Eli Manning sure sounds like a quarterback who expects to be back in 2019.
Manning, during an interview this week with Paul Dottino on the Giants’ “First and Ten” show on MSG Network, spoke about how much of a learning process it was this season operating coach Pat Shurmur’s offense and expressed optimism for the future working with game-breaking players such as Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr.
“Bright future for this organization with a lot of great players,’’ Manning said.
His return for a 16th year with the Giants is not assured, of course, and Manning throughout this season consistently steered away from speculating about coming back for the final year of his contract. He wants to be back and there are subtle signs from the front office and Shurmur that he will be welcomed back, but nothing is official just yet. What has been termed a brutally honest evaluation process will commence following Sunday’s season finale against the Cowboys,
Manning, talking on the team’s in-house show, detailed how much there was to learn as the quarterback of Shurmur’s system.
“It’s all different concepts, different styles,’’ Manning said. “I’ve probably been under center more this year than I have in the past, and play-actions, doing different things, there’s new rules of protection, different concepts and new throws. You just know you can adapt to different styles.’’
Eli Manning's future with Giants no sure thing
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Looking ahead, Manning sees the benefits of going through this learning process.
“You have an offense and guys who are familiar with how the offense is supposed to look,’’ he said. “There’s always room for improvement but just understanding the little nuances of the offense, the little chips and where you’re protection is, route-running and concepts.
“And also the coaches knowing the players and what they do well and putting them in those situations, what concepts seem to work better than others. That’s what coaches and good players learn to do, they learn to work together and get the best out of each other.’’
This sounds like a player who is anticipating continuing the process next season. Manning also sounds as if he is anticipating getting to work once again with Barkley.
“I think Saquon obviously had a terrific year as a rookie, came in, learned a lot, grew as a player, as a runner and a receiver,’’ Manning said. “Just kind of scratching the surface with him and what he can do.’’
Manning also said Beckham, “showed his ability coming back from an injury.’’