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Drew Brees shares great Archie Manning story on Letterman

Drew BreesDrew Brees was a guest on “Late Night with David Letterman” Wednesday and shared a fantastic story about Archie Manning.

Brees was talking with Letterman about his sons and said that he would be thrilled if they ended up being as successful in football as the Mannings. That led to a conversation about his relationship with the Mannings.

Brees described how Olivia and Archie Manning reached out to him and tried to make him feel at home when he signed with the New Orleans Saints — Archie’s former team — back in 2006. They made him feel great, except for one instance.

Drew says Archie reached out to him constantly, texting him on a weekly basis to make sure he was alright and asking him if he needed anything. Archie would wish Brees good luck before games throughout the entire season until Week 16 rolled around.

“Christmas Eve we come here to New York to play Eli Manning and the New York football Giants,” Brees recalled. “I don’t get a text [from Archie] on Friday. Don’t get a text on Saturday. And I get a text Sunday morning that says, ‘you’re on your own this week, buddy.'”

Great story.

For what it’s worth, the Saints won the game 30-7. Brees only went 13-of-32 for 132 yards and a touchdown, while Eli was 9-of-25 for 74 yards, a touchdown and an interception. There were 20 mph winds, so the conditions probably made it difficult to pass.

Brees didn’t exactly say who he wants to win the Super Bowl on Sunday, but he does say he’s big fan of the game and will be watching. He also intimated that he’ll be pulling for Peyton to win a ring after all he’s gone through.

Archie Manning: Don’t blame Eli Manning for Giants’ struggles

Eli-Manning-GiantsWhen Eli Manning was leading the New York Giants to improbable Super Bowl championships, the popular debate centered around whether or not he is considered an elite NFL quarterback. This year, he’s just another guy — one who has thrown more interceptions (20) than touchdowns (16) and has a passer rating of 74.2. Like the rest of the Giants, Manning has played poorly this season. His father Archie Manning is here to remind us that it’s not all his son’s fault.

“That’s one of the problems we have in analyzing football now,” Archie told the NY Daily News on Tuesday. “We kind of put the quarterback in an individual thing. When Eli led the Giants to championships here, it’s because they had a good team and they ran the ball. They balanced the offense. They got after the quarterback. For various reasons, the Giants haven’t been able to do that this year. And Eli’s done his part — he hasn’t played as good, but the Giants haven’t played as good. I don’t individualize a quarterback.”

Plenty of people gave Eli credit when he won his Super Bowl MVPs, and I’m sure Archie had no problem with that. In fairness, he’s right. New York’s offensive line has been horrendous, which has caused a number of rushed throws from Manning. Still, great quarterbacks find ways to take care of the ball no matter who they’re surrounded by.

“I don’t put it (on Eli),” Archie  said. “Everybody is ranting and raving about Peyton. Peyton is having a good year because the Broncos offense is having a good year. That’s the way I look at it.”

True. Such is life as a quarterback in the NFL. When the team wins, you’re elite. When you throw 20 interceptions in 13 games, you stink. You have to own the bitter to enjoy the sweet.

H/T Shutdown Corner

Chargers GM A.J. Smith thinks Archie Manning is masterminding Peyton Manning’s free agency tour

Most people believe that wherever Peyton Manning decides to play in 2012, he is going to make his decision quickly. Over the weekend, Manning reportedly narrowed his choices down to two or three teams — the Cardinals, Broncos, and Dolphins. Of course, any other “mystery” team like the Titans could come charging in at any second, but for now the aforementioned teams have warranted the most chatter. According to Chargers GM A.J. Smith, anyone who wants to know where Manning will sign should simply ask his father Archie, who Smith believes is spearheading the entire operation.

“I do wish him the best in whatever the Manning family decides,” Smith said according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I don’t know why you would ask me. And I don’t know why anyone is asking Peyton. If you really want to know what’s going on — what trips he’s making and where he’s going to play — call Archie.”

Smith, of course, could still have a sour taste in his mouth from the 2004 draft, when the Chargers were forced to trade Eli Manning to the Giants because Archie insisted that Eli not play in San Diego.

Perhaps Archie does have a hand in deciding where his Hall of Fame-bound son ends up. The Mannings are a notoriously close-knit family, and Archie did say a few months ago that Peyton and Andrew Luck would not play together in Indianapolis. The Colts’ decision to cut Manning had a lot to do with not wanting to pay him his roster bonus, but it is doubtful he would have wanted to stay with the celebrated rookie coming along anyway. Archie may not ultimately decide where Peyton plays next season, but it’s safe to assume the four-time MVP is listening to what his father has to say.

Peyton Manning May Force Trade if Andrew Luck Is Drafted

When Archie Manning said earlier this week that Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning wouldn’t want to play on the same team, maybe he was just revealing the feelings of his son.

In a column published Friday, Adam Schefter indicated that may be the case.

“But inevitably Manning is going to have to let his feelings be known for the Colts, and the sense around the league is there will not be room for both quarterbacks, Manning and Luck, in Indianapolis,” Schefter wrote. “But after this season, as March begins to creep closer, it’s worth remembering that Eli Manning once navigated his way out of San Diego. And it will not be a surprise if Peyton Manning does the same with Indianapolis.”

Archie Manning backed off his initial statement about Peyton and Luck, later saying the two could play together. That was probably said for PR purposes to make it seem like Peyton is still a friendly guy. We believe his initial words reflected the truth.

Former personnel exec Michael Lombardi says he wouldn’t want to be the GM who trades Peyton Manning, but we think that would be the best move for the team. Peyton Manning is coming off multiple neck surgeries and is 35 years old. You probably have 3-4 years with him at best. Andrew Luck should be able to give the team 12 good years, even if he’s not as good as Peyton his first few years.

H/T Rotoworld

Archie Manning: Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck Don’t Want to Play Together

With Peyton Manning having been out with a neck injury all season, his father has decided to become more vocal. Nobody really knows why Archie Manning has decided to come forward and defend his son Eli or analyze the Colts draft status heading into 2012, but he has.  On Tuesday, Archie shed some light on the Andrew Luck situation in Indianapolis.  Assuming father and son exchange dialogue from time to time, it’s now pretty obvious that Peyton would rather not play on the same team as Luck.

“I don’t think it’d necessarily be great for either one,” Archie Manning said on FOX Sports 570’s Zakk & Jack Show.  “I think Andrew’s the type of mature player, you’ve seen him play he can walk right in.  I mean, these other three or four guys that are playing this year, if they can walk in and contribute, Andrew can, too.

“We know Andrew well.  He comes down to our camp every year.  I used to play with his dad (Oliver). I’m in New York, I heard from him last night.  Peyton’s always tried to help Andrew and kind of be a friend, but I doubt if either one of them wants to play on the same team.”

Every rookie wants a chance to start right away.  However, I’m sure Luck wouldn’t mind being on the Colts as much as Peyton would mind having him there.  Although Peyton insists Phil Simms was wrong in his assertion that a healthy Manning would never let the Colts draft Luck, I’m sure he wouldn’t be all that thrilled with Indy drafting a quarterback with the first overall pick.  If Peyton continues to play, he wants to win another Super Bowl.  Drafting a quarterback with the top pick in the draft would do nothing to help him personally.  For Luck, a chance to study under a Hall of Fame quarterback for a couple seasons wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

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Troy Aikman: Eli Manning Doesn’t Need Archie Manning to Defend Him

Eli Manning is a big boy. He’s an NFL quarterback who has already won a Super Bowl and is still very much in the prime of his career. Any quarterback who plays at the NFL level receives their fair share of criticism because so much is expected of them. With that in mind, you can understand why Archie Manning’s comments about Troy Aikman and Joe Buck criticizing his son came off as annoying. Based on the comments he made on the Dan Patrick Show Thursday morning, Aikman does not think Eli needs daddy to stick up for him.

“Eli hasn’t said anything to me,” Aikman said. “He’s 30 years old and if he has something to say or if he feels I’m being a little too tough then he can certainly voice that.”

Aikman is right about that.  In fact, I doubt Eli even cares what he and Buck say about him on Sundays.  The other thing Troy is right about is that Eli — like many other signal callers in the league — has a tendency to try to force some throws.  When he makes a bad pass, the commentators have every right to criticize him for it.  In fact, it’s part of their job in being objective.

“I think Eli is playing outstanding,” Aikman said. “Archie is referring to a game a few weeks back, when Eli, with a one-possession lead, threw a reckless ball into the corner of the end zone, it was intercepted and you just can’t have that as a quarterback. I know that, Eli knows that. I pointed it out. Sometimes quarterbacks don’t play as great as their parents think they do.”

Eli has received plenty of praise, particularly this season as he has been playing at a higher level than usual.  That being said, he’s going to make plenty of mistakes.  If Archie doesn’t like to hear people pointing out those mistakes, he should utilize the mute button.

Chest bump to Pro Football Talk for passing along the interview.

Archie Manning Says Joe Buck and Troy Aikman Criticize Eli Manning Too Much

There comes a time when every parent has to learn to let go.  You can’t defend your baby forever.  You can hold your youngest child’s hand through the NFL draft and force a trade that results in him playing in the city you want him to play in, but that’s where it should stop.  Yet, Archie Manning still feels the need to stick up for Eli Manning when people are being meanies to his son.

On Monday, Archie told ESPN.com that he thinks the announcing tandem of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman can be too hard on Eli.

“I don’t always listen to Troy and Joe,” Archie said. “They’re kind of hard on Eli. Joe’s always been really tough on Eli, and it seems this year Troy is too. But that’s OK. Sometimes I just mute them.”

What a strange complaint.  First of all, when I think about Eli Manning the first thing that pops into my head is Joe Buck’s voice screaming, “What a throw by Eli MANNING!”  Maybe I’m imagining that, but regardless I don’t see them as being any harder on Eli than anyone else.  I know Tom Coughlin does his best to place Eli among the top quarterbacks in the game and Eli himself thinks he’s elite, but who cares what Buck and Aikman say?  It seems like everyone is doing their best to stroke Eli’s ego this year, and I’ve yet to figure out why.

H/T to NESN for passing along the story.