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Entries in Eli Manning (3)

9:26AM

Newsday (N.Y.): Raiders show respect for Eli Manning as they prepare to host Giants

By Art Spander
Special to Newsday

ALAMEDA, Calif. — His brother, David, was the backup to Eli Manning on the Giants who rarely played. Now, as fate and fable would have it, Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders will be the first to play quarterback against the Giants since Manning was replaced as starter.

“I know this about Eli,” Carr said. “He’s a great person. I was able to learn from him a couple of years ago at the Pro Bowl. I was fortunate and blessed to be on that same team as him. Just learn from him, ask questions, all of those things.”

Read the full story here.

Copyright © 2017 Newsday. All rights reserved.

9:37AM

RealClearSports: Eli: 'This Might Be the Last One'

By Art Spander
For RealClearSports.com

INDIANAPOLIS — The father and two sons, as so many others walking the streets, wore football jerseys — but not those of the Giants or Patriots. These were Green Bay Packers uniforms, the No. 12 of Aaron Rodgers.

A year ago, they were the team. A year ago, he was the man. A year ago.

How quickly the days go by. How swiftly times and teams change.

Read the full story here.

© RealClearSports 2012

9:48AM

RealClearSports.com: Quarterbacks, the Great and the Unknown



By Art Spander
For RealClearSports.com


So the $40 million man goes to the bench, and the guy who nobody wanted becomes the starter. Once again, you have to wonder what goes on with pro football. Does anyone in charge have a clue? And how did 198 players get chosen before Tom Brady?

Quarterbacks have been big and expensive the last few days. Eli Manning signed an extension for $106 million. Then Philip Rivers, whose draft rights back in 2004 were traded for Manning, received an extension worth $98 million. Somebody must think these guys are important.
Because they are. It's an unarguable fact that every play starts with the quarterback touching the ball, other than that wildcat formation and punts or place kicks. In the NFL, you don't win without at the least a good one. But how do you get a good one?

The San Francisco 49ers had the first selection in the 2005 draft, took quarterback Alex Smith, gave him $40 million and now -- because of injuries and other difficulties -- he's second string behind Shaun Hill, who in his first five years in the league, four of those with Minnesota, played maybe five minutes.

Meanwhile, Brady, who's won three Super Bowls, who's considered to be no worse than the fourth best quarterback in the game and by many no worse than the very best, was taken in the sixth round.

That's better than Kurt Warner, who as we well know was a virtual outcast, had to work in a grocery store and, disproving all theories except the one that a strong arm is never to be underestimated, has played in three Super Bowls, including the most recent.

You've heard this. Drafting is not an exact science. That's a justification for making mistakes. Not that the people in charge don't have a decent understanding of what they need in a quarterback.

Manning, the No. 1 pick in 2004, won a Super Bowl. Ben Roethlisberger, the No. 11 pick in 2004, has won two Super Bowls. Rivers, fourth that same year, has had the San Diego Chargers in the playoffs. On ESPN the other day, Mike Golic was debating which of the three he would take. Interestingly, it was Rivers.

John Elway was the very first selection in the 1983 draft. He quarterbacked the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl five times and won two of those times. No one questioned the choice or later his performance.

Alex Smith, however, was a questionable No. 1. The 49ers had the first choice. The 49ers needed a quarterback. The presumption was they would take Aaron Rodgers, from Cal, just a few miles away from the Niners' headquarters. The second-guessing has gone on for four years.

Sometimes all a quarterback needs is a chance. Sometimes it's better when he never gets that chance. We're told the best job in the NFL is backup quarterback. You're anonymous, bullet-proof. Until you're forced to play.

Literally, Shaun Hill was forced to play. He had been in Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals, the same for which Warner spent a season, and in retrospect it was a season well spent, Kurt going to the St. Louis Rams and to unforeseen success.

Joining the Vikings in 2002, Hill -- as Warner, undrafted -- virtually never crossed the sideline. Oh, they let him in a couple of times to kneel down at the end of the game, a gesture that once you're beyond high school serves no purpose. What, someone wanted Shaun to earn his letter? Or to let his family know he still was around?

He came to the Niners in 2006, and with Smith in his second year taking every snap, Hill again was a non-entity, this time in a red jersey rather than a purple one. But in 2007, Smith separated his shoulder, Trent Dilfer, No. 2, also was hurt and finally in December, Shaun Hill was throwing and handing off. And winning.

Because Mike Martz, who interestingly enough was Warner's offensive coordinator with the Rams had the same role in 2008 with the Niners, Hill was deemed not capable of directing the Martz wild-air attack. But head coach Mike Nolan was canned, Mike Singletary took over and on came Hill, the methodical sort that Singletary prefers.

Now, as Manning and Rivers receive their raises, Shaun Hill becomes a starting quarterback for a season opener for the first time. And even he seems amazed.

"It's been quite a ride,'' Hill said. "I almost made it through a whole six seasons without taking a real snap in the league, and now here I am, with an opportunity to start for one of the most storied franchises in the league, a franchise that's had great quarterbacks through its history.''

Hill isn't Joe Montana or Steve Young. Hill isn't Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger. He's the man nobody wanted but now the man the San Francisco 49ers need.



As a reporter since 1960, Art Spander is a living treasure of sports history. A recipient of the Dick McCann Memorial Award -- given for his long and distinguished career covering professional football -- he has earned himself a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was recently honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the PGA of America for 2009.

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http://www1.realclearsports.com/articles/2009/08/26/quarterbacks_the_great_and_the_unknown_96462.html
© RealClearSports 2009