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Eli admits trying to cater to needy vets hurt his progress

New York Giants Cruz celebrates with quarterback Manning after scoring game winning touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the fourth quarter during their NFL football game in East Rutherford Reuters

When he was a younger quarterback, Eli Manning tried too hard to keep people happy. Now, he’s learned that doing his job the right way, and spending less time worrying about others will lead to greater success.

Manning admitted he fell into bad habits as a younger quarterback, trying to satisfy needy veteran targets such as Plaxico Burress, Jeremy Shockey and Tiki Barber, who once questioned his leadership.

“I think early on we probably had receivers who in practice, you’d try to force them to get them balls so they don’t get down or you keep them happy, and I think you create bad habits doing that,” Manning said, via Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger. “As I got older and we got younger, new guys in, it evolved to doing it the correct way, going through the reads, saying you’ve got to earn the right to get open.

“It’s all based on the coverage and on the reads and I’ve got to do that to make sure I’m doing the right things and not getting into bad habits.”

That’s enabled Manning to lead the league in passing yards this season, not despite a series of injuries to his wide receivers, but perhaps because of it.

Other than Victor Cruz, there hasn’t been a steady presence in the lineup, so Manning has had to develop relationships with whoever’s out there.

“As a quarterback you always want to trust your guys and I tell them that I don’t have favorites, I’m not going to force it to one guy,” Manning said. “I’ve got a read and a progression. If you want to know what my progression is, I’ll be happy to tell you. And I’m going to stick to that. If you’re my first read, it’s your job to get open. If you’re not, then I’m going on to the next guy.

“I’m going to stick to those progressions and have faith that if you’re the first read that you’re going to get open for us.”

And having that kind of confidence, and lack of distractions, has made him a better quarterback and leader.

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22 Responses to “Eli admits trying to cater to needy vets hurt his progress”
  1. joetoronto says: Oct 25, 2012 8:50 AM

    “Manning admitted he fell into bad habits as a younger quarterback, trying to satisfy needy veteran targets such as Plaxico Burress, Jeremy Shockey and Tiki Barber, who once questioned his leadership.”

    A lot of people here fail to understand this, saying “There’s no risk in signing him”

    Yes there is.

  2. sun602 says: Oct 25, 2012 8:56 AM

    The Manning brothers, do they ever not say the right thing? As a Jets fan, I wish I had this guy on my team.

  3. szwhtsup123 says: Oct 25, 2012 9:12 AM

    Jeez with a list of winners like Buress, Shockey and Barber is it any wonder he struggled in the early years? Those guys were such team players as long as they were the only ones on the team! One of the biggest challenges teams face is creating a chemistry on the team, and Eli is the master chemist! Big Blue train keeps a rollin’……

  4. bigbwoy000 says: Oct 25, 2012 9:17 AM

    If you look at the big play from last years Super Bowl, the pass to Manningham this point is illustrated beautifully.

    Eli looked for Nicks & Cruz on the right, both were covered he looked left & let it fly. It was absolutely a coverage/progression read. Very few go through their progressions & then make the right decision with their throws like Eli does.

    Like it or not, Eli is special.

  5. patriotenvy says: Oct 25, 2012 9:34 AM

    So he is saying he was weak and got bullied. He was not a natural leader from the start. He didn’t stand up to them and say I’m the man now and you better get used to it. He didn’t do it the “correct way”. At least he admitts it.

  6. newyorkgiants11 says: Oct 25, 2012 9:41 AM

    And that dear friends is why he is a 2-time Superbowl MVP winner.
    Does anyone else remember, during that 1st Superbowl seaon, how things dramatically changed right after Jeremy Shockey broke his leg in early December? I do. And the “ELIte one” just confirmed what all Giants fans were contemplating; Shockey was a major distraction, was a negative force to team cohesion, a “me-first” blowhard, and we thank God he wasn’t on the field anymore. The rest is history.

  7. albertmn says: Oct 25, 2012 9:53 AM

    It would have sounded preposterous five years ago, but is there a chance that Eli will wind up going down as either on par with or above Peyton when all is said and done?

  8. irishphilly87 says: Oct 25, 2012 10:08 AM

    That’s why the Manning brothers will go down as top 5 qb’s of all time. As an Eagles fan it’s my job to give Eli a hard time, but it doesn’t mean I don’t realize and respect that hes great. I wish he was an Eagle.

  9. gallic10 says: Oct 25, 2012 10:10 AM

    Spoken like a real leader not some poser that runs around yelling and beating his chestIE Cam Newton.

  10. dublindemonszfl says: Oct 25, 2012 10:10 AM

    Well said Eli. Tiki Barber is flabergasted at your personal growth. He would also like to speak with you about a loan.

  11. nfloracle says: Oct 25, 2012 10:16 AM

    Smart!

  12. jjbadd385 says: Oct 25, 2012 10:39 AM

    I have progressed as a “football” fan too. In the past, if it wasnt about the Denver Broncos, I didnt like it. But now, I tend to look at players as individuals, even if they are not on my favorite team. Eli Manning is elite. And I now feel comfortable saying he is one of the best qb’s in the game, and he will only get better. I would trade Peyton for Eli in a flat second, simply because there is more of an upside, as Eli has many more years left. Also, in the end, if he isnt viewed as better than Peyton, I beleive he will be, and I beleive that with all my heart.

  13. riggz91 says: Oct 25, 2012 10:59 AM

    Gotta respect the fact that he didn’t call anyone out by name either. We obviously know who he is talking about but I’m glad he kept it generic. Amazing one week Ramses Barden tears it up, next week is Hixon, next week Reuben Randle had a big game. Guy practices what he preaches.

  14. flavordave says: Oct 25, 2012 11:11 AM

    As an Eagles fan I never thought Id develop the respect I have for Manning. Hes a flat out baller. Wish we had him instead of the turnover machine.

  15. bunjy96 says: Oct 25, 2012 11:12 AM

    Eli is not he only QB to fall into that trap.

    Supposedly that was the reason the Bucs got rid of Winslow.

  16. dj121191 says: Oct 25, 2012 11:35 AM

    “That’s enabled Manning to lead the league in passing yards this season, not despite a series of injuries to his wide receivers, but perhaps because of it.”
    Not to hate on Eli but the only reason he leads the league in passing is because Drew Brees has had a bye.

  17. andypro18 says: Oct 25, 2012 11:37 AM

    Here’s how you know if a player is really, really good:

    If there’s an article about him on Pro Football Talk, and he gets less than 10% negative comments, that player is really, really good.

    I find it both ironic and delicious that the one overly negative comment here was from a guy named ‘patriotenvy’. That about says it all.

  18. granadafan says: Oct 25, 2012 11:46 AM

    QBs should ignore me-first players who are only concerned with their stats and “touches”. The NBA is the worst at this, but the NFL is a close second.

  19. khamsinvera says: Oct 25, 2012 11:46 AM

    4:00 on the clock in the 4th, you’re down by 10 – is there any other QB you’d rather have on your team?

  20. CKL says: Oct 25, 2012 12:12 PM

    It was obvious to me that was going on when I watched the NYG get smoked by Carolina in the playoffs in 05. Plax and Shockey were flailing their arms around like 2 year olds every time Eli threw a bad ball (and there were a LOT of them). They totally showed him up. It’s what nailed the coffin for me as far as both of their attitudes being poison. Then Tiki had his little postgame rant about the coaching, thus cementing him in my mind as a non team player DB.

  21. patriotenvy says: Oct 25, 2012 1:51 PM

    Payton used to throw his offensive line under the bus when he was frustrated. Eli throws players under the bus also. That’s why I don’t like either of them.

  22. themonkeyman says: Oct 26, 2012 6:43 PM

    @patriotenvy

    Neither Eli or Peyton have ever had their WIVES throw maybe the next best player on their team under the bus like your QBs did.

    Or did you forget about that? Seems the perpetual 18-1 hangover combined with the 0-2 record in their last 2 SB’s that Pat fans still suffer from is now giving them memory loss.

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