Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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

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

When Daniel Jones was selected No. 6 overall in 2019, their eyebrows were raised, their glasses were dramatically removed, 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 direct-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 made him look like. a top roof franchise pin. Unfortunately, Jones has been unable to rekindle that success since then, 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 on 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 in 2005 by the San Diego Chargers.

After a brief return to Tennessee, Cutcliffe ended up as a head coach at Duke in 2008, where he is still a coach today, and Cutcliffe was a 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 the 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 to me. 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 drafted 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: He has thrown 36 touchdowns and 6,237 yards, but has turned the ball more than 40 times in that span (22 interceptions, 18 fumbles).

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

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