Eli Manning has had 15 seasons of practice at putting out fires for the New York Giants, deflecting drama, smoothing things over when they got messy. So, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that when asked Monday about the Odell Beckham Jr. ESPN interview he deflected with humor.
“I don’t watch Lil Wayne that much,” said Manning, claiming not to know exactly what Beckham said.
“Coach handled the situation well,” Manning said. “I think Odell, having him address the team, and setting the record straight from his point-of-view. I think that was smart and big by him to get in that situation and kind of own up to what was going on, and just kind of set the record straight so we can just avoid the distractions, avoid this and that, and just worry about playing football.”
What about the idea that Beckham didn’t support the quarterback during the interview?
“I’ve never had a receiver that doesn’t want that ball more, and doesn’t want the ball thrown to him down the field and scoring touchdowns. That’s part of handling that,” Manning said. “When you get a guy with social media and everything now, the ability you have to reach a crowd and express your opinions about everything on a whim, it can cause more drama. That’s just the world we’re living in and how you deal with it.”
Manning said that he and Beckham are “always close, we’re tight, and we’re on good terms.” He added that in his mind the firestorm caused by the remarks is over.
“Yeah, I think that was good just for the whole team to hear it. When you have new guys and young guys that don’t know him or not familiar with him, I think it was good just so other guys aren’t talking about it or worried about it, or trying to change how they pregame, we have to get more energy, this or that,” he said. “I think you kind of just end it and just move on and let’s worry about winning a football game.”