Professor Manning he is not.
Despite a Giants quarterback room suddenly brimming with young players who are looking to soak up as much knowledge and advice as they can muster from the two-time Super Bowl champion, a crew that now includes free agent Geno Smith on a career do-over and third-round pick Davis Webb who many see as the possible eventual replacement for Manning, Ben McAdoo said the starting quarterback should not be focusing on sharing and teaching.
He needs to focus on winning.
“Eli needs to do his job, he needs to focus on getting ready to go out and play at a high level this year and be a good teammate like he always is,” McAdoo said on Tuesday in Manhattan where he was receiving the John V. Mara Sportsmanship Award at the 81st annual CYO Club of Champions Tribute. “I’m sure the young guy [Webb] is going to have some questions for him, but it’s not Eli’s job to get anybody ready to play this season and it’s not Eli’s job to go out and develop another quarterback. That’s not his job description. His job is to prepare and perform.”
It’s the job of the other guys, Webb in particular, to observe and absorb.
“That’d be a good way to go about it,” McAdoo said.
While there seems little chance that Manning will be usurped anytime soon, the selection of Webb and the team’s public desire to find a young quarterback this offseason has at the very least started the countdown clock on his tenure with the team.
McAdoo seems to be OK with that, as long as it lights a fire under his quarterback and perhaps pushes him to a higher level of play than he showed last season.
“Anytime you have players in the room with the skillsets that they have, you want to go out and perform well,” McAdoo said. “I think Eli is going to prepare to go out and play at a high level like he always does.”
Webb has yet to physically join the team; that will happen next week for the rookie minicamp. Smith, coming off an ACL tear, is still limited as the team participates in Phase II of the voluntary offseason workouts.
“Geno is champing at the bit, he wants to get out there and be full speed, and we’re holding him back as best we can,” McAdoo said.
The Giants also re-signed last year’s backup, Josh Johnson.
“I think there is a lot of competition going on in the quarterback room right now,” McAdoo said. “Eli is going to get pushed from Josh and Geno and with a young guy coming in who is going to push for the number two spot but he’s got a long way to go. There’s a lot of competition.”
And he made it clear that it’s Manning’s job to use that competition and beat it, not groom it.
Notes & quotes: McAdoo said the coaches have been hard at work devising ways to use first-round pick TE Evan Engram this season. “The offense is going to be vastly different than what he’s used to, so we need to get him in,” McAdoo said of the spread system Engram played in at Ole Miss. “The good part about it is he is used to taking plays off of someone’s hands, so that helps with the signal part of things. That’ll be easier for him. The no-huddle stuff will probably come easier than the huddle stuff, which is the way it goes for a lot of these guys” . . . A day after naming Paul Perkins the starting running back in a WFAN radio interview, McAdoo said that the second-year back has “earned that confidence.” Asked why he publicly announced that decision, a rarity for McAdoo who likes to keep his depth chart a closely-guarded secret, he said: “I want Paul to push forward and I want to see him grow, take advantage of the opportunity. It will be good to see him with a whole offseason under his belt and see him grow and gain that confidence.” McAdoo made it clear that it is Perkins’ job to lose. “We had Paul and Rashad [Jennings] last year and Rashad’s no longer with us so Paul’s the next man up,” he said. “We’ll see how long he can hang onto it” . . . McAdoo was unsure whether DE Jason Pierre-Paul will be available for the veteran minicamp in mid-June as he comes back from core muscle surgery that ended his 2016 season. “He’s working his way back too, he’s still limited, he’s not full-go yet,” McAdoo said. “It’s way too early [to decide about minicamp]. We’re taking it day by day with those guys, we’re going to be smart with them, we’re not going to push them back too fast, especially with what you’re doing out there” . . . McAdoo was optimistic about two of the undrafted offensive linemen with whom the Giants have agreed to terms, USC’s Chad Wheeler and Tennessee State’s Jessamin Dunker. “I think we’ve added three tackles who come into the mix and have a chance to push us to get better,” McAdoo said, including sixth-round pick Adam Bisnowaty from Pitt. “It adds competition and they have some flexibility to jump inside if need be.”