QB Eli Manning
April 20, 2017
A: Before we get started, I would like to address what has been going on in the news the past couple of days. However, because this is a pending litigation, I will not be able to answer questions or go into specific details on the matter. I will say that I have never done what I have been accused of doing. I have no reason, nor have I ever had any reason to do anything of that nature. I have done nothing wrong, and I have nothing to hide, and I know that when this is all done everybody will see it the same way. Again, I canít answer any questions, but if you have anything about the upcoming season I will answer those.
Q: Are you angry to be portrayed this way?
A: Definitely. It is one thing to write about my football or my playó when you are attacking my integrity, it definitely makes me angry.
Q: When they talk about integrity, do you take that personally Eli?
A: One hundred percent. I think my track record of how Iíve handled myself since Iíve been here in New York, since 2004, speaks for itself. Iíve tried to do everything with class and be a standup citizen, and that is what I have done and that is being attacked right now.
Q: I understand because of the pending litigation that you are limited to what you can say, but can you just clarify that one email that became public where you asked (Equipment Director) Joe Skiba to come up with some helmets that could pass as game used?
A: Again, I cannot go into details about specifics. I will say that is taken out of context and there is some other filings that have gone on recently that will clear up a lot of those things.
Q: Can you describe the toll it has taken on you, Eli?
A: Iím handling it. Obviously this was first reported three years ago. Iíve been dealing with it for a long time, but just more angry than anything having to deal with it and knowing that Iíve done nothing wrong and still being attacked.
Q: Do you think this thing will be worked out in due time?
A: It will all work out, and I think when it all does, Iíll be cleared of this and everybody will see that I have done nothing wrong.
Q: To have Governor (Chris) Christie call you a liar, what was your reaction to that one?
A: I canít get concerned with that. I think, again, my track record speaks for itself and so do the Giants, their history and their history of doing things the right way speaks for itself.
Q: Can you say whether that email that came out, there were others before and right after that in the same chain of emails that would, you say, put it into proper context?
A: I think you will see with the filings that are out there that you will get a better understanding of everything.
Q: Eli, given how you have conducted yourself over the course of 15 years, are you surprised at how quickly some rushed to judgment when there is something like this portrayed a certain way?
A: Sure, definitely. I have done everything the right way and have been a standup citizen and obviously you getó someone starts something up and everybody turns against you very quickly, it hurts a little bit.
Q: Peyton (Manning) went through some similar dynamicó more serious charges against him, that he went throughó have you talked to him about how he dealt with it? Do you take from him how he dealt with it to help you in this?
A: I have talked to Peyton about things going on, but yeah, I obviously witnessed him and how that, how he went through that, and it hurt him and it was tough for him at the time and so I understand, but we have talked and it has been good to have someone who has been through a similar situation and being in the same position that we have done and (are) doing things the right way and then being attacked.
Q: Is it something you hope is resolved by the time the season starts? I know we have seen a September date in the papers, soÖ
A: Always. Always anything that is cleared up sooner than later is better.
Q: Have you heard from the league or is it something you felt the need to reach out to them just to make sure that they are aware of your side?
A: I have heard nothing from the NFL.
Q: You said you have nothing to hide and you have done nothing wrongó are you also making that same statement about what is going on inside the Giants locker room as well?
A: The whole Giants staff has done things first class and done things the right way. I have total confidence they have done everything by the book.
Q: What is it like to have Brandon Marshall as a wideout this year?
A: I am definitely excited about Brandon, been here the last few days, got to work with him a few weeks ago. A talented guy, I think heíll be a great leader of this team and a great playmaker, and to give us another weapon, you are always excited about that.
Q: One other question about thisó considering the money you have made in your career just playing football, people might wonder, why even get involved in a memorabilia business? The amount that you make off of that obviously pales in comparison to what you make as a football player. What is the motivation for even putting yourself out there like that where something like this could happen?
A: Well, I sign autographs like a lot of people do. I owed Steiner jerseysó I did not receive any benefits from that and that was just part of my agreement, but I never personally sold or made any money off a jersey or helmet.
Q: I know (CEO of Steiner Sports) Brandon Steiner is a standup guy, but I am just saying why do athletes who make a considerable amount of money playing football, why even have a contract with a memorabilia dealer?
A: Well, itís just autographs. It is just a way to sign your name, and I think a lot of people do it. It is just part of the business.
Q: How do you feel about your team? It is obviously early, but there are a lot of pieces that have been addedó do you have a good sense about this team for this season?
A: I feel good about the guys that we have. I think everybody has come in excited, excited to get betteró especially (from) the offensive standpoint, committed to do whatever it takes to play at a higher level. Our defense was outstanding last year and they are committed to even get stronger and better, so I think we do have a good group of leaders on this team, great character and that weíll work and do everything possible to have great success.
Q: Have you had a chance to do a full review of your own play from last season, and if so, what have you seen?
A: Well, weíre going through that right now, and I have done it a little bit on my own. I think itís good to look at it by yourself and make your own analysis but also to have the coaches and get coached and have great communication and talk to make sure weíre on the same page of everything. I know I have to play better. I have to complete more passes, throw more touchdowns, throw less interceptions, and I am going to work to do that.
Q: With this team coming off a playoff appearance and being on the upswing as it is, does this draft take on more significance? Are you more curious about some of the guys you can add that might be the final pieces to a championship puzzle?
A: Well, I think the draft is always important and if you can get a few guys that can come help you right away and fill some spots, itís great, but I think obviously itís going to be the nucleus of guys that you already have on the team thatís going to be important. I think even getting playoff experience last yearó a lot of guys, it was their first time playing in a playoff gameó to get that is invaluable. That is important, even though it didnít go our way, to kind of fuel that hunger and know what itís like to get to a playoff gameó the work it takes, the commitment it is going to take to win some playoff games, people know what we need to do.