ANGRY ELI SAYS HE’S INNOCENT IN FRAUD SCANDAL
GM mulls taking QB, not so high on Geno
Jerry Reese may be looking for Eli Manning’s successor, but not because he thinks his veteran quarterback’s retirement is right around the corner.
“We think that Eli has some good years left to play for us,” Reese said Thursday at the Giants facility in New Jersey.
However, the general manager admitted he has probably looked at college quarterbacks this year more than others and wouldn’t rule out drafting a quarterback in the first round.
“We’ll keep all our options open,” Reese said.
“Who knows what’ll happen guys,” Reese said. “If you draft a quarterback in the first round (or) you draft him in the second round, if Eli gets hurt...if you have a quarterback on the roster you have to get him ready to play. That’s the coach’s job to do that, and it’s our job to have somebody waiting in the wings to play. You just never know.”
Four years ago, Reese drafted Ryan Nassib and said he hoped the former Syracuse quarterback never played (and, indeed, Nassib never made a start for the Giants). Now Reese is in a little bit of a different situation, but stressed the team can’t overly focus on the timetable to the field when considering drafting a QB.
“In the draft you take the best player available. However he fits on the roster,” the general manager said. “You take a quarterback high, you take him in the seventh round, wherever you take him, you hope everything falls right for them. If they have to play, you hope it’s right for them to play. If you’re worried about when is he going to play, when’s he not going to play, you might miss out on the right player.”
Manning, 36, is coming off of a down year but one in which he got his team to the postseason. The veteran quarterback recognized his own shortcomings on the field last season.
“I know I’ve got to play better, I’ve got to complete more passes, throw more touchdowns, throw (fewer) interceptions, and I’m gonna work to do that,” Manning said.
“We are trying to put good people around him as well and hopefully the offense can pick up the pace more than last year,” Reese added.
When asked if Geno Smith is a contender to eventually take the quarterback reins from Manning, Reese sounded less enthusiastic about the idea than Ben McAdoo did last month at the league meetings.
“Well, Geno is on the roster and is going to have a fair share to compete just like everyone else,” Reese said. “He is excited about being here and we are excited to have him and he is going to come in and compete just like everybody else, so we will see where that goes.”
An emotional and impassioned Eli Manning addresses reporters about allegations surrounding a memorabilia fraud lawsuit, but the Giant QB sounds sincere in his denial Thursday.