View Full Version : Eli Manning: I'm in class with Tom Brady

08-16-2011, 10:44 PM
Updated: August 16, 2011

Eli Manning: I'm in class with Tom Brady

By Matt Ehalt
Special to ESPNNewYork.com


Giants QB Eli Manning joins "The Michael Kay Show" about the offensive struggles in the preseason game, cutting down the turnovers this year and where he feel he ranks among the best QB's in the league.

The New York Giants quarterback, who does have a Super Bowl MVP award to his name, said on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York 1050 on Tuesday that he considers himself to be a top quarterback who belongs in the same class as New England's Tom Brady.

"I consider myself in that class and Tom Brady is a great quarterback, he's a great player and what you've seen with him is he's gotten better every year and he started off winning championships and I think he's a better quarterback now than what he was, in all honesty, when he was winning those championships," Manning said Tuesday. "It's funny, you say well he won championships, but the team, but I think know he's grown up and gotten better every year and that's what I'm trying to do. I kind of hope these next seven years of my quarterback days are my best."

While Manning is regarded as a very good quarterback by most, as he's led the Giants to the playoffs in four of his seven seasons as the full-time starter, there is usually a hesitation to place him among the elite in the game. While Manning was fifth in the league in passing yards with 4,002 yards and fourth in touchdowns with 31 scores last season, his 25 interceptions are the number that jumps out the most.

He did say he didn't feel that too many of his interceptions last year were caused by bad decisions.

When explaining why he feels he's an elite quarterback, Manning said the Giants have an offense that puts him in a good situation and with their stingy run game, it opens the play action, which is a facet of the game that he performs well in. He recalled just one interception on play action and said he's good with the ball on those situations.

"I'm not a 25-interception quarterback, I know that," Manning said. "That's going to be fixed and it should be a good year."

It could be a challenge for Manning to live up to his claim this year, as the Giants swung and missed on their receiving targets this offseason.

Two of Manning's former safety valves, tight end Kevin Boss and wide receiver Steve Smith, have signed with new teams, with Boss heading to Oakland and Smith signing with NFC East rival Philadelphia. It's still unknown who will be the Giants' No. 3 receiver at this point.

The Giants also watched Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress spurn them to sign with the New York Jets, despite Burress coming to the Giants facility and meeting with former players, organizational members and coach Tom Coughlin. During Burress' brief stay in New York, however, he and Manning never met and Manning said he was busy preparing.

While the two worked well together on the field in their nearly four seasons together, highlighted by their Super Bowl title in 2007, Manning also failed to visit Burress while he was in jail and the quarterback did not have a reason Tuesday for why he didn't. He said he called Burress once he got out of jail, but didn't want to have it be a big deal if he visited Burress.

Manning said Tuesday that he was indecisive on some parts on whether he wanted to reunite with the talented, 6-foot-5 receiver, without saying yes or no as to whether he wanted Burress back. He also reiterated why he didn't publicly lobby for Burress to rejoin the Giants.

"I didn't want to put my owners in a spot, I didn't want to put my other teammates in a spot saying that I thought we needed him because then all of a sudden it would be in the papers that Eli didn't think his receivers were good enough or something like that," Manning said. "It's not my job to go out there and promote for somebody. I'm trying to get better and if they want to bring him in, great, and we'll get back to work and see how we can get better. I didn't know what the circumstances were. It wasn't going to be a case of me going after it and make a decision whether Plaxico is coming to the Giants. It was going to be some other factors."

http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_ ... -tom-brady (http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/6868654/eli-manning-sees-same-class-new-england-patriots-tom-brady)