Thursday, August 18

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones’ connection to Eli Manning goes beyond look-alike status

No, that’s not Eli Manning’s stuntman.

When Daniel Jones was voted No. 6 overall in 2019, his eyebrows rose, his glasses were dramatically removed, and they laughed. While analysts saw Jones as a late first- or second-round prospect, the Giants took a chance very early on a boy who appeared to be auditioning for the role of a Manning brother in a straight-to-broadcast biopic.

But the jokes quickly died down when Jones looked much better than many people expected him to look in the 2019 season, throwing for 24 touchdowns and 3,027 yards in 13 games (12 starts) for “Big Blue,” and showing flashes that he did. looks like a top roof franchise pin. Unfortunately, Jones hasn’t been able to rekindle that success since, with 2021 a life-and-death situation for the third-year quarterback.

Jones is not without his failures as a quarterback, including turning the ball over, that’s something he may have caught from spending time behind Eli on the bench in his rookie season, but the Jones-Manning family connection is a little deeper than just looking and playing as one.

Daniel Jones and Eli Manning side by side

(Fake images)

Daniel Jones’ connection to the Manning family

The connection between Eli and Peyton Manning and Daniel Jones begins with one man: current Duke head coach and footballer David Cutcliffe.

When Peyton was attending Tennessee in the 1990s, Cutcliffe was the offensive coordinator for the Volunteers. Between 1998 and 2004, Cutcliffe was with Ole Miss as the team’s head coach, where he coached Eli Manning before being selected No. 1 overall in 2005 by the San Diego Chargers.

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After a brief return to Tennessee, Cutcliffe ended up as head coach at Duke in 2008, where he is still a coach today, and Cutcliffe was coach during Daniel Jones’ tenure (2015-2018) at Durham.

The connection with Cutcliffe turned out to be invaluable to Jones, who would develop a relationship with the Manning brothers: Jones would attend the famous Manning Passing Camp in Louisiana, which he felt helped him as well.

“Being in that group, being with Coach Cut and the Mannings is an honor and something that I really appreciate.” Jones said at the 2019 NFL Combine. “I think the preparation that I have gone through with Coach Cut that I have gone through at Duke is something that will prepare me well for this step, and being able to have the relationships that I have with Eli and Peyton is something that has been special in my process. and I think something that will help. “

There is a misconception that Jones and the Manning family are extremely close. That’s not necessarily the case – the friendship between Jones and the Manning guys appears to be strictly on the field, although there is clearly a mutual respect between the two parties.

After being selected by the No. 6 Giants overall, Jones sat next to Eli Manning on the bench. Jones quickly beat Eli Manning for the starting job, and Manning would retire after the 2019 season.

In 28 games as a Giants quarterback, Jones has been a mixed bag, throwing 36 touchdowns and 6,237 yards, but turning the ball more than 40 times in that span (22 interceptions, 18 fumbles).

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Maybe he’s really doing his best Eli Manning impression.

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