Eli Manning greets brother Peyton Manning after the Giants' loss to Denver in Week 2 this season. Credit: Getty Images
Giants quarterback Eli Manning is as guarded as any player in the league, but when it comes to his big brother Peyton, he’ll have no problem divulging pertinent information to help the Broncos be as prepared as possible for their Super Bowl XLVIII matchup with the Seahawks.
“I’ll obviously give him any information that I have [of the Seattle defense],” the younger Manning said, although he did throw five interceptions when Big Blue hosted Seattle in Week 15.
Eli said whatever tips he can give Peyton regarding the infamous MetLife Stadium winds, he’ll gladly share — although he joked he’d do so in private so Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson won’t hear.
“I am proud of Peyton and if I’m not going to be playing in the game, he’s who I’d want to be playing, so of course I’d help,” said Eli, who added he actually doesn’t think the weather or temperature will have much an impact. “I don’t think it hurts or helps either team. Peyton has played in Denver [and] played outside in a lot of cold games. If it were to snow or be very, very windy that day it could have some disadvantage to the Broncos just because how much they like to throw the ball compared to Seattle and their running game. But for the most part, the best team is going to win [because of] execution. Weather will not decide this game.”
Eli noted, win or lose, Peyton’s legacy is already etched in stone. And while he acknowledged the naysayers will come out in full force should the Broncos lose, he was adamant it won’t change his admiration.
“He’s already created his legacy. That’s not something he’s worried about. He’s played at a very high level for a long period of time and he’s overcome injuries and obviously set numerous records and been on a lot of playoff teams, playing in his third Super Bowl,” said Eli, adding his brother is already in the conversation of the best ever. “There will always be arguments about ‘Who is the greatest?’ or ‘Who is the best?’ But I think if you’re in that argument, if you’re one of the names thrown around in there, I think you’ve already created a pretty good legacy. I don’t think he’s worried about that. He’s a competitor and he wants to win championships because that’s what your job is as a football player, to win games. I think that’s all he’s thinking about.”
The younger Manning was candid when asked to recall the Broncos’ AFC Championship-clinching win over the Patriots in Denver. Eli was in attendance — along with the rest of the Manning family — including their dad and former NFL quarterback, Archie. Eli said while he was “happy” for his brother, he did feel a bit envious and will use that as motivation to improve upon his recent disastrous season.
“It lights a little fire under you to get back,” Eli said. “You get jealous of that feeling.”
But come game time, Eli will set aside any envy and be a pseudo-Broncos fan — and suffer right along with real Orange Crush supporters.
“Obviously I’m rooting for the Broncos and hoping they win, but I don’t have a prediction or a score. I don’t get nervous in football games, but I do get nervous watching my brother play,” acknowledged Eli, adding the irony of the situation came immediately to mind after Denver knocked off New England. “It is pretty unique that I’ve won a Super Bowl in Indianapolis [following the 2011 season] and he’s trying to win one in New York. It’s pretty ironic, I guess.”
Big Blue notes ...
Eli said his injured ankle is doing “good” and that he’s been aggressively rehabbing it. He noted he was even getting ice treatment and stimulation during the conference call.
- Eli on new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo: “I’m excited about Ben coming in and excited about what he’ll bring to the Giants — and how this offense is going to go. It will be exciting knowing you have to come in and learn some knew things. We’ll see what he and Coach [Tom] Coughlin have decided on [scheme-wise] ... I’d like to combine the two so it’s a smooth transition.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter@TBone8.