He’s just a fun guy to be around, that Eli Manning.
Following the Giants’ overtime win against the Redskins last weekend, footage of Daniel Jones and Manning celebrating the win with a game of flip cup at a bar in Hoboken went viral. Manning, 38, could be seen joking around with the rookie quarterback and Jones, 22, was caught dancing as napkins rained down around him.
But it was all in good fun, according to Jones, who was asked about it following practice Thursday.
“That was a one-shot deal there,” Jones said through a laugh. “It’s fun. Like I said, he’s a fun guy to be around, he’s a fun guy to hang out with and I’ve really enjoyed being with him.”
The Giants’ matchup with the Eagles on Sunday could be Manning’s final game with the organization, as the two-time Super Bowl MVP is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. When asked what kind of role Manning has stepped into for him this season, as a friend or mentor, Jones had nothing but positive things to say.
“I think he’s been all of that,” Jones said. “To have a guy like that to work with everyday and to learn football, learn how the NFL works, has been … I’ve been fortunate to be in that position. He’s a fun guy to hang out with, he’s a fun guy to come to work with, you learn a lot just hanging around him. I’ve been lucky to be around him.”
Outside linebacker Markus Golden’s success has meant just a little bit more to defensive coordinator James Bettcher.
Golden began his NFL career with the Cardinals after the organization drafted him No. 58 overall in 2015, the same year Bettcher was promoted to defensive coordinator after two seasons as an outside linebackers coach. Bettcher, who is in his second year with the Giants, feels like he’s gotten a firsthand look at how much Golden has overcome to be where he is now.
“For me, that one is personal because I have such a great relationship with him,” Bettcher said of Golden, whose 10 sacks this season are the most by a Giant since 2014. “Having worked with him when he was a rookie coming in and seeing that first year, how hard he worked to go from just being a 4-3 defensive end at Missouri to learning how to do some different things in this league.
“And then to watch the injury going into a year where he had big plans for himself in Arizona, we had big plans for him. Then coming off that injury and continuing to battle, a knee turns into an ankle turns into another injury and seeing him come into this season and just have a chance to play healthy. Have a chance to play as hard as he can, as long as he can during the course of the game. I’ll forever be a Markus Golden fan and be one of his biggest supporters.”
The 28-year-old, who signed a one-year deal with the Giants in March is set to become a free agent at the end of this season. He’s already made it clear he hopes to remain with the Giants. But after Golden reached double digits in sacks against the Redskins last Sunday, he’s likely looking a lot more appealing to re-sign.
“That meant a lot to me, that meant a whole lot to me,” Golden said. “As a pass-rusher, if you’re rushing the pass you want to be able to get to double-digit sacks no matter what, it’s always the goal. It was my mindset coming in and then I know that me rushing the passer and getting them down double digits is helping my team win.”
During Thursday’s practice, the Giants dipped footballs in a bucket of water to simulate the possibility of rain for Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
CB Corey Ballentine (back), LB Lorenzo Carter (knee), LB Alec Ogletree (back) and T Mike Remmers (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday. Remmers worked out on the stationary bike, while Ogletree did some individual work on the side. CB Sam Beal (shoulder), TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), OL Nick Gates (shoulder) and WR Darius Slayton (knee) were all limited participants.
For more on the Giants, listen to the latest episode of the “Blue Rush” podcast: