Eli Manning on trying to relate to younger teammates: ‘I do a lot of dancing’
Eli Manning is an elder statesman in the NFL, something that becomes all too clear to the 37-year-old quarterback when attempting to relate to his much younger teammates.
Manning nevertheless has attempted to forge a bond with Odell Beckham (25) and Sterling Shepard (24), Evan Engram (23) and Saquon Barkley (21) — who highlight the New York Giants’ skill position players — by acting somewhat out of character.
“I do a lot of dancing,” Manning quipped on Tuesday, via NJ.com. “Probably more than I used to.”
Manning insists that despite his presumably unhip dance moves, he gets on well with the young whippersnappers on the team.
“I have a good relationship with all the guys,” Manning said. “I’m not trying to act like I’m 22. I act my age and make fun of myself a lot. They add to it, probably. That’s fine. I’m good with that.”
The veteran Giants signal-caller made a wisecrack at his younger teammates’ expense in July when addressing one of their offseason workouts during which they all went shirtless.
“You have to have fun with them and connect with them,” Manning added Tuesday. “There are times where it is serious and you are talking ball.
“They always know by the way I approach them if I’ve got something serious to talk about, a route or a concept. Or there is a time to goof off and have fun and get to know the lighter side of them.”
Manning credits his fellow quarterbacks — Davis Webb (23) and Kyle Lauletta (22) — with pointing him in the right direction when it comes to keeping up with what the kids are up to these days.
“There is a lot of dancing going on, which I find very curious,” Manning said. “I miss out on some of the music. Social media and some of the things they are on. For the most part, I can figure it out, I guess.”
Manning suffered through one of the worst seasons of his NFL career in 2017 as the Giants limped to a 3-13 record. Perhaps the Giants’ young guns will help Manning discover his own personal fountain of youth.