Jones, of course, replaced the two-time Super Bowl MVP as the starting quarterback after the Giants started the season 0-2.
“Looking back there was definitely .. probably a little bit awkward at times, certain times,” Jones said. “But we did a good job working together. I know I enjoyed working with him and certainly learned a ton from him and appreciate everything he did during that year.”
“I think it will be easier this year for him to kind of step up as that leader,’’ Manning said. “Last year was probably awkward for him, me being there, me being in meeting rooms and just kind of 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.
“I think he’s proven to be tough and works hard, he’s done all the right things, he has gone in with that approach of keeping his head down and not saying more than he has to, working hard and earning the respect from the teammates. Now he can elevate that where now he’s in charge. The questions are coming to him from the coordinator, he’s going to have to give his voice and his opinion on things.’’
Jones, drafted No. 6 overall a year ago, was respectful of Manning both before and after he supplanted him as the starter.
“It’ll certainly be different in the room [without Manning],” Jones said. “I really enjoyed working with Eli last year. I thought it was a huge advantage for me to be able to learn from him and talk to him every day.”