EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — When the New York Giants report to training camp next month, two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning is going to be the No. 1 quarterback for coach Pat Shurmur.
Shurmur reiterated his support for the 38-year-old veteran as his starter Tuesday. He also said heir apparent Daniel Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, is getting ready to play in the regular-season opener at Dallas.
While that may sound clear, Shurmur faced a number of questions about Jones’ status during his final media availability at organized team activities.
— When the whole team reports on July 24 will there be an open competition at quarterback?
— What would Jones have to do to win the job?
— How close is Jones to being ready to play?
Shurmur insisted he would play his best player.
“I know we are dancing around the words there,” Shurmur said “Right now, Eli is getting ready to have a great year and Daniel is getting ready to play. You see what happens with it. We feel good about where Eli is. He is our starting quarterback and we have a young player that we think is going to be an outstanding player, getting himself ready to play.”
Manning has been the Giants’ starting quarterback since the middle of the 2004 season. He led the team to Super Bowl titles in the 2007 and ’11 seasons. However, New York has made the playoffs only once (2016) in the last seven years.
There has been a lot of hype about Jones since the draft. He is young, athletic, has a strong arm and can run, something that has never been a part of Manning’s game. He also has looked good in practices.
“He is on track with the goal to be ready to play Day 1,” Shurmur said. “That is really what all the players need to be thinking. The quarterback stuff will be on the front burner for everyone. I get that. He is on track.”
Jones believes he has made progress in the workouts. The Duke product also has much to learn.
“I think I have certainly made progress and am a lot closer than I was the first week of OTAs,” Jones said. “I think that is positive. As far as am I ready ready? I am not sure, I have never played. I am improving and making progress. That is positive.”
The quarterback position is crowded. Besides Manning and Jones, Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta, a fourth-round draft choice last year, are back.
Neither got much of a chance to play last year. It’s doubtful they will this year with Manning and Jones on the roster.
Lauletta said his goal in the offseason is to throw with some Giants receivers at game speed. He also intends to work on his throwing mechanics with Adam Behrends, who was his quarterback coach at the combine.
“One of the cool things about this offense is we have so many different routes, so many different guys who can run it from different splits, and there are so many throws on the field that you need to be able to make,” Lauletta said. “If you don’t get reps throwing all those throws, you somehow have to get yourself ready.”
That’s the advantage Manning has entering training camp. He has 15 years of experience to call upon.
“I kind of take it as a challenge to improve,” Lauletta said of his own situation. “Last year is done with. I just have to show improvement. I already feel more comfortable.”
NOTES: The Giants had planned to attend the Yankees-Mets game on Monday night, but it was rained out. … The veterans finish the OTAs this week. The rookies have one more week. Rookies report to training camp on July 22, two days before the veterans.
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