This week, the biggest story in the NFL is that the Giants have finally moved on from Eli Manning. They benched their former franchise quarterback in favor of their 2019 first-round pick, Daniel Jones.
Because Eagles practice squad quarterback Kyle Lauletta was with the Giants from 2018 until final cuts this year, he has a unique perspective. So I asked him about the biggest news of the week:
I respect both those guys. I got to know those guys and had good relationships with them. Eli, obviously, has a lot of respect in that locker room and in that organization.
But they’re giving the young guy the nod. I wish him the best. As far as what I think about it, they’re both good quarterbacks and both really good players. Daniel had a heckuva preseason. I think they’re 0-2, so maybe they’re just giving him a shot and seeing how they do with him in there. I wish them both the best and we’ll see what happens.
Manning, 38, seems to be handling this whole situation with a ton of class and with plenty of perspective.
Eli Manning discusses starting QB change pic.twitter.com/kzoOL7Nv7j— New York Giants (@Giants) September 18, 2019
Lauletta said he learned a lot from Manning in their year-plus together. A big part of learning from Manning was simply observing the veteran’s daily routine and incorporating some of it in his own routine.
A neat specific thing Lauletta learned from Manning was about footwork. You wouldn’t think that because Manning isn’t much of a threat to run, but Lauletta explained it’s Manning’s footwork that allows him to get through his reads, always be on line and deliver the football quickly.
As a 24-year-old in his second NFL season, Lauletta was really impressed by Manning’s durability. Manning started 210 consecutive games before he was benched for a game in 2017.
“He’s had an amazing career,” Lauletta said, “he’s probably a future Hall of Famer.”
But the decision to start Jones is probably a wise one for a Giants team that is 0-2 and desperately needed a fresh start.
In the preseason, Jones completed 85 percent of his passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns, with a passer rating of 137.3. So after the Giants stumbled out of the gate, you’d understand why they didn’t wait long to see what their No. 6 pick can do.
Lauletta is eager to see too.
“We’ll see what he can do. Obviously, had a great preseason,” Lauletta said. “We’ll see when the bullets are flying. I’m excited to be here and hope we take them down twice. I’m going to be fired up for those games for sure.”
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