Many people were caught off guard this week when news broke that Eli Manning would be starting Monday for the New York Giants. Daniel Jones’s ankle injury doesn’t just alter preparation for Giants coach Pat Shurmur. It also has an impact on Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.
With the longtime face of the franchise returning to start, a lot is up in the air of how the offense will look differently on Monday night. According to Pederson, he doesn’t think the Giants offense will return to its former ways.
“I don’t think it goes back to the old way at all,” said Pederson, “I think it’s something that Eli has probably sat and watched and observed and he’s going to use that to his advantage.”
Manning was benched after two games in 2019 in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. Despite the circumstance, Pederson believes Manning will provide a spark to the 2-10 Giants.
“I think that’s just going to help — not only help him, but it’s going to help sort of jazz up the football team and kind of motivate the football team.”
Overall this season, a reoccurring theme has been a lack of protection from the offensive line. During his brief two-game stretch, Manning was only sacked two times. Since then in the last 10 games, the offensive line has allowed over three a game. Pederson attributed that to Manning getting the ball out quickly.
“He does a great job ... of just getting the ball out of his hands, not taking the unwanted sack, distributing the football,” said Pederson, “He understands the offense and where everybody’s at, that’s been his strength, and then taking the shot when it presents itself.”
Pederson is also very familiar with Eli’s situation this season, as he spent 10 years in the NFL as a backup quarterback. He acknowledged it’s not easy stepping in to play after taking so many games off, but if anyone can do it, it would be Manning.
“With a guy like Eli, you’re not going to surprise him, you’re not going to show him something he hasn’t already seen. He’s played a bunch of football in his career, but I think having a different set of eyes seeing the game a little bit differently is definitely going to help him.”