Mike Shula: Eli Manning has 'a good look in his eye'

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  • By Grant Gordon
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With Daniel Jones on the mend, Eli Manning is back in the Giants saddle again on Monday night.

Having quarterbacked New York to a pair of Super Bowl titles during his heyday and then lingered a bit too long in the eyes of some during the Giants' recent seasons of struggles, Manning will return to the starting spot under center that was his for the better part of 14 consecutive autumns.

Manning hasn't played this season since his previous and last start in a Week 2 loss to the Bills.

From the vantage point of offensive coordinator Mike Shula, though, Manning has a familiar gleam in his eye.

"He looks good," Shula told reporters on Friday, via team transcript. "He's had a good week. He always has a good look in his eye. He's been great for me as a coach, to be around. I've learned a lot from him. I look forward to watching him on Monday night."

On Monday night, Manning and the Giants (2-10), hapless to the tune of a league-long eight-game losing streak, will look to play spoilers as the Eagles (5-7) aim to stay afloat in the shallow end of the NFL known as the NFC East.

In perhaps a cruel twist, Manning will return to a starting role as the Giants are mired in an eight-game skid for the first time since 2004, when the 2004 NFL Draft's No. 1 pick took over the starting reins in Week 11 amid the string of defeats.

Manning hasn't quarterbacked the Giants to a victory since Week 14 of a season ago, bringing in an individual five-game losing streak as a starter. And, of course, he hasn't quarterbacked at all since September, though rust isn't a concern of his OC.

"Obviously, he's practiced every day," Shula said. "He's gotten himself ready mentally and physically. It's just a matter of getting back out there."

As for the play-calling, there shouldn't be much that changes -- other than one, huge glaring change with the younger, fleet-footed Jones out and the 38-year-old Manning in.

"We might not have him running the ball like we did with Daniel," Shula said. "But other than that, really nothing."

Though Shula says he looks forward to watching Manning on Monday, the harsh reality is many will scoff at the two-win Giants facing a below-.500 Eagles squad in prime time. After all, the Giants really have nothing more to play for than pride and to end their losing streak.

With Manning's return, however, a bit of nostalgia is in the air and perhaps the opportunity to pen a more fitting final chapter in Gotham.

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