Eli Manning appreciates Michael Strahan's words and accomplishments
CANTON, Ohio - Eli Manning was a big part of Michael Strahan's induction speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night, but the quarterback said he's not thinking about how his own potential induction might play out.
"I think you start thinking about individual goals or awards when you're done playing," Manning said after Sunday night's 17-13 win over the Bills in the Hall of Fame Game. "Right now my focus is on this year and this team and trying to get better."
On Saturday, though, Strahan dedicated a chunk of his speech to Manning. At one point he teased Manning about being so stoic and unemotional. Manning played along and stared blankly into the camera in front of him . . . for a few seconds, anyway. Eventually he had to crack a smile.
"That was special," Manning said. "I didn't expect that. It was special that he mentioned me and talked about me and made a point. That's the neat thing about winning championships with those guys is you have a special bond forever. It's not just me and Michael Strahan, it's me and all of those guys who were a part of those teams and those championships. It is a special bond and a special memory you'll always have with each other."
As for his drawing laughs without saying a word, Manning said: "I was just going along with what he was saying and trying to have a little fun with it."
Strahan was on the field for the start of the game Sunday night and even gave his signature stomp.
"That was fun," said Manning, one of only three remaining Strahan teammates on the Giants. "I know a lot of guys hadn't gotten an opportunity to witness that. I'm glad he got to do it one last time, but some of these new teammates got to hear him talk and do his thing."
Manning certainly will be back in Canton when his brother Peyton is inducted into the Hall of Fame. His own resume probably still needs a few bullet points before he can start booking hotel rooms in Ohio for his enshrinement. But until then, he said he's content to bask in the glow of his only teammate to make it to the Hall.
"It really hit me this past week how special it is to have a teammate go into the Hall of Fame," he said. "That's not something that happens very often. I'm very excited for Michael. He was a great teammate and a great friend of mine when we had those four years of playing together. He's still a good friend and I was happy to go through this with him a little bit."