The New York Giants are off to a 0-2 start after losing to the Bills 28-14 on Sunday, and in reality, they look like a football team that might not be very good, which means fans, media will all start to look at the starting quarterback.
While Giants QB Eli Manning(556 yards, 2 TDs/2 ints) has not been awful, he and the Giants have not been very good, and today, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur left open the possibility that rookie QB Daniel Jones could replace Manning next Sunday as the Giants travel to Tampa Bay to battle the Buccaneers.
“We’re gonna talk about everything moving forward. I think that’s fair at this point,” Shurmur said on Monday.
Manning addressed what Shurmur had to say, and the possibility that he could be benched.
Q: Coach Shurmur left open the possibility of you not being the starting quarterback on Sunday, how do you react to that?
Manning: I have to get ready to play a game, nothing changes. Get ready for Tampa and figure out a way to get a win.
Q: What have your discussions been like with Pat since the game, anything different or business as usual?
Manning: Yeah, business as usual.
Q: How do you feel you have played so far?
Manning: Well, we are 0-2. There is always room for improvement. I feel like I’m not missing, maybe I missed one throw to Evan yesterday. Obviously, we have to figure out a way to score more points and do better on third downs. Figure out a way to get completions and convert on those third downs.
Q: After the draft, Pat said your job is to win and keep this guy off the field. Did they give you any idea on how long of a leash you have?
Q: Are you surprised these conversations are happening so early in the season?
Manning: We are 0-2 and we are looking for answers, I get it. When you draft a guy early and you’re not winning games, these are going to come up. I just have to keep working and do what my job is.
Q: What have the discussions with you been like to this point, did they tell you they are looking at it?
Manning: We have not discussed it.
Q: Does uncertainty like this motivate you?
Manning: The motivation is to win, there’s nothing more than that. You want to win, that’s why you work hard, that’s why you train, that’s why you do everything and prepare in practice, so you can go out there and win football games and build something special. Nothing changes.
Q: Would you rather the head coach have a definitive answer rather than open this door?
Manning: The mindset for me is just to prepare and do what I’m told to do.
Q: How frustrating has it been, another 0-2 start?
Manning: Obviously, we wish we would win a game. We feel like we work hard and we are prepared, we do a lot of good things, just not quite playing well enough as a group to score enough points offensively.
Q: How surprised are you that you are 5 for 24 on third down, and you have failed to score 20 points in your first two games.
Manning: Yeah, obviously the third downs, that’s something that’s going to hurt you. When you can’t stay on the field long enough, we have some good drives where we are scoring on the first series. There’s some good things out there, we have put together some other nice drives. We have had opportunities, just not playing well enough in certain circumstances of the game to score those points. We knew they were a good defense, we were down there those two times before halftime. To get no points out of that, that’s going to hurt you.
Q: A few Bills players said their game plan was to put it on you, to have you beat them throwing the football. After the fact, does that annoy you to hear another defense talking like that, does it motivate you. What’s your reaction when you hear something like that??
Manning: No reaction. We have a stud running back in Saquon, teams are going to try to stop the run. We have some beat up wide receivers and so make us throw the ball. We have to throw it better than what we are throwing it.
Q: When you break down the film, do you see enough corrections to be made that you believe if those corrections are made it will make a difference?
Manning: Some are corrections, some are just making plays or making a throw, or hanging in the pocket. I see enough good things and I see enough things that are correctable, sometimes they fall into things, or you have tipped passes when you have guys open that prevent you from staying in rhythm, or cause a turnover. You see enough good things that we can get on track and score more points offensively.
Q: You mentioned those early drives, why are they not able to continue?
Manning: Every drive has its own reason for stopping. Whether it’s a penalty, whether it’s a missed throw or a drop, a tipped ball, whatever might get you into a third down and don’t convert. Each own has its own rhyme or reason and we have to find ways to be more consistent throughout the game.
Q: Do you have to fight human nature in your own head to not think this is happening again, being 0-2?
Manning: I think you have your mindset on what you need to do to get better, to get better as a group and as a team and work on those things.
Q: You were in a similar position a couple years ago when Geno Smith started. Anything from that situation that you learned or that you would like done differently?