Eli Manning: Ready to Step Up?


With Tiki Barber now gone into retirement, head coach Tom Coughlin has apparently laid the mantle of leadership at the feet of Eli Manning, who can either kick it aside or reach down and embrace it the way all Giants fans desperately want him to do.  Manning claims he’s ready to accept the challenge.  “It’s a matter of kind of holding the team together and controlling the offense, that’s my job, I think,” Manning told The New York Post yesterday. “You lose Tiki, a guy who kind of did that, I look forward to that opportunity to take it over and be in charge of having our offense mentally and physically ready to go out there and be prepared for every game.”

Once he was informed that Coughlin said the “culture” in the Giants locker room last season was the worst he’s ever seen, Manning did not exactly disagree with his coach’s assessment.  “Last year, there was a lot of talking,” he said.  “When you see the great teams, they’re a team, they don’t talk about each other.  Talk about yourself, talk about the team in general.  You don’t have to call out individuals. That’s something we need to work on.  “I don’t know if it was a bad culture, but it can present some tension between guys.”

Asked how large a factor Coughlin’s own style and temperament are in prompting players to avoid keeping team issues in-house, Manning took the high road.  “I don’t think it’s based on his coaching personality,” Manning said. “When you lose five in a row or whatever, you get frustrated, the questions get tougher, you start digging for answers or excuses, you can get put in a bind.  You don’t want to take all the blame.  You feel you got to get it off you a little bit and it’s easy just to release it onto someone else.  You can’t afford to do that.”

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One Response to “Eli Manning: Ready to Step Up?”

  1. Bobby Krapil says: