11.29.07

Eli’s Old Coach Defends Skittish QB

Posted in Gridiron at 6:57 pm by

In what has to be a more pleasant development for Eli Manning than an expression of empathy from Rex Grossman, the former received a big vote of confidence from, uh, the man partially responsible for tutoring the erratic Giants QB. From Newsday’s Jim Baubach.

“I think resilient is a proper word right now,” former Ole Miss head coach / current Tennesee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe said today by telephone. “I’ll tell you why Eli is resilient. Eli is a guy who is accountable. He’s accountable to himself. He doesn’t pass the buck. It’s square on his shoulders. He understands it’s important – regardless of whether it’s all his fault or not.”

But what about the laid-back way Manning carries himself on the field, in the huddle, on the sideline. In the wake of his four-interception performance, fans have expressed a strong desire to see Manning break out of his mold and show more emotion, to show outwardly that he cares.

“I see that demeanor that is exposed to people, but I also know Eli,” Cutcliffe said. “And I’ll tell you this: You don’t take things on your shoulders without being a tough guy. He’s not a soft guy. People take quiet as being soft. That’s not the case at all.”

“Eli is a man, and he knows how to step it up when he has to,” Cutcliffe said. “He’s just a little quiet. I guess if people can find fault in being a little quiet then he’s guilty. But it’s not soft. I’ll go in the foxhole with him. He’ll fight until the fight is over with him. I know that from knowing him for a good part of his life.”

“He, probably like a lot of us, just sometimes is a little hesitant to talk to much. He’s just more of an action guy.”

I’m not sure at what point in the call Baumbach explained he was asking about Eli Manning rather than Eli Wallach

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