The omission of Giants quarterback Eli Manning for the player-generated Top 100 list compiled and presented by NFL Network during the lockout raised plenty of eyebrows.
Eli puts himself on the list. He puts himself high on the list.
Asked by ESPN 1050’s Michael Kay whether Eli puts himself in the same class as Tom Brady, Eli said this: “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. 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.”
But what about throwing 25 interceptions in 2010, when the most Brady has ever thrown in a season is 14?
“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.”
Eli also explained his decision not to publicly push for the team to bring back Plaxico Burress, who visited with the Giants before signing with the Jets.
“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.”
Though it would have made for a better story if Eli had been stumping for Burress, we agree with the decision. We’re not sure that we agree Eli is in the same class as Tom Brady, who has three Super Bowl rings and two of the top five single-season passer ratings in NFL history.
But it’s good that he is displaying confidence; given the efforts of the Eagles to dramatically improve and the other challenges the Giants face in the division and in the conference and in light of the losses on the Giants’ roster, it’s important for the on-field leader of the team to project confidence.