Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Eli Manning the motivational speaker
By Matt Mosley
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning isn't known for his public speaking, but he asked Tom Coughlin on Monday if it would be OK for him to address his teammates without the coaches in the room. Coughlin, who admitted to sitting in a dark room for more than two hours following Sunday's loss, was happy to oblige.
Defensive end Justin Tuck said that Manning's message was so effective that it drew applause from some of the players. It was the quarterback of the team reminding everyone that the Giants still had a lot to play for and that it was time to move on from what happened against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"It is not the time right now to start going into the tank or slacking off or being in a bad mood," Manning said per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com. "Now is the time when we got to be excited and look at the bright side of things and be optimistic and say we got a great opportunity to make the playoffs. We're the one who is going to decide whether we make the playoffs and what happens. It is only us."
Manning is one of the three captains on the team, but it's not really his nature to hold a players-only meeting. It apparently made quite an impression with his teammates. Here's how center Shaun O'Hara summarized the quarterback's message:
"Go ahead and do what you go to do to get the poison out today, whatever it is," O'Hara said of Manning's words. "If you got to drink, fight, sleep, whatever you got to do, when the sun comes up tomorrow, go to work and get ready to win a game."
If the Giants can win in Green Bay on Sunday, they'll clinch a wild-card berth in the playoffs. That won't erase what happened against the Eagles, as some have suggested, but it would make everyone in the organization feel a lot better.