Through the ups and downs of his career, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has never lost his sense of humor. And despite a 4-8 record this season and two consecutive years of relentless debate over his job, that hasn’t changed for the two-time Super Bowl MVP.
Here in 2018, the Giants have a new coaching staff, a new front office and a near-historic level of personnel turnover. They also have a new running back in Saquon Barkley, who was selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
While they have struggled as a team at times, the Giants seem to be having fun. The youth and athleticism of Barkley is one reason why, as the Penn State alumni appears to be headed for the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
On several occasions this season, Barkley has displayed otherworldly talent, which was highlighted by a flat-footed leap over a Chicago Bears defender in Week 13. Barkley took off two yards away from the defender and soared over his head as jaws dropped around the stadium.
Manning was impressed, but admits he’s anxiously awaiting his opportunity to show Barkley up.
“There’s only a few of us that can do that,” Manning said with a laugh. “I’m just waiting for my opportunity. It hasn’t arrived yet, but it’s out there.”
Manning’s comment drew laughter from around the room as you might expect. It’s not as if he’s known for remarkable speed or athleticism — Michael Strahan used to poke fun at him for tripping over the air. But that’s what makes Eli, Eli. His sense of humor is unparalleled.