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The Mannings stick together -- big brother defends Eli

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It's not exactly the Hatfields vs. the McCoys, but the Tiki Barber-Eli Manning spat has turned into an NFL style family feud -- the Barbers vs. the Mannings.

Papa Manning, otherwise known as Archie, defended Eli the other day and now big brother Peyton has jumped into the fray. Peyton aimed some not-so-nice comments at Barber Wednesday, according to the Indianapolis Star.

"I think (Eli) hit it on the head when he said Tiki's made a very nice transition to the media world, and there's some truth to that,'' Peyton said. "Ex-players truly become ex-players right away. When they go (into the media), they feel like they have to criticize players. And maybe that's what they're supposed to do. You don't know."

Big brother also bristled at the idea that Eli can't lead a football team.

"You cannot play quarterback at any level, even junior high, without taking a leadership position," he said, referring to Barber's criticisms. Then he referred directly to Eli. "Three years in high school, three years starting in college, being in your fourth year (in the NFL) and taking a team to the playoffs twice, you are a leader and you're a good leader. The ones who aren't leaders are the ones who don't make it -- at any level.

"So, yeah, I think you do get defensive when they get on (issues of leadership); it's supposed to be part of the code, somewhat, teammate to teammate."

It's what you would have expected Peyton to say, but it's still good stuff.

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