Jennings: Eli Now Has LESS Pressure On Him

LISTEN: Former Giants RB discusses Eli Manning, Daniel Jones Dynamic

The DA Show
September 05, 2019 - 11:22 am

When the Giants selected Daniel Jones during the 2019 NFL Draft, it wasn't a secret that Jones would one day replace Eli Manning

Giants fans pondered when the former Duke standout would replace their franchise quarterback. The selection also led the football world to believe that there would be a fierce quarterback controversy heading into the regular season. Giants owner John Mara expressed his hope for the rookie to stay on the bench all season in a "perfect world." Former Giants running back Rashad Jennings shares Mara's belief, stating that the selection of Jones is extremely beneficial for both Jones as well as Manning.

Jennings joined Damon Amendolara on "The D.A. Show" Thursday to say Eli has significantly less pressure on him this season compared to his previous years. 

"Oddly enough, I think Eli has less pressure on him contrary to what people believe," Jennings said. "A lot of times - this is just my assumption - from what I know about Eli this is what I would assume, you know as Eli you hear media talk about, 'when are we going to get his replacement?' And it's like, he hasn't seen anybody else come in and that could replace him. Sometimes there's this ghost in your head that you're more afraid of. Finally, he's in there. We all know it. Now, let's just get back to football. Let me relax. Let me do what I do best. Let me show everybody why I'm Eli Manning."

Jennings stressed the importance of Jones, a rookie, to sit behind Manning, an established veteran, for at least a season. He's says Manning is the best quarterback he's ever played with but distinctively remembers a similar situation when he was playing in Jacksonville. 

The 34-year-old spent the first three seasons of his career with the Jaguars. The team had veteran David Garrard as their quarterback, but selected Blaine Gabbert 10th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. The selection ended up being one where Jennings said Gabbert replaced the veteran "way too early."

"It was a situation where he was drafted first round, they cut David Garrard week one," Jennings said. "The whole team was like, 'what are we doing?' Blaine Gabbert was forced to start before his time and we see the results, which is why I'm glad Daniel Jones gets to sit back a little bit and watch.

"Sometimes I wish the GM would have a conversation with the majority of the team and weigh his options of what's the best decision at that time," Jennings said. "But, we knew it was going to be bad. It was all down hill from there. I felt bad for Blaine to be very honest because he had to fill shoes at 20 years old. We were not doing well on pass protection and he was taking some shots that really probably changed at how he looked at position himself. It was very unfortunate that he didn't get groomed. Going back to Daniel Jones is why I'm so excited that he gets to sit back and learn."

Click the audio player to listen to Jennings' interview in its entirety.