Manning, a two-time Super Bowl champion, played one season with Jones in 2019 before retirement. The former Ole Miss star believes Jones has a championship mentality going into Year Five as a starter.
“You’ve got to learn to deal with both of them in the same way is really the idea. You’re never satisfied, you always have something you want to work on,” Manning told The Athletic’s Dan Duggan about Jones. ” I think he has that mentality. I think he still feels like he has a lot to prove, that he wants to win a championship, be one of the best quarterbacks.”
“That’s what he’s working toward. I think he’s worked really hard. I think he feels very comfortable in this offense and being the leader of this team and taking ownership and that responsibility. He wants to go out there and play well,” Manning added.
Jones put together his best year as a pro in 2022 with a 9-6-1 record when he led the Giants to the playoffs. He threw for 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns versus five interceptions, and he completed 67.2% of his passes.
New York rewarded him with a four-year, $160 million contract — a far cry from how he started as Manning’s backup in 2019. The Giants picked Jones with the No. 6 selection in the 2019 NFL Draft to succeed Manning, but Jones saw lots of ups and downs during his first three seasons.
Jones went 3-9 as a starter in place of Manning in 2019 amid 3,027 yards passing for 24 touchdowns versus 12 picks. Things didn’t improve for Jones amid two more losing seasons in 2020 and 2021, and he averaged 2,685.5 yards and 10.5 touchdowns versus 8.5 picks in that span.
Eli Manning Opens Up About Friendship With Daniel Jones
While Jones ultimately replaced Manning, the two developed a friendship from their time as teammates. Manning has remained a support since.
“I think that’s why we’ve become pals and stayed in touch. I’ve never had resentment toward him in any way just because I appreciate the way he’s handled his business,” Manning told Duggan. “I appreciate the way he’s come in and worked hard and dealt with the controversy and dealt with the ups and downs.”
“He’s always wanted to make improvements and get better. I appreciate his attitude and his commitment to football. I’m rooting for him and I’m a fan of him,” Manning added.
Jones will begin his fifth season under center when the Giants take on the Dallas Cowboys on September 10 during “Sunday Night Football” at MetLife Stadium.
Eli Manning Says He Challenged Famed Nephew, Arch, From Early Age
The younger Manning became known as a prized high school recruit before he chose Texas, but passing on the Manning family football legacy to him started well before that. Eli Manning recently told People magazine about “drilling balls” at his four-year old nephew.
“I think my first catch with him, he was like four years old … I’m just drilling balls at him and bouncing off so he didn’t cry,” Eli Manning told People.