By most reasonable measures, Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a major star. Being the son and brother of NFL quarterbacks, hijacking your rookie draft, and playing in the biggest media market will do that for a guy.
But Manning had to admit that the swirl of attention around wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. at the moment is “at a whole new level.”
“Everybody’s got to kind of grow with the times, and things have changed,” Manning said, via Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News. “The NFL’s changed, social media, all that’s changed since I’ve been a New York Giant. So you have to understand the different personalities, the different mindsets of people and how to adjust and handle that.”
And Beckham is clearly a little different than the low-key Manning, who cracked jokes about whether the return of his star wideout would create a distraction.
“Well, luckily we haven’t had any media, so we haven’t been asked about it. So this is the first time,” Manning said. “So no, you can’t make it a distraction. People are gonna ask about him. He’s an interesting guy and they want to know what’s going on.”
Manning would probably like to know what’s in Beckham’s head as well, so he’s stayed in touch with him while he was skipping voluntary workouts. The Giants have to make some adjustments on offense this offseason (with new parts including Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram), but Manning doesn’t think Beckham missed that much by staying away from OTAs.
And he’s also not worried about the over-arching questions about Beckham’s maturity as he prepares for his first big contract negotiation.
“It’s all new to a lot of guys,” Manning said. “I was in the same position years ago and had to go through it, had to mature and realize things and just understand how to handle everything that’s kind of thrown at you. I think (Beckham’s) doing a good job doing that.”
And by treating it as a perfectly normal occurrence, Manning’s doing his part to keep things low-key as it pertains to a player who is anything but.