It would have been inconceivable early in Eli Manning’s career that anyone would suggest he was a better quarterback than his older brother. But now that Eli has won his second Super Bowl MVP award, he acknowledges that people sometimes tell him he’s better than Peyton.
“I correct them very quickly,” Eli told Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports.
In a wide-ranging interview with Cole, Eli talks about the sibling rivalry that he has never allowed to be a rivalry at all, saying that he has never considered himself better than Peyton and never been motivated by a desire to outdo the brother who was a high school star before him, a college star before him, a No. 1 draft pick before him, a Pro Bowler before him and a Super Bowl MVP before him.
“I’ve never tried to compete with Peyton,” Eli said. “I never tried to say I need to be better than him. I’ve accepted at times that I wasn’t maybe as good as him because he was the No. 1 high school player in the country. In college, he was going to be the first pick in the draft, so if I tried to go out there and be the same person and be better than him or the same person as him, I’m going to drive myself crazy. I’m going to go out and be the best quarterback I can be and get the most out of my potential. If that’s better than him, great. If it’s not, so be it.”
Eli said he views Peyton as a quarterbacking role model.
“I think there’s always an approach growing up where you say, ‘Hey, I want to just get to Peyton’s level of player where he’s at,’” Eli said. “I admire Peyton and watching him on film and the throws he makes and the mechanics, I still watch in awe. He’s still at that top level as far as what he has done with the football. We have a great relationship and it’s a total support [system]. I call him or he calls me, like during the season last year. Especially during the playoff stretch, he would call me and just have little tidbits and pieces of advice a quarterback can talk about that you cherish.”
It remains to be seen which brother will go down in history as the better quarterback. But Eli will be fine with it if everyone says the best Manning was Peyton.