The New York Giants are looking to get back to the postseason for the first time since they won the Super Bowl during the 2011 season, and quarterback Eli Manning is confident this team will end a four-year streak of missing the playoffs.
“Yeah definitely,” Manning said when asked if the Giants were a playoff team, via the New York Post. “We added some great players in the offseason. We were aggressive in free agency, but still have a lot of our core guys, especially on offense, back and I think we made some good moves on defense. We’re getting some guys back healthy. It’s just a matter of, hey, the talent is there, can we put it together, can we find a way to win the games and play our best football when we need to?”
The Giants quarterback is coming off one of the best seasons in his career, as he recorded a career high 35 touchdowns passes last season. Manning and former offensive coordinator now head coach Ben McAdoo will look to keep New York’s high-scoring offense rolling in 2016, but know their defense will heavily dictate their success. New York finished the season with a sixth highest scoring offense in the league, but struggled to get wins as their defense gave up most the most yards in the NFL.
While all eyes will be on Manning and the Giants defense in 2016, one player on the Giants roster to keep in mind is backup quarterback Ryan Nassib. The Giants 2013 fourth round pick is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, and likely knows he will have to leave New York or wait until he is 30 for a chance to become the starter.
“I think Ryan’s done a great job. He’s a hard worker, he’s smart,” Manning said, via NJ.com. “Just from watching him and how he prepares, how he makes plays in practice, his football mind and ability, there’s no reason he can’t be a starter.”
The 26-year-old quarterback has had little game-experience sitting behind Manning and has only attempted 10 passes for 128 yards with a touchdown since arriving in New York. Nassib has used his time behind the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback wisely, learning the importance of preparation and what it takes to win in the league.
“I rely on him and depend on him during the week in my preparation,” Manning said. “Getting on the same page and getting his thoughts on things, how he sees it. He’s done everything the Giants have asked him to do.”
It’s unknown how New York’s front office and coaching staff feel about Nassib as Manning’s eventual successor, but the Giants backup is making sure to stay level-headed and focused on the upcoming season in a contract year.
“It’s something you can’t really think about. When the time comes, all I have to do is make sure I’m ready for it,” Nassib said earlier this offseason. “It’s something if I take care of in the meeting room and on the field, all that stuff will work out.”