You can’t spell believe without Eli.
With critics of Eli Manning mounting to include former teammates and the Giants off to a 1-5 start, coach Pat Shurmur quickly put to rest any thoughts of a quarterback change during the long layoff before an Oct. 22 visit to the Falcons.
“We believe in Eli,” Shurmur said.
Manning completed a season-low 55.8 percent of his passes and threw an interception that put the Giants in a hole two minutes into the game during a 34-13 loss to the Eagles. He only has six touchdown passes in six games while passing and scoring are up all across the NFL.
Why is that?
“I don’t know,” Manning said. “You tell me.”
It seems to be because of Manning’s reluctance to throw the ball down the field, perhaps not trusting his again shaky offensive line after years of beatings. It doesn’t seem to be play-calling because Shurmur was caught on television yelling “Throw the ball!” after back-to-back screens.
Manning’s struggles have re-opened the can of worms on the Giants’ draft decision to select running back Saquon Barkley and play for the now instead of drafting a quarterback like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Josh Allen to succeed the 37-year-old Manning now, in the future or both.
Barkley is one of just two players in NFL history with 100 yards or more from scrimmage in each of the first six games of his career, but it hasn’t translated to wins or forcing defenses to change their scheme and open things up for the Giants’ other playmakers.
“The idea that Saquon Barkley was a mistake?” Shurmur said. “I don’t see the logic in that.”
When Shurmur says “we” believe in Manning, he likely is grouping himself, general manager Dave Gettleman and Giants ownership. But ESPN reported several Giants players have expressed frustration with Manning behind closed doors, and Odell Beckham pretty much said as much publicly.
“I don’t know where that came from,” Shurmur said. “No one has ever said that to me. The people who write reports can be very resourceful. I don’t know where that comes from.”
One year ago, in a similar situation when the Giants started 1-5 and finished 3-13, then-coach Ben McAdoo did not play rookie quarterback Davis Webb. Webb since has been released and the Giants have a new rookie quarterback in fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta.
Lauletta is No. 3 on the depth chart and inactive on gamedays when 30-year-old journeyman Alex Tanney is Manning’s primary backup. Lauletta told NJ Advance Media he gets throws in individual periods and scout team reps but no true 11-on-11 snaps during the regular season.
“During the week, he gets as many reps as Alex does,” Shurmur said. “We’re developing him behind the scenes just as we would any rookie. Aside from putting in the game, he is getting all the work that he can get.”
Pressed on if he would play Lauletta if the season continues toward oblivion, Shurmur said, “We’re not talking about a quarterback change yet.”
“Kyle and Alex are both working and improving,” Shurmur said. “They are working each day trying to get themselves ready to play. There is no reason to discuss that right now.”
Source : https://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2018/10/giants_pat_shurmur_we_believe_in_eli_manning_plan.html