Eli Manning proud of, jealous of, nervous for Peyton Manning at Super Bowl XLVIII
RENTON, Wash. -- Eli Manning pictured himself playing in Super Bowl XLVIII, not being the official ticket wrangler for another starting quarterback.
But pressed into such action by his brother Peyton, taking that burden off the Broncos' starting quarterback so he can focus on football schemes and not family seating arrangements, Eli Manning is proud of the work he's done. After a season of disappointments and missed goals, the Giants quarterback seemed pleased that he has been able to reach this one final benchmark of the 2013 season.
"He's asked for a number for me to try to get," Eli said, "and I hit that number. Unless he has a few surprises, I'm in good shape right now."
For the third time in his life, Eli will watch his older brother play in a game he himself desperately wishes he could be a part of. And this time he'll do so from the stands of his own building, MetLife Stadium, when the Broncos play the Seahawks on Feb. 2.
"I am proud of Peyton,'' he said, "and if I'm not going to be playing in the game, he's the one I'd like to be playing in it."
Still, he admitted to a hint of envy while riding in the sidecar of Peyton's motorcade toward a championship.
"Going through a championship game like last week and seeing that excitement and seeing the crowd . . . it definitely lights a little fire under you to get back to that scenario," Eli said. "You miss that. Having been there before and knowing that feeling, you do get jealous of that feeling and that excitement that goes along with it. But that was probably [being] more jealous of that atmosphere. It makes you want to get back to that situation, get back to working and get your mind doing whatever I have to do to get the Giants back to the championship games and get back to Super Bowls."
That won't stop him from doing anything he can to help the Broncos. Besides the ticket brokering, Eli likely will share some advice on facing the Seahawks -- he and the Giants faced them last month in a 23-0 loss -- and playing at MetLife Stadium. He said he has some tips on dealing with the notorious wind but will not share them publicly for fear that Russell Wilson might pick up on them.
The brothers expect to spend some time together early next week when the Broncos arrive in New Jersey, but by midweek, Peyton will turn his attention to winning a second Super Bowl. If he does, it could cement his legacy as the greatest quarterback of all time, but Eli said Peyton isn't focused on that.
"I think Peyton, he's already created his own legacy," Eli said. "There will always be arguments about who is the greatest and who is the best. I think if you're in that argument, if you're one of the names thrown around in there, I think you've already created a pretty good legacy."
Eli said he obviously is rooting hard for the Broncos but declined to give a prediction or guess on the final score. One thing he did seem sure of, though, is that watching Super Bowl XLVIII will be more of a strain on him than playing in it.
"I don't get nervous in football games," he said. "I get nervous watching my brother play."
Eli excited about new 'O.'For the first time since he was a rookie, Eli Manning will have to learn a new offense. "In a way, it will be exciting,'' he said of having a new offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo, for the 2014 season. "You have to come in and you have to learn some new things. Obviously, what the changes will be -- if it will be completely changed with the terminology and formations or if we'll keep some of those things and bring in all of his concepts -- I don't know if the coaches have all figured that out yet as well.''
Manning spoke with McAdoo via phone before he was hired.
"I was very impressed with him and his offensive mindset,'' Manning said. "I'm excited about what he'll bring to the Giants. I look forward to getting into some meetings, getting with him and seeing what I need to do better and how I can learn.''