In an interview with PFT Live that was taped within the past 30 minutes (making it, you know, PFT Not Live) and that will be played at 12:00 p.m. ET Thursday, Giants quarterback Eli Manning addressed the controversial comparison that he made on Tuesday between himself and Pats quarterback Tom Brady in an interview with Michael Kay of ESPN 1050.
“I don’t think it was out of character,” Eli said. “The question was if I thought I was an elite quarterback or a top five quarterback, and I answered truthfully and said I was. So I don’t think I said anything incorrectly, I don’t know how else I was supposed to answer that question.”
During Wednesday’s PFT Live, Peyton Manning’s former coach, Tony Dungy, suggested that such questions should be answered by deferring to the judgment and opinions of others.
Eli was surprised by the reaction to the remarks.
“It got stirred up and all of a sudden people ran with it a little bit and started saying different things,” Eli said. “I thought I gave a truthful answer and gave my opinion. When I got done with the interview, I thought we had a nice little interview and nothing will come out of it and everything will be quiet. In training camp we don’t get to watch much TV or read the papers, and my dad told me that a bunch was being stirred about this and so just be prepared if someone asks you. But I’m not bothered by it. I thought I said the right things and I’ll just move on.”
So what makes Eli an “elite” quarterback?
“It’s all about how you think of yourself,” Eli said. “Each year I’m preparing to be the best quarterback that I can be. I’m trying to win games for the Giants and that’s really what my focus is. I’m not trying to compete against other quarterbacks, I’m not trying to be better than this quarterback. I’m trying to be the best quarterback I can be. I’m trying to win a championship for the Giants and go out there and win each game that we play. That’s what my focus is, that’s what my goal is each year. I root for other quarterbacks. I think we have a great fraternity. If you’re a quarterback in the NFL, there’s not many of you and so I root for each quarterback to do well, stay healthy, and I enjoy watching a lot of these quarterbacks play the game and look at some of the throws they make, some of their mechanics. It’s fun for me, I have a blast playing this sport and this position, and so I look forward to this year, getting better and making improvements, and making sure I’m a better quarterback this year than I was in the past.”
That’s a pretty good answer. Some would say that it’s the answer he should have given to Michael Kay in the first place.