‘Rocky like’ Eli should be Giants backup/coach next year (Opinion)
I think the greatest movie character ever is Rocky Balboa. I love the way Sylvester Stallone allows him to not only age gracefully after winning the title, then losing everything but move into a supporting role as Adonis Creed's trainer which keeps him relevant and honest. Rocky gets to do what he was made to do for the rest of his life with the people he wants to do it with.
Eli Manning could be a lot like Rocky. No one picked him to win anything when he started. Then he wins the Super Bowl and comes back to win it again. His NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 was "Rocky" like and one of many similar performances.
Now with Eli on the bench watching Daniel Jones take over his role, we will probably bid goodbye to the greatest quarterback in franchise history until we bring him back to retire his number. Unless of course there were a reason for him to stay, say maybe backup quarterback/coach? Eli could be "Rocky" to Jones "Creed."
Hear me out. Eli Manning is totally healthy and wants to play somewhere next year. If he finds a job, God Bless. But if he doesn't, why not offer him the backup role to Daniel Jones and make him a coach as well? Granted, you're not going to pay him the $23 million he got this year, but no one else is either. He knows Shurmur's system, has been the perfect soldier since his benching and despite everything, still bleeds Giants blue.
Whether or not you think Eli is a top quarterback, you'd have to admit he'd be one of the best backups. He gets to stay here in New Jersey where he built a house for his family. He makes a few million for holding a clipboard, which the Giants would have to spend anyway on a backup, add a few more for the coaching and he gets to stay with the organization and fan base he loves and loves him.
Daniel Jones could and would learn a lot from Eli Manning. He's probably learning it now. Who better to continue the teachings of David Cutcliffe, who was Jones's college coach, then another one of his disciples. Cutcliffe also coached Manning in college.
Giants fans have been lucky to have a quarterback that's been injury-free the last 15 years. There's no guarantee that continues with Daniel Jones. Who would you rather see enter the game should Jones get hurt, the man who won two Super Bowls and knows the offense through and through, or Alex Tanney? Who would you more trust to take his team deep into the playoffs and possibly a Super Bowl?
If Eli Manning wants to continue to play in the NFL he's going to have to do it for less money and probably either in a backup role or keep the seat warm until we get our guy ready. Why not do that here? To me, it makes perfect sense.
More from New Jersey 101.5: