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Orleans Darkwa: Eli Manning showed fiery side before Sunday’s game

Back says QB delivered pre-game pep talk

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Manning is generally not much of a rah-rah leader for the New York Giants. Apparently, easy Eli stepped out of his comfort zone before Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

We had previously heard about rookie Evan Engram stepping up and asking teammates for more energy. We had heard about Ben McAdoo’s Saturday night team meeting. We saw D.J. Fluker on the field before the game giving a passionate pre-game pep talk.

Apparently, Manning did the same privately with his teammates.

“Eli is the heartbeat of our team. I think pre-game he gave a fiery speech that got everybody riled up,” running back Orleans Darkwa said on Monday.

“To have a guy like that who’s been through so much, who’s got those two Super Bowl rings. We follow his footsteps. … at the end of the day he’s been there, he’s done that. We try to follow his footsteps as much as possible.”

Per Darkwa, Manning is apparently more vocal with teammates than some realize.

“He talks to us a lot. The difference yesterday was you could sense the fire in his voice,” Darkwa said. “If the Super Bowl rings don’t hold any weight I don’t know what else should.”

There are only two questions all the way around. Why didn’t any of this happen sooner, and will it carry over?