Talk of Giants losing faith in Eli Manning meant 'to break us apart'


As one of the most present players in the Giants locker room, Sterling Shepard should have a good pulse for his teammates’ thinking.

ESPN.com and CBSSports.com reported Giants players are expressing their frustrations with quarterback Eli Manning behind the scenes.

Teamed with wide receiver Odell Beckham’s recent “Uhh, I don’t know” reply when asked if the Giants have a quarterback problem, Manning’s struggling game performances and critiques from former NFL quarterbacks, it has turned up the heat on the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

“I have total faith in Eli,” Shepard said. “I haven’t heard that once in this locker room. I haven’t heard that from any individual player. That’s just outside noise and stuff trying to break us apart.

“We’re doing a good job of keeping everything together in here. As far as in the locker room, we have total faith in him, we picked him as our starting quarterback at the beginning of the season and we’re going to ride with that.”

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The Giants broke apart last season when the team had a 1-5 record. About 2/3 of the 53-man roster has been turned over since then in an effort to find better character in times of adversity.

“You learn from the past,” safety Landon Collins said. “The past is the past. You can only learn lessons from it. But we put it behind us and move toward the future.”

The Giants’ universal default answer for their offense struggles — ranking No. 24 in a yards per game and No. 27 in points per game — has become “We need to score more points.”

Easier said than done.

“Score more touchdowns, finish drives, not get behind the sticks, (not) make little mistakes when we make a big play and then come back and make a stupid penalty,” tight end Evan Engram said. “Just little things that will help us finish drives.”

Giants coach Pat Shurmur said last week no players have come to him to vent about Manning.

Both Giants co-owner John Mara and Shurmur have said the Giants “believe in Eli,” but Shurmur’s patience with Manning could be running thin. He yelled “Throw the ball!” at his quarterback after two straight bubble screens and he honed in on Manning’s early-game interception that turned into seven points for the Eagles.

“We also spotted them seven points, too,” Shurmur said.

Ryan Dunleavy may be reached at rdunleavy@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @rydunleavy. Find our Giants coverage on Facebook.

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