As the start of training camp approaches, so does a potential quarterback battle in the Big Apple.
Before Giants minicamp broke in mid-June, Big Blue coach Pat Shurmur told reporters that, while incumbent veteran Eli Manning is still New York's starter, rookie signal-caller Daniel Jones was "on track with the goal to be ready to play on Day 1."
Shurmur told the New York media to "have at it", regarding speculation about the QB position, adding, "The players who give our team the best chance to win play. Period. We've seen Eli do that for a very long time, so we'll see what happens as we go down the road."
"What I can I see, Eli Manning's got a lot of juice left," Tate told NFL Network's Scott Hanson on Total Access on Thursday. "He's still got some zip on his passes.
"I've been impressed. I think we have a really good problem. We've got a Hall of Fame-type of quarterback in my mind and we also drafted a guy, a young guy, so we don't need Daniel to come in and save the day. We just need Daniel to stay on pace, learn as much as he possibly can in a great environment and just take it day by day. We don't need him to come in tomorrow and win a game. We just need him to stay on pace. I think that's good news in my mind."
A Super Bowl-winning QB and potential future Hall of Famer, Manning has a lot of rope in New York, even as the 38-year-old passer shows signs of aging and fatigue year after year. Manning himself said he doesn't feel there's a competition between him and Jones heading into training camp, which kicks off on July 22 for the rookie and July 24 for the vet.
But in the post-2011 rookie wage scale era, it's rare for teams to draft a QB in the top 10 and not attempt to start him as soon as possible. Since 2011, only three of 17 quarterbacks selected in the top 10 did not start at least 10 games his rookie year (Jake Locker, Jared Goff, Patrick Mahomes), and none of those three rookies were sitting behind future Hall of Famers.
Part of the reason Tate is confident in the Giants offense as currently constructed (orchestrated by Manning) is the variety and multiplicity of New York's weapons, especially himself.
"The two years I started in Seattle, I was an outside guy. My first two years in Detroit with two receivers I was outside and with three receivers I was inside. So I can kind of play everywhere and that's what makes me unique," Tate explained. "I think I can be efficient everywhere and coach Shurmur is going to do a good job of moving myself and Saquon (Barkley) and Sterling (Shepard) and Cody (Latimer) and Corey (Coleman) and (Evan) Engram around. I think we can move wherever and just create mismatches and make plays and I think that's what's going to make us unique this year."
"I'm my own player. I have a different style of playing," Tate added. "I'm just going in there to work hard and do my job the best I possibly can best to help this organization win.
"I don't care how we get it done. If that means I get 1,500 yards, so be it if I get 600 yards, I just want to win ball games and get back to winning and get to the playoffs and being the New York Giants that I grew up watching."
Whether those Giants feature a 38-year-old or a 22-year-old leading the playoff charge remains to be seen.