Eli Manning, the man who beat Tom Brady in two Super Bowls, thinks his old rival may find it tough adapting to life with his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady left the New England Patriots in March after two decades and six Super Bowl titles with the team. The Buccaneers are blessed with weapons, such as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Brady’s old teammate Rob Gronkowski on offense, but the Covid-19 lockdown is an added obstacle for the quarterback as he adjusts to a new playbook.
“I think it’s gonna be tough for him, just the fact he can’t be doing everything he wants to be doing with the team and getting ready,’’ Manning told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday. “Obviously they have some playmakers at receiver there. When you got talented receivers, it makes it a little bit easier to get on the same page with ‘em.
“It will be interesting how it all plays out and how quickly he can just adjust to a new organization and new players and new offense, all those new things, especially with the limited timing he’s gonna have being with them.’’
Manning was the quarterback for the New York Giants when they beat Brady’s Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and XLVI. The 39-year-old announced his retirement in January and predicted his replacement, Daniel Jones, will thrive this season.
“I think it will be easier this year for him to kinda step up as that leader,’’ Manning said. “Last year was probably awkward for him, me being there, me being in meeting rooms and just kinda the whole dynamic. Me being gone and hey, he is the quarterback, he is the guy, for him to have that control and the authority over receivers and offensive line.”
He also gave his thoughts on the situation in Green Bay, where the Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first-round of April’s draft. Some saw the selection as not only a sign the Packers are thinking of long-time starter Aaron Rodgers’ replacement but also as a snub to Rodgers, who is in need of a top-class receiver.
“I’m sure Aaron wasn’t real fond of it happening, especially after going 13-3 and playing good football,’’ Manning said. “There’s certain parts of this game, as you get older in age, you just have to accept some of the realities that teams are gonna start looking for the future, they have to start planning.’’