Eli Manning has proven he has complete control of his team and the MVP contender wears two Super Bowl rings to back it up. But on Wednesday, the New York Giants quarterback admitted that wasn't always the case.
In Manning's early years with the team, it was apparent that the Giants No. 1 draft pick was under a lot of pressure from the media and fans but, yesterday, he suggested it was the demands and emotional bumps from some of the teammates he was throwing to that stressed him out the most.
Manning has never really opened up about the subject, but he talked about his first couple of seasons when he was throwing to the likes of then-veterans Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress.
Although he did not name names, Manning yesterday got into a discussion about the democratic way he deals with his receivers, telling them, "I'm not going to force it to one guy ... if you're my first read, it's your job to get open and if you're not, then I'm going on to the next guy," reports The New York Post.
Did his own receivers hurt young Manning's progress more while he was going through growing pains?
"I think early on we probably had receivers in practice you'd try to force them to get balls so they don't get down on you keep them happy and I think you create bad habits doing that," said Manning. "As I got older and we got younger, we got new guys in it evolved to doing it the correct way, going through the reads, saying you got to earn the right to get open, it's all on the reads to make sure I'm doing the right thing."
There is no shortage of primetime receivers on the Giants this year — Hakeem Nicks, Domenik Hixon and Victor Cruz — even after losing Mario Manningham.
You never hear any of them going behind Easy E's back.
And, as credit to Manning, they all seem to get their share of shining moments during the season now that he is in control. Coincidence? No way.