"Q: Are you tired of playing in Peyton's shadow?
A: Peyton has a great big brother to me and very helpful in my progression as a quarterback whether through college or the NFL. He has supported me and given me any tips he could think of, especially my first couple of years. For a Christmas, he bought me a computer that stores all our software to watch film at home. He would to do anything for me to be a better quarterback, to help me play at a high level.
He has been very helpful at that. In his case, he's been the guy who I've locked up to. Not just because of what he's done in the NFL, but since I started watching him play football when he was in the seventh grade and the starting quarterback. I didn't miss one of his games from the time he was in seventh grade and he was the starting quarterback. I didn't miss one of his games from seventh grade through high school. I tried to see every college game, whether on TV or attending. He is someone who I've watched closely, talked to and worked with on drops and different techniques. When he went off to college he would come back and teach me when I was in the eighth grade or in high school, just so I would have an advantage. We had a close relationship. I thank him for all that he's provided me and helping me become a better quarterback.
Q: How do you feel about winning a Super Bowl in Peyton's home field?
A: I really have not thought much about playing in Indianapolis. It's not really a time to reflect on that. It's just a matter of trying to get ready for the Patriots and get ready to play this game, and get ready for their defense. We'll look back on the fact of playing in the Super Bowl in the town where he plays for the Colts. We'll look on that later.
Q: Does the uncertainty with Peyton's football future cause you to have a deeper appreciation for the game?
A: If you play the game long enough, you realize how precious each season is and how precious these opportunities are. You don't know if you're going to get a chance to play in another Super Bowl. You don't know when a season might be cut short on you. It's not just reminding me because of what Peyton's going through.
Q: Peyton said after winning the Super Bowl following the 2006 season and the year before you and the Giants beat the Patriots, Peyton said his younger brother would someday win a Super Bowl and MVP award on his own.
A: He was just trying to be nice at the time. Seeking Peyton after the game, in the locker room, seeing the smile on his face and then being with him those next couple of months after he won the Super Bowl it definitely made me jealous. You always want to win a championship, but when you see someone win it, just the relief, the smile that was painted on his face for months --- it makes you want to win one even more. It truly gives you a burning desire to get one. That made a bigger impact on me than his comments. There's not a better feeling from a professional standpoint knowing that you've done your job that season better than anyone else. That is what we're fighting for.
Q: How about some examples how Peyton 'big-brothered' you.
A: I probably have quite a few of them, but to limit kit to one -- his most popular move, he would pin me down and take his knuckles and knock on my chest and make me name the 12 schools in the SEC. I didn't know them all at the time, but I quickly learned them. It was a great learning technique. I don't suggest anyone else try it out, but it definitely made me learn the schools of the SEC. Once I figured those out he moved on. There were 28 teams in the NFL at that point, so all teams in the NFL. I had to get my studying on for that. Then once I figured that out -- the one I never got was the 10 brands of cigarettes. When he really wanted to torture me and knew I had no shot of ever getting it, that's when I started screaming for my mom or dad to come save me, maybe Cooper. That was his go-to move.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said he tried to hire Steve Spagnuolo, Saints new defensive coordinately,, but he chose the Saints. Reid said "You can have two great coaches on defense, and that's better than one. We didn't talk about titles, we didn't get that far. He ended up in New Orleans...Eli Manning has turned 'aw, 'shucks' into an arm form..."
Eli better than Peyton? Only time will tell.
Jason Cole off Yahoo! Sports reports that Manning has not shown improvement in the velocity of his passes since he began throwing in December.
Two unnamed "league-affiliated doctors with experience in spinal fusion surgery," told Cole that it would take up to a year for Manning to know if he can return to action.
It seems less likely Manning will ever play for the Colts again if the nerves don't improve.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the Super Bowl quarterbacks:
Giants' Eli Manning: "He is an outstanding quarterback. He's had a great year. His performance speaks for itself."
Patriots' Tom Brady: "Tom is a real competitor who responds well every week, so I'm sure that he will do his best as he does every week. He prepares and plays as well as he can just like he does in every game. He has been very consistent with that approach and I don't think it will change this week."
Belichick will be the head coach of his fifth Super Bowl, tying him with Tom Landry for second most all time. Only Don Shula's six appearances for a head coach beat it. The combo of Belichick and Brady will set a record for most appearances for a head coach/quarterback duo. Their fifth game passes Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw for most all time.
The Giants-Patriots tussle will be the 13th time the Super Bowl featured a rematch from a regular-season game. This year, the Giants beat the Patriots jn Foxboro 24-20.
Super Bowl Notes
The loser of the regular season game has gone on to win the Super Bowl rematch 5 of the last 6 times...and are 7-5 in Super Bowl history. That includes Super Bowl XLII where the Patriots beat the Giants in the regular season finale, but the Giants got revenge in the Super Bowl
Kevin Faulk, former LSU star running back in his 13th season with the Patriots on his role: "Faith has helped me a whole lot. My faith in God and believing that things in life happen for a reason. Being in the NFL 13 years, 11 or 12 of of those years I was one of the guys and was on top.
"This year, I'm not that guy, but God has kept me where I'm doing more things to help my team beside just playing football. I'm helping my teammates, answering questions. I'm learning a whole lot right now."
Coach Sean Payton, quarterback Drew Brees and former Saints quarterback Archie Manning will attend the AP and NFL awards banquet at the Murat Theater in Indianapolis.
All seven AP NFL awards will be presented from 8-10 p.m.
In addition to MVP, the league will announce the winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes a player's community service as well as playing excellence.
The other AP awards are Coach of the Year, Comeback Player, Defensive Player and Defensive Rookie, and Offensive Player and Offensive Rookie.
Among the candidates for MVP are Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
"Legacy is based on wins," said Deion Sanders, the Hall of Fame quarterback and NFL Network studio analyst. "It's based on win. It's based on Super Bowls. It's not based on statistics. If you want to talk about legacies, then statistically you'd have to mention Dan Marino. But when you're talking about the greatest ever, I always hear Elway. Or I always hear Montana. So Eli, if he wins this game, he would, he would win that particular Battle because he would do something beyond his great older brother."
No team has ever played a Super Bowl in their home stadium. We know this after last year's chirping from Dallas about that in the offseason. But it could happen soon. New Orleans (XLVII), New York (XLVIII) and Phoenix (XLIX) will be hosting games soon. The Saints won the Super Bowl after the 2009 season and were one of the hottest teams entering the postseason and the Giants are in this Super Bowl. The Jets were in two recent AFC championship games. Arizona could be back in form by the time its Super Bowl comes back around...
Recent quotes from Fans:
"The Giants need to limit turnovers and control the clock if they want to pull off an upset."
"That Eli Manning has been on fire the last six weeks."
"This is a classic Super Bowl matchup: tough defense against a stellar offense."
"You just gotta convert those third downs."
"I got a few bucks on the game."
"This could go down to has the ball last."
Jim Henderson ends a 33-year career as sports director at WWL-TV after the 10 o'clock newscast on Tuesday night. He'll continue as the Saints' play-by-play announcer on radio...LSU is in the process of hiring former Raiders assistant Adam Henry as the Tigers' receivers coach. The Tigers got their 22nd commitment when Oxford, Miss. quarterback Jeremy Liggins pledged to sign with them. He is 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds. He is rated three stars by Scouts.com and Rivals.com, which rates him as the 16th quarterback in the nation...Some 325.5 gallons of beer will be drank during Super Bowl Day...
Trivia time: What was Sean Payton's major at Eastern Illinois?...Tom Brady will be making his fifth start in a Super Bowl, tying him with John Elway for most all time. Brady is 3-1 in his previous trips (beat the Rams, Panthers, and Eagles, lost to Giants) Elway was 2-3. After those two, four men are tied for four starts: Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw won all their starts, Jim Kelly lost all four of his. Roger Stauback split his...Trivia answer: Journalism...
The Bills are going to a 4-3 defense next season that will have Kelvin Sheppard at middle linebacker of LSU and former Tiger Kyle Williams at one defensive tackle...According to the NFL, 12.5 million persons watched Sunday's Pro Bowl. That's 1.5 million more than watched the baseball all-star game. That's why the Pro Bowl will endure...No NFL quarterback completes more passes than Eli Manning when he's getting hit. He also delivers a few "wow" passes into tight windows every game...
There are now four franchises that have never ever appeared in a Super Bowl; Lions, Browns, Jaguars and Texans. But there are 10 others that have never won a Super Bowl: Bills, Bengals, Titans, Chargers, Eagles, Vikings, Falcons, Panthers, Seahawks and Cardinals. The Bills and the Vikings have lost four games a piece, the Bengals and the Eagles have each lost two. The rest lost on their only trip...
WORST SUPER BOWL: Super Bowl V. This one was named the "Blunder Bowl!" for good reason. There were turnovers in the game with the Colts...who won...committing seven of them. The Cowboys were called for 10 penalties. This game was so bad that the MVP award was given to linebacker Chuck Howley...of the losing Cowboys (the only time the MVP award was given to a player from the losing team). Jim O'Brien kicked the winning field goal at the end of the game, but that was set up by a turnover...
SOME hither, others yon: Former LSU running back said he'll be active for the Super Bowl. The rookie was the Patriots' second leading rusher this season, but he fumbled in the last play of the season and was inactive for the AFC championship game...Eli Manning on Peyton: "Peyton has has an unbelievable career and in my opinion, he is the best I've ever seen play football. My goal is to get to his level of play, and that's something I'm working on."...
by Ed Staton