BAYONNE, N.J. — Like most Giants players from the Super Bowl XLII and XLVI teams, Justin Tuck is a huge Eli Manning supporter. He believes in the 38-year-old quarterback’s ability, and he wants the Giants to ride with him as long as they can.
But if the Giants are going to replace Manning in the near future, Tuck is fine if “Little Eli” turns out to be the guy.
“I think if you listen to (Giants GM Dave) Gettleman talk about why they drafted (Duke quarterback Daniel Jones), it boils down to what they’ve had success with in the last 15 years,” Tuck said. “There’s a guy there that this kid reminds them of. And if I’m in the same boat, I’m OK if he turns out like Little Eli Manning.”
Tuck, of course, isn’t the only one to notice the similarities between Manning and Jones, whom the Giants recently took with the sixth overall pick in the draft. Both were coached in college by David Cutcliffe. Both have similar calm demeanors. They both even seem to have some of the same mannerisms, and many think they even look a little bit alike.
It’s the play that matters in the end, though, and no one really knows yet if Jones has a chance to be anything like a “Little Eli Manning” on the field.
“That’s high praise,” Tuck said before co-hosting the Newark Mentoring Movement charity golf outing at the Bayonne Golf Club. “Is it going to happen? Who knows? Nobody knows how it’s going to pan out. But what I like about it is he seems to be even-keeled. He seems to be poised — and he’s going to need that in this place.
“Can he play? I don’t know yet. We’ll find out. But all the intangible things of what you want from a quarterback, it seems that he has it. We’ll see.”
And Tuck added that everyone needs to be patient Jones, too, despite the fact the Giants took him so high in the first round.
“It don’t matter what draft pick it is,” Tuck said. “It could be the No. 1 overall pick or (an undrafted) free-agent pickup. I always give these guys 2-3 years before you know how a draft pans out. Trust me. I didn’t do a damn thing on the football field until my third year.”