Manning shows no emotion after bad game Print
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Monday, 26 November 2007 13:29
NFL Headline News

 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Eli Manning stood in front of his locker Monday and was grilled about having three interceptions returned for touchdowns in the New York Giants' loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
He was asked about the throws, the recent struggles on offense, his own play and finally about himself and his emotional state.
-Why didn't he scream at someone after a miscommunication led to one of the returns?
-Why didn't he show more emotion in the news conference after what had to be one of the most embarrassing games of his career, and one that was witnessed by his brother, Peyton?
-Did he take it out on anybody at home or destroy a blackboard or do anything to vent his frustrations?
Manning answered each question for more than 30 minutes with measured responses.
That's Eli.
And no, he didn't vent. He is not like that, and he never will be.
``It's one of those deals where it's going to occur in the season,'' Manning said of the performance. ``You never want it to, you don't plan for it to, and you hate when it happens. It's just a learning experience.
``Since I've been here, I've done a better job of trying not to take it so hard and let it affect my personality and let other people see me down,'' the No. 1 pick in the 2004 draft said. ``That's just part of growing as a quarterback in the NFL, especially in New York where you have to deal with it. You just have to take it. You have to accept responsibility for it and then try to fix it.''
Manning said the toughest part about Monday wasn't another session with the media. It was sitting with his teammates watching the videotape of Sunday's 41-17 loss and seeing Darren Sharper, Dwight Smith and Chad Greenway score on interception returns of 20, 93 and 37 yards, respectively. There was also another Smith pick that led to an 8-yard touchdown run by Chester Taylor one play later.
That's 28 points Manning gift-wrapped for the Vikings.
``I talked to Peyton and he knows what it is like,'' Eli said. ``He had a game a few weeks ago where he threw six interceptions. It happened. You see games where a quarterback throws five or six interceptions. It's not like I'm the first person who's ever done it.''
Certainly not. But Manning is on the hot seat in New York.
Since becoming the starter midway through the 2004 schedule, he has struggled in the second half of seasons. He was really bad last season, when New York went 2-6 down the stretch and squeaked into the playoffs at 8-8.
The problem is manifesting itself again. Since the bye, the Giants are 1-2. Manning has two touchdown passes and six interceptions in the two losses. He has thrown three TDs in the last four games.
Manning also creates problems for himself by being so stoic. To many it comes off as if he doesn't care, which is far from the truth.
``It's not like I go home and all my worries are gone and the games don't come back in my mind,'' Manning said. ``I go over plays and situations. That's what I love to do. I am competitive and I work extremely hard. I work hard enough where I don't expect to have those types of games. It's not a matter of being ill-prepared. It's just not performing well and things going the wrong way and the other team playing well.''
While having a tantrum after a bad play might feel good, Manning said it won't correct the mistakes. He also believes screaming and yelling will rekindle some recent problems on a team where finger-pointing was second nature.
``We have done a better job of doing that this year,'' he said. ``We haven't had as many problems. And we have stayed calm on the sidelines. It's just that we have to fix some things and figure out how to play better football.''
It starts next Sunday when the Giants (7-4) face the Bears (5-6) in Chicago.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Manning has ``his whole-hearted support.''
``I talked to him and he was very forceful in telling me that he was OK or however you want to put it,'' Coughlin said. ``He has great inner strength, and it is most unfortunate, and if you play the game any great length of time, these things happen.''
Manning expects the Bears to mimic the Vikings. Minnesota put a lot of pressure up the middle and dared the Giants to throw deep.
Although Manning hit seven passes of 20 yards or more, his mistakes far outweighed his successes.
``Being a quarterback, there is a lot of pressure on you and you have expectations and your team expects you to play well and put it in a position to win,'' Manning said. ``Yesterday I didn't do that. I'm going to still have the same mind-set (this week) and put myself in situations to play well.''
Manning even showed a sense of humor.
``The postgame press conference isn't the problem, it's what happening on the field that needs to be corrected,'' he said. A few seconds later, he smiled, noting that he will now watch film of his postgame performance and make the necessary corrections there, too.
 

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