Eli Manning confident in Brian Daboll and Daniel Jones

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Eli Manning is backing his friend Daniel Jones and believes new Giants head coach Brian Daboll could be just what the young quarterback needs to elevate his game.

« [Daboll has] been in this league for a long time,” said Manning, who won two Super Bowls as a Giants quarterback during his 16-year NFL career recently. « He’s been with great players, he’s been with successful offenses everywhere, so I think he’ll be able to adjust the offense based on the skills of the players in the team, especially the quarterback.

“I think it will be great for Daniel, and I think they will make adjustments. He can throw really well, but he can also run, and that’s something you can do a lot of things. I’m excited to see Daniel in this attack and let him get aggressive and make plays and hope his skills really shine through.

Manning is looking for a healthy and motivated Saquon Barkley to exact revenge for his horrific injuries.

« I think he may be one of those guys [who] I hope to get those 25 touches, 30 touches in a game – that’s running the football, but also catching the ball,” Manning said. “If he catches the ball really well, and that’s a way to get him into space, go one-on-one with the linebackers. Do some checks and let him go for 6, 7 yards. It’s all wins, and it’s good plays and it’s ways to get him the ball and get him going because I think he gets stronger as the game goes on. I’m glad he’s healthy. I want him to go there, play well, continue to be a Giant and have a good year.

Eli Manning, Daniel Jones (top right) and Brian Daboll
Eli Manning, Daniel Jones (top right) and Brian Daboll
PA; Corey Sipkins (2)

Manning said he believes right tackle Evan Neal, who was drafted as one of the Giants’ two first-round picks this spring, will be a key part of the evolution of the offensive line.

« You can’t help but notice Evan Neal, » Manning said. « He’s a tall human being so you notice him very quickly on the pitch just because he’s taller than everyone else. I’m excited to see how they will grow together as a unit.

Manning also has high hopes for second-year wide receiver Kadarius Toney.

« He’s explosive, » Manning said. « He’s one of those guys who wants to find ways to get the ball in his hands. Catches short passes, he misses that first guy and can make the big plays. I think it’s finding ways to using him and being creative with him. I think you see that a lot with a lot of different offenses, moving guys around, finding different ways to get the ball in his hands. As he goes gets older and he’s mastered that offense even more and feels comfortable, I think he can be a real playmaker. »

Eli Manning chats with Giants coach Brian Daboll during a recent practice.
Eli Manning chats with Giants coach Brian Daboll during a recent practice.
Corey Sipkins

Manning knows from experience how tough the Giants’ new defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s schemes can be on opposing quarterbacks and offenses.

“It was always a week of intense preparation by the quarterback,” Manning said. “How are we going to handle some of these blitzes? How are you going to handle the third down, what are some of those covers? And just have a game plan. We have to be aware of our crushes, we have to be aware of our adjustments to that. And just make sure that if they catch you, you don’t give them the big play. He’s going to be aggressive, and he’s been successful everywhere, so I’m excited about that. I think it will be a great job for the offense in training camp.

Once a Giants fan, only a Giants fan.

« I’m like the rest of the fans there, » Manning said. “I am excited about this season. I think we have playmakers. I think we have great staff. It could be an exciting season. I want them to go out there, hopefully get off to a quick start, get things done and build excitement around this team.

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