter, Shurmur confirmed the reason for his decision was his belief that the veteran gives the team their best chance to win right now. The first-year head coach also hinted that Manning will return as the Giants starting quarterback in 2019.
“Yeah, I want all our players to be back,” Shurmur told Giants reporters on the call, via NJ.com. “I really do.”
Shurmur pointed to Manning’s experience as the key factor for why he wants him back — at least publicly speaking — for the 2019 season.
“I believe experience matters. When you start talking about roster-shaping down the road, you need to learn how to win again and the experience of playing through adversity.”
Prior to the start of the 2018 regular season, Shurmur said that he believes Manning has “years” left — plural — as a quality starting quarterback in the NFL. We are now one year into that projection and Shurmur has not changed his mind at all.
“I do,” Shurmur said. “I’ve seen him play good football. I’ve seen how when we have coordinated effort of protecting him, running the football effectively and being able to run the ball throughout the game it helps us.”
Manning and his impressive second-half run over the New York Giants’ past five games came to an abrupt ending during the team’s 17-0 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 15. With wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. sidelined in Week 15, the Tennessee Titans did everything they could schematically to make sure running back Saquon Barkley would not beat them. This put the game in the hands of Manning and he did not deliver. Manning finished 21-of-44 for 229 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception against the Titans.
Prior to the Giants’ Week 15 loss to the Titans, Manning put together an excellent stretch of football over the five games following the Giants’ Week 9 bye. Over that time frame (five games), Manning threw for 10 touchdown passes, just two interceptions, and he had a 108 quarterback rating. Manning threw for 10 of his 18 total passing touchdowns through 14 games over that five-game stretch.
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Prior to the Giants’ Week 15 game against the Titans, Shurmur joined Mike Francesa on WFAN Radio where he opened up about the state of the franchise. Francesa asked Shurmur if he ever doubted Manning could get the job done with improved pass protection from his offensive line.
“I never did,” Shurmur said to Francesa after Week 14. “Nope. I appreciate all the things he is as a person, as a player, how he trains, how he thinks. I’ve watched him do it before. I think it’s safe to say when he’s had his best success he was playing behind good offensive lines. I knew once we got that fixed, or if along the way we were getting that fixed, he was going to have a better chance to show us what he could do.
“We scored on three bootlegs. Who would have thought we’d throw three touchdowns on bootlegs. I mean he hasn’t run this many bootlegs since Ole Miss. You see around the league, quarterbacks who struggle to throw the ball from inside the pocket — it becomes a very small game for their teams. I think Eli can still do it.”