Eli Manning Talks Daboll & Jones, Sounds Off on Team’s Struggles


Dec 2, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) warms up before a game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

(East Rutherford, NJ) – Ask anybody around the Tri-state area for their opinion on the Jets and Giants, and you’ll hear plenty of different ideas. And as an official New Jersey resident – not to mention a “Giant for Life” – Eli Manning isn’t holding his tongue about Big Blue.

Specifically, Manning has head coach Brian Daboll’s back. He’s not among the fans who are throwing blame at the coach’s feet, or looking for a change at HC. “You got to coach the only way you know how to coach and I think (Daboll) does a good job. And you can’t let one tough season impact the way you’re gonna be or the way you’re gonna coach.”

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Manning could have been referring to reports that have emerged this offseason suggesting Daboll was often at odds with some members of his staff last year. One story revolved around since-resigned defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who reportedly “cursed out” Daboll before leaving the organization. The Daily News painted Daboll as an unhinged lunatic who yells so loud and so often on the headset, coaches couldn’t get in play calls. Manning made a comparison to his longtime head coach Tom Coughlin, who notably went through a transformation during the year in which the Giants ultimately won Super Bowl 42. Some say Coughlin “softened up,” and his relationship improved with team leaders like Michael Strahan.

Manning explained what he saw in Coughlin: “(Coach), he understood, yeah he made some changes. And I think it was because he knew he had great leadership and a lot of guys that have been around for a number of years (were) used to the system and he could let us take over some of that leadership responsibilities with the team. You got to be yourself though.”

Former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning hug during the ceremony honoring the Super Bowl XLVI winning team. The Giants fall to the Rams, 38-11, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in East Rutherford.

One player that continues to search for his own identity is also well-known to Manning. Daniel Jones replaced Manning during his rookie season, and the two have developed a friendship over the years. Manning explained Jones’ injury-shortened 2023 season from his perspective: “He had a rough start (to last year). A lot of quarterbacks have had it. Obviously with the injuries, it’s not fun, but I know he’s determined.” Manning says he’s seen Jones several times in recent weeks, adding “I know he wants to be in New York. It’s not an easy place to play but he has the mindset. He has the mentality. I know he’ll do everything possible to get back and to get back to playing at a high level.”

Manning addressed Jones’ and the Giants’ 2023 season at a Guiding Eyes for the Blind event where the former quarterback handed off guide dog “Ten” to the nonprofit’s CEO and president Thomas Panek as his new official guide dog. The dog was named in honor of Manning’s jersey retirement, and Manning, a board member, has been involved with the organization since early in his career.

“It was an honor when Guiding Eyes said they were going to name a dog ‘Ten’ after my number was retired from the Giants,” Manning said. “To now fast forward to today and see that ‘Ten’ not only made it as a guide dog, which not every dog has the traits to become a guide dog, but to be Thomas’ guide dog and the fact that he is athletic and can keep Thomas athletic. Thomas runs marathons and Ten is going to be right by his side and (I’m) excited to know that.”

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