This does not exactly qualify as an upset. Manning has been asked repeatedly about Peyton and the queries figure to increase in volume now that he’s trying to win his second championship in the town where his brother has been the most popular sports figure – if not its favorite citizen – since arriving as the first overall draft choice in 1998. And since Peyton faces an uncertain future after missing the entire season following neck surgery, reporters have another line of Peyton-inspired questions to fire at Eli.
So let’s take care of the week’s most important issue.
“I don’t have any plans, right now, to see Peyton,” Eli said. “I know I won’t be going over to his house anytime this week. The last Super Bowl I played in, he was in
Okay, so Eli and Peyton will not break bread this week. But it’s not because he is tired of playing in his brother’s “shadow,” as one inquisitor put it.
“Peyton has been a great big brother to me and very helpful in my progression as a quarterback whether through college or the NFL,” Eli said. “He has supported me and given me any tips he could think of, especially my first couple of years. For a Christmas present, he bought me a computer that stores all our software to watch film at home. He would want to do anything for me to be a better quarterback, to help me play at a high level. He has been very helpful at that. In his case, he’s been the guy who I’ve looked up to. Not just because of what he’s done in the NFL, but since I started watching him play football when he was in the seventh grade and the starting quarterback. I didn’t miss one of his games from the time he was in seventh grade through high school. I saw every one of his games. I tried to see every college game, whether on TV or attending. He is someone who I’ve watched closely, talked to and worked with on drops and different (techniques). When he went off to college he would come back and things his coaches were teaching him in college, he would come back and teach to me when I was in eighth grade or in high school, just so I would have an advantage. We’ve had a very close relationship. I thank him for all that he’s provided me and helping me become a better quarterback.”
Okay, so Eli really does like Peyton, as he’s said about a million times during their parallel NFL careers. But how does he feel about possibly winning a Super Bowl in his brother’s hometown, on his brother’s home field?
“I really have not thought much about playing in
Just for the record, the other Peyton-related topics Eli responded to were…
a) On whether the uncertainty with Peyton’s football future causes him to have a deeper appreciation for the game. “If you play this game long enough, you realize how precious each season is and how precious these opportunities are,” Eli said. “You don’t know if you’re going to get a chance to play in another Super Bowl. You don’t know when a season might be cut short on you. It’s not just reminding me because of what Peyton’s going through.”
b) On the comments Peyton made to him after the Colts won the Super Bowl following the 2006 season – and year before Eli and the Giants beat
c) And most important, an example of when he was little and Peyton “big-brothered him.” “I probably have quite a few of them, but to limit it to one – his most popular move, he would pin me down and take his knuckles and knock on my chest and make me name the 12 schools in the SEC (Southeastern Conference),” Eli said. “I didn’t know them all at the time, but I quickly learned them. It was a great learning technique. I don’t suggest anyone else try it out, but it definitely made me learn the schools of the SEC. Once I figured those out, he moved on. There were 28 teams in the NFL at that point, so all teams in the NFL. I had to get my studying on for that. Then once I figured that out – the one I never got was the 10 brands of cigarettes. When he really wanted to torture me and knew I had no shot of ever getting it, that’s when I just started screaming for my mom or dad to come save me, or maybe Cooper. That was his go-to move.”
Well, that about covers the Eli-Peyton partnership for today. But it’s only just begun. Media Day is tomorrow.
*Tom Coughlin was asked at his news conference what he learned from Bill Parcells, for whom he worked as an assistant coach from 1988-90, the last of the those seasons ending with the Giants’ victory in Super Bowl XXV.
“From Parcells, the thing that I admire mostly from Bill Parcells to George Young, Mr. Mara when I had the opportunity to tell him, was the belief in continuity, the stability,” Coughlin said. “There were very few peaks and valleys. There was a feeling of pressure; the finger was always on the coaching staff and how they prepared their team and how the players responded to that. Ultimately, anyone who was around Parcells for any length of time learned how to win. That’s the biggest thing I took away from it.
“When I left the New York Giants and became the head coach at
*The Patriots, the Giants’ opponents on Sunday, arrived here yesterday. But Coughlin had the Giants fly to
“First of all, this is the path that we followed four years ago (when the Giants defeated
Coughlin said the journey here was somewhat different than the other trips the Giants took this week.
“The flight started out like a day in which we were making a normal travel to a game, and you kind of have to catch yourself realizing you have a lot of work to do throughout the course of the week,” he said. “I think the players were excited. When we got on the plane, it was the video cameras and all of that stuff. They’re excited about it.”
*The Giants’ injured reserve players did not travel with the team, but will arrive later in the week.
“It’s tough,” Kiwanuka said. “I have a lot of sympathy for them and I understand exactly what they’re going through. It’s not about just missing out on the Super Bowl. You feel bad when you miss out on any game, any practice. You don’t realize how important it is until it’s taken away. So I definitely understand what they’re going through.”
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