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Tag:Eli Manning
Posted on: January 31, 2012 4:56 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 5:34 am
 

Peyton Manning talks: 'I really feel good'

Manning says he feels 'real good' despite reports. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning's the name no one can stop talking about at Super Bowl XLVI. His silence during the early part of the week is part of the reason why everyone from Eli Manning to Tom Brady has been quizzed (or had their verbiage scrutinized) about the Colts quarterback.

On Tuesday, Manning emerged from hiding and told ESPN in an interview that, despite reports to the contrary, he "really feel[s] good," that he has no plans to retire, but that he also has "no set timetable" for how long he'll play in the NFL.

Full Super Bowl Coverage

"I really feel good. I continue to make progress every day," he said. "Everything that the doctors have told me has been on point, which is encouraging to me. I just had a great day today with rehab, just got back from the facility, and that's what we continue to do. Just keep trying to get better. So far I have. That's the plan from here on out."

Not surprisingly, Manning has no plans to retire. But he also has no idea how long he'll play in the NFL.

"[There's] no set timetable," Manning said when discussing how long he'd play in the NFL. "I really don't. I've played a long time. I'm grateful for the time that I've played so far, and I have nothing to complain about. How much longer, we'll see."

Manning also talked about his relationship with Jim Irsay and their upcoming decision. He said that he and Irsay's relationship has "always been great" and will "continue to be great," and that the two wouldn't be talking about the decision on whether Manning will remain a Colt until after the Super Bowl.

Interestingly, Manning believes Irsay will make that decision before the March 8 deadline in Peyton's contract.

"I think the sooner the better, I really do," Manning said. "Jim and I talk constantly, we really do. We're in constant communication, and after this week is over, we'll do it, and we'll make a good plan from there. Either way, it's going to be good. I'm at peace, and it'll be a positive thing, I can assure you."

Unfortunately for Manning, it's pretty unlikely that the rest of the football-watching world will be at peace until a decision is actually made. Which means the next six days are going to continue to center around his future with the Colts.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Eli says Peyton's the 'best I've ever seen'

Eli was pretty popular at media day. (AP)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- During his Media Day session, Tom Brady received a huge ovation from the fans at Lucas Oil for stating that he hoped Peyton will play a long time with the Colts. Eli Manning also got a loud round of applause for discussing his big brother.

Full Super Bowl Coverage

Asked about Peyton's legacy, Eli said he thinks that Peyton's the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL.

"Peyton has had an unbelievable career. Since I've been watching football, I haven't seen anybody play at a higher level than he has," Eli said. "It has always been my goal to get to his level of football, to get to his level of play. that is something I've worked on."

Eli also said that he and Peyton sleep in bunk beds when they return home, which isn't as legacy-fulfilling, but still kind of awesome. And Eli has a case in his argument for Peyton.

Manning's numbers make him one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. In fact, it's probably just Peyton having won "only" a single Super Bowl that holds him back on the list of all-time greats.

That's incredibly ironic as Eli prepares for a chance at his second one.


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Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:10 pm
 

Fans a nice addition to Media-Day circus

Fans fill the stands in Indy. (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tuesday's Media Day is, predictably, an absolute zoo. Or maybe a circus is a better description, since there's nothing even remotely caged or tame about the way the players, press and Indianapolis population is acting while visiting Lucas Oil Stadium.

But this year features an entirely new twist, as 7,000 fans packed into the stands to check out the sideshow. And frankly it's a perfect fit.

Though the rabble-rousing over the addition of fans was understandable, it was ultimately unnecessary. They appear to be nothing more than an addition of the crowd, and that's not just in terms of how the two crowds blend together.

Most of them are noticeably less starstruck than the majority of the media members here. Of course, they're not asking questions, but they can interact to a degree with the players. Fans were given radio headsets to wear in the stands and can tune those headsets to hear the audio from various players.

At one point in the early session, Tom Brady was asked about Peyton Manning's future. He responded by saying that he hoped Peyton played a long time and that he hoped he played a long time in Indianapolis.

The crowd, the majority of whom are dressed in Colts jerseys, absolutely erupted. It was at that moment that Brady realized he was mic'd up for the fans.

It's a different vibe than "normal" media day, but not by much. (It's also literally more crowded than most Bengals games, but that's beside the point.) Adding a few thousand people to a scene that's already a total disaster just doesn't have much of an impact on the way the day plays out.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:57 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 7:59 pm
 

Eli trips up talking about end of Peyton's career

Eli's smirk after his miscue says it all. (NFL.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Eli Manning spent the better part of his nine-plus minute press conference on Monday answering questions about big brother Peyton Manning. As it turns out, they're related, and Peyton did many things that a big brother does. Like talking and stuff.

But there's a very interesting little moment at the end of Eli's press conference. You can watch it at NFL.com, and the moment we're talking about occurs at the 8:30 mark, when Eli is asked about playing in Indianapolis.

“I really have not thought much about playing in Indianapolis," Manning said. "It’s not really a time to reflect right now on that. It’s just a matter of trying to get ready for the Patriots and get ready to play this game, and get ready for their defense. We’ll look back on the fact of playing in the Super Bowl in the town where he plays for the Colts.

"And we'll look back on the fact that playing a Super Bowl in Peyton's, in the town where he played his NFL, uhhhh, you know plays for the Colts. So we'll look on that later."

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Emphasis is ours and we fully expect this post to result in a backlash of "you media losers are just desperate for a story"-type comments.

We're OK with that. Because if that's how you feel than you didn't actually watch the video and/or see the smirk that Eli had on his face as the presser wrapped up.

Maybe it was a legitimate slip of the tongue and Eli doesn't know anything about what Peyton plans to do and/or can do in the future, football-wise. But he definitely slipped up.

And it should make for an awkward -- and not likely encouraging -- text from his big brother some time in the near future.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:11 pm
 

Manning gives well-received locker room speech

ManningBy Josh Katzowitz

When you think Eli Manning, you don’t necessarily think of the phrase “vocal locker room leader” (isn’t that right, Tiki Barber?).

But when Manning has something to say, his Giants teammates take notice, and whatever he speaks about usually makes an impact. And with still 12 days to go before New York faces the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, Manning decided to showcase his leadership skills during a team meeting just before coach Tom Coughlin gave the Giants an off-day on Wednesday.

He decided to talk about -- or maybe just reemphasize -- how the team, you know, really should go about its Super Bowl preparations in a somewhat professional manner.

“I was just telling them just a little bit how to prepare for this,” Manning said, via the NY Daily News. “Just handling all your business with tickets, getting that stuff done. Just a few things on just the mindset of this week. We’ve got to have great preparation. Prepare this week like you’re playing the game this week, because once you get out to Indianapolis, you’ve got to take a bus ride to practice and the whole schedule gets thrown off.

“We’ve got to have everything that we normally have to do during a normal work week, we’re going to try to get it done this week.”

The talk apparently made an impact.

“It was a broad message that needed to be said,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “And it was a message that was heard loud and clear by everyone. Basically this is about business. Let’s go take care of it. Let’s go get it done, at whatever it costs.”

Man, Tiki Barber would be so proud.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:39 am
 

Jones: Romo competing, others need to play better

Jerry Jones has been impressed with Eli but is very happy with Romo. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Jerry Jones is in Mobile, Alabama this week for the Senior Bowl because, in addition to being the Cowboys' owner, he's also the general manager. The man who wears many hats in Dallas took time out from evaluating the next crop of draft-eligible players to talk about the Cowboys, whose Week 17 loss to the Giants kept them out of the playoffs.

“I thought (Tony) Romo was competing at a level that would’ve given us that opportunity but the rest of us need to play better and get better before we can really gel the way the Giants are,” Jones said via CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Nick Eatman.

Hard to disagree with that. According to Football Outsiders, Romo was No. 4 in quarterback efficiency behind Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Eli ranked sixth (Matthew Stafford was fifth).

After ESPNDallas' Calvin Watkins tweeted Monday that "Jerry Jones said the biggest difference between the Cowboys and Giants is Eli Manning. He did praise Tony Romo," there was some confusion that Jones preferred Eli to Tony. Not at all. In fact, Jones was only implying that New York is in the Super Bowl because Manning is playing out of his mind.

“I don’t want to take anything away [from the Giants] but the big difference was Eli came up here and started what seemed like a pretty significant [stretch]," Jones said. "But the quarterback play with Eli was the huge difference. But I was pretty impressed with how they’ve defense played the last three or four ball games. …

"We had good quarterback play, but I'd say as a team, they just got better and better near the end," he added. "Their depth, that's how I view us. I had counted -- we had counted -- on getting better, and we didn't. We went the other way."

Of course, those personnel decisions rest at Jones' feet. Which, of course, is why he's in Mobile. As for 2012, Jones explains that the Cowboys' plan for success involves "new faces" in the secondary, getting "younger" on defense, but avoiding the trappings of youth on the offensive line.

Seems like Jones is making it more complicated than it needs to be. Either way, here's the bottom line:

"We just want to make sure we don't compromise things because I'm more into not squandering the prime years of Romo, so we want to make sure we're giving him every opportunity in protection," he said, "and we'll work hard on that in the off-season."

Duly noted.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:00 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 11:51 am
 

Giants-Patriots is a SB XLII rematch in name only

The uniforms are the same but these two teams most definitely are not. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The more things change, the more things … change. The uniforms may be the same but four years later, the Giants and Patriots are different teams who, after 20 weeks, find themselves in a familiar position: about to face off in a Super Bowl. Four years ago, in the fortnight leading up to their first encounter in February 2008, the storylines were some variation of: "New England will absolutely obliterate New York."

Predictable, sure. But in much the same way gravity is predictable. Except that night the Giants had no use for immutable laws of nature. (Evidenced nicely by David Tyree's physics-defying grab that set up the winning touchdown.)


The Patriots' offensive firepower led by Brady and Randy Moss didn't matter. And neither did did the Spygate soap opera which served to galvanize the team earlier in the year and perpetuate the "us vs. them" mentality that gave guys like Rodney Harrison Tony Robbins-like purpose. (Harrison was known almost as much for his reliance on the "no respect for motivational purposes" shtick as he was for his tenacious, sometimes dirty style.)

This time will be different. Or least that's the thinking going in. The head coaches and quarterbacks are the same, but Eli Manning has matured and the Patriots' defense has regressed. The difference in talent between these two clubs that was once measured in miles is now better gauged in yards.

Put differently: it only seems like we've already seen this movie.

So before we take a look ahead, we thought it made sense to first take a look back.

The Rosters

The Giants head to Indianapolis with 16 players (nine starters) from the Super Bowl XLII-winning squad. The Patriots, meanwhile, have just seven players (five starters) remaining. You can view the 2007 rosters for both teams below; the players in red are still with their respective teams.



The takeaway from the list above: only one defensive player from Super Bowl XLII remains on the Patriots' roster. Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel -- all either retired or playing elsewhere -- and just Vince Wilfork, the team's 2004 first-round pick, is left. (Granted, Wilfork saved the best game of his career for last Sunday's AFC Championship matchup against the Ravens, which is timely.)

During the '07 regular season, the Patriots defense ranked 12th in league (fifth against the pass, 21st against the run), according to Football Outsiders. Four years later, and their travails have been well documented (30th overall, 28th pass, 28th run).

The one name that has remained constant: Tom Brady. He doesn't have Randy Moss but he doesn't need him. The offensive may not be as explosive without Moss but it's much more dynamic with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

On the surface, the 2011 Giants don't seem much different from the 2007 version. They won nine games this season (with 30 percent of the personnel from the Super Bowl XL roster), nine in '07; ranked 12th in team efficiency this time around versus 16th four years ago. But the similarities end there because like Brady in New England, Eli Manning has everything to do with the Giants' recent success.

For almost the entire '07 season, Manning was one of the league's most inconsistent quarterbacks. He ranked 38th in total value among NFL QBs, sandwiched between the likes of Brian Griese and Chet Lemon. Now Manning's fifth behind Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Romo and Stafford. That, more than anything else New York has done this season, is the reason they're playing one more game.

In Super Bowl XLII, the Giants had no expectations. In Super Bowl XLVI there will be plenty. And the question goes from "Can this team avoid embarrassing itself in front of a worldwide audience?" to "Can they play up to their potential and win this thing?"

Pregame Hype: A Look Back

Given these two offenses -- one record-breaking, the other aimless for much of the season -- it wasn't surprising that the Giants were getting Washington Generals-type odds to win this game.

Then:
the Patriots opened as 13.5-point favorites, according to Las Vegas. Five weeks before, in Week 17, New England was favored by 13 to beat the Giants in New York. Instead, the Pats needed a fourth-quarter comeback to eke out the 38-35 victory. (Now: the line opened Sunday with New England favored by a more modest 3.5 points.)

Then: AccuScore ran 10,000 simulations of the Giants-Patriots matchup and gave New York a 25 percent chance of winning. Sounds high -- Manning could throw that middle-of-the-field-Hail Mary to Tyree 100 times and Tyree comes down with it once. Tyree, it turns out, has impeccable timing.

Then: Cold Hard Football Facts called it the "mismatch of the century," complete with subheadings breaking down each individual mismatch ("on offense," "at quarterback," etc…).

Football Outsiders was less definitive, writing that "Most likely, the Giants won't pull a shocking upset like the 2001 Patriots, and they won't get blown off the field like the 1985 Patriots. Instead, they'll end up like a third team from New England's Super Bowl past: the 1996 Patriots, a good team outclassed by a great team. … (The 2007) Patriots will probably dispatch the Giants in a similar fashion, completing their historic 19-0 season. Not definitely. Just probably."

Then: CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco was one of the few national voices to pick the Giants. You don't even have to look it up because we've done it for you:


"I like the +11.5," Prisco said. "I think the Giants -- not only will they cover the number, they may win the game. … I think the Giants could definitely win the football game."

Then: Princess the camel (yep, you read that right -- the terrestrial counterpart to Paul the Octopus) also picked the Giants to win.

"I can't explain it, but her predictions, more often than not, are right on the money," said John Bergmann, general manager of Popcorn Park Zoo where Princess has lived since 2004. "I'm hoping she's right this time because I'm a Giants fan."

Turned out, Princess had a thing for the Mannings more so than the Giants; she picked Peyton and the Colts to win the year before. (Then again, maybe she'd seen then-Bears quarterback Rex Grossman play.)

From the ridiculous to the sublime…

Then: Another national columnist driving the Giants' bandwagon: Dr. Z. He admitted that picking New York was an opportunity to right a past wrong, when he picked the Colts to beat the Jets in Super Bowl III even though he had a feeling New York, 19-point underdogs by kickoff, had a chance to pull the upset. Forty years later, Dr. Z wasn't going to make the same mistake. Here's what he wrote on January 22, 2008:

"And gradually it dawned on me, as I toured the (Giants) locker room (after their NFC Championship game win over the Packers), picking up a quote here and there -- there isn't a way to stop Brady and Welker and Moss and Faulk and Maroney ... the whole riotous bunch. A team just has to be tougher, more resilient, more able to sustain high-level pressure on both sides of the ball for a longer period. And I honestly feel that the Giants can do it. Just look at what this improbable team has done so far."

And that's exactly how it played out.

Now: We mentioned above that the Patriots' defense has just one player from the last Super Bowl team. But much like the Giants' offense during the 2007 season, New England's D has come on of late. But will it be enough?

From CBSSports.com's Clark Judge: No team went to a Super Bowl with a defense ranked lower than 25th. Now you have the league's 27th-ranked unit (the Giants) and its 31st-ranked defense (New England), but, just a hunch, defense makes the difference in Indianapolis. It did when these two met in Super Bowl XLII, with the Giants sacking Tom Brady five times and holding the league's highest-scoring offense to 14 points.


The NY Giants and Patriots will face off in the Super Bowl once again. NFL on CBS analyst Solomon Wilcots joins the Tim Brando Show to discuss how the rematch will play out.

Now:
There used to be a time when you were never certain if Good Eli or Bad Eli would show up from one week to the next, one quarter to the next, and sometimes, one play to the next. Manning has transformed into one of the league's most consistent quarterbacks and now he has a chance to double up his older brother on total Super Bowl rings.

From Prisco's most recent column on Eli's evolution: "it all starts with Manning. He's no longer another star's little brother hoping to become special. He's arrived, which is what's so different from 2007. 'You're right there,' head coach Tom Coughlin said in the locker room late Sunday night (after the win over the 49ers). 'It is Eli. He is special now. He's the biggest difference between the two teams.'

Now: And that leads us to this, from colleague Will Brinson who wrote Sunday about two ancillary storylines could morph into something much larger should the Giants win: Is Eli 1) better than his brother and 2) now in the same class as Brady? 

The Game: What Happened

Obviously, you know exactly what happened. And depending on your perspective, you'll either take great joy in reliving the Super Bowl XLII memories or, as Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday, choosing instead to forget it ever happened.

"I’ve never been able to watch it," he said (via ESPN.com), echoing remarks made by quarterback Tom Brady earlier in the day. "I do remember the end of the game, a ball going through our cornerback’s hands [Asante Samuel] that if he had caught that ball and it hadn’t gone through his hands, we would have been able to take a knee and we would have won the game.

"And, you know, that Eli [Manning] doing a great job escaping from that pile of guys that we had on him, and whether the whistle blows and the great catch and all these things. In the end, there are a lot of little things. That was a great game, that was a great team, and we’re looking forward to having the privilege of going to Indianapolis."


Michael Strahan: excited about Super Bowl XLII's outcome.

As for what will happen … well, we'll find out shortly. And if you can't wait, we know a camel...

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Posted on: January 23, 2012 2:04 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 3:38 pm
 

Cam Newton and other Pro Bowl roster additions

NewtonBy Josh Katzowitz

Now that the Patriots and Giants officially are heading to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI, that means nobody from New England and New York will be flying to Honolulu this week for the Pro Bowl.

Which means we get tons of additions and deletions to the roster!

Here’s the list so far.

-Panthers standout rookie quarterback Cam Newton will replace Eli Manning on the NFC roster. As you well know, Newton threw for 4,051 yards passing, the most ever by a rookie quarterback in NFL history while recording 21 touchdowns and posting an 84.5 quarterback rating. Newton also rushed for 14 scores, the most ever by an NFL quarterback.

-Bears defensive end Julius Peppers will take over for New York’s Jason Pierre-Paul. This is Peppers’ seventh Pro Bowl appearance, and it’s the first time since Richard Dent in the mid-1980s that a Chicago defensive end has made the roster in back-to-back seasons.

-Jets guard Brandon Moore will replace New England’s Brian Waters on the AFC roster. This is Moore’s first Pro Bowl selection. Ravens guard Ben Grubbs will take over for Logan Mankins.

-Bad news for Tim Tebow. According to Pro Football Talk, Ben Roethlisberger “definitely” is attending the Pro Bowl festivities, meaning Tebow, the second alternate, will be staying home this week (and maybe going on tour with Brad Paisley instead).

-As the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton replaces Tom Brady, tight end Jermaine Gresham replaces Rob Gronkowski and defensive tackle Geno Atkins replaces Vince Wilfork.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com