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JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

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  • JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

    JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

    "John Mara remembers the Giants organization being torn on who
    to take days before the 2004 NFL Draft.

    Eli Manning
    or Ben Roethlisberger?

    We all know what has happened
    since. But it is always fun to look back and Mara fondly reminisced about
    trading for Manning on WFAN radio on Tuesday.

    "We went right to the last
    day or two before the draft trying to decide between Eli and Ben Roethlisberger,
    who obviously has been a great NFL quarterback as well," Mara said. "They both
    have been brilliant. Really, the decision came down to one guy played in the
    SEC, the best conference in the country, and the other guy played at Miami of
    Ohio against obviously lesser competition."

    "Also, [Manning] was on a
    team at Ole Miss that didn't have a tremendous amount of talent and he kind of
    carried that team on his shoulder," Mara added. "We felt he was the better pick
    for us, but obviously either way they both ended up being great players."


    Mara also recounted how his father, Wellington Mara,
    wasn't keen on paying such a high price to get Manning, who was taken first
    overall by the Chargers. Wellington Mara had a soft spot for Kerry
    Collins
    but the Giants ended up trading Philip Rivers
    (taken fourth overall), their 2004 third-round pick and 2005 first and
    fifth-round picks.

    "It was not an easy decision," Mara said. "It was one
    that even my father was against initially because he had such a strong feeling
    for Kerry Collins, who had played so well for us and kind of resurrected his
    career. I just felt like and Ernie Accorsi felt strongly also
    that this guy had a rare talent and was worth taking a chance on."

    Mara
    admits he had some doubts early on when Manning struggled.

    "I will tell
    you there were times where I had some doubts," the Giants president and CEO
    said. "I can remember so vividly the first minicamp practice that Eli was here
    for. He just had a terrible day throwing the ball in a windy practice field out
    here. It was going all over the place and he was surrounded by media and
    cameras."

    "I remember thinking to myself, I hope it gets better than
    this," Mara added. "Because we just gave up half the franchise to get this guy
    and he is throwing the ball all over the place."

    Mara chuckled as he
    recounted that. It's fun for the Giants to look back on everything seeing how it
    all turned out.

    "It really wasn’t until the second half of the '04
    season when he got into the games [and] he really struggled at first," Mara
    said. "And then we had that final game of the '04 season when we beat Dallas at
    home and he takes us down the field at the end of the game to win and that just
    sort of kicked off his career for us."

    "He certainly has had some ups
    and downs since then," Mara added. "But I will take my chances with the ball in
    his hand at the end the game every day."
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2
    Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN



    Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers? Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




    Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

      [quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


      Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers? Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




      Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




      [/quote]




      As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand. We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him. We picked him just to use to get Eli.

      Admit nothing. Deny everything. Make counter accusations.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

        [quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


        Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers? Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




        Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




        [/quote]




        As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand. We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him. We picked him just to use to get Eli.




        [/quote]




        That's the thing that's always seemed fishy . . . . if we had no talks with SD, how did we know that SD loved Rivers?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

          [quote user="GMENAGAIN"][quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


          Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers? Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




          Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




          [/quote]




          As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand. We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him. We picked him just to use to get Eli.




          [/quote]




          That's the thing that's always seemed fishy . . . . if we had no talks with SD, how did we know that SD loved Rivers?




          [/quote]




          I guess a lot of these GM's know who others like. I also suppose they would have been happy with Rivers as well. He did win a lot of big games in college. (and turned out to be a great pro).




          Those three guys represented a great QB first round. Best since the famous 83 draft.

          Admit nothing. Deny everything. Make counter accusations.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

            [quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"][quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


            Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers?* Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




            Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




            [/quote]




            As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand.* We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him.* We picked him just to use to get Eli.




            [/quote]




            That's the thing that's always seemed fishy . . . . if we had no talks with SD, how did we know that SD loved Rivers?*




            [/quote]




            I guess a lot of these GM's know who others like.* I also suppose they would have been happy with Rivers as well.* He did win a lot of big games in college.* (and turned out to be a great pro).*




            Those three guys represented a great QB first round.* Best since the famous 83 draft.

            [/quote]
            I was always under the impression that the trade was done before the pic and the chargers told us to draft Rivers over Ben
            That's who they wanted

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

              [quote user="GMENAGAIN"][quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


              Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers?* Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




              Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




              [/quote]




              As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand.* We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him.* We picked him just to use to get Eli.




              [/quote]




              That's the thing that's always seemed fishy . . . . if we had no talks with SD, how did we know that SD loved Rivers?*

              [/quote]

              SD knew that Eli wasn't going to play for them & Rivers was the runner up selection. Better to have 2nds than nothing I guess.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

                So glad we got Eli. While he and Ben have both had great (possibly Hall of Fame) careers on the field, Eli is the better person by far, and will be a good ambassador for the team.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

                  [quote user="jakegibbs"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"][quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


                  Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers? Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




                  Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




                  [/quote]




                  As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand. We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him. We picked him just to use to get Eli.




                  [/quote]




                  That's the thing that's always seemed fishy . . . . if we had no talks with SD, how did we know that SD loved Rivers?




                  [/quote] SD knew that Eli wasn't going to play for them & Rivers was the runner up selection. Better to have 2nds than nothing I guess.[/quote]




                  They wanted Rivers over Eli. They drafted Eli because they knew we wanted him and would probably give up the store for him. Which we did. Plus there was some egos at work. Eli wasn't going to tell them not to draft him.




                  A lot of factors at play there. In the end, everyone got what they wanted.

                  Admit nothing. Deny everything. Make counter accusations.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

                    I wasn't aware John was a hater.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

                      [quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="jakegibbs"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"][quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


                      Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers?* Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




                      Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




                      [/quote]




                      As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand.* We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him.* We picked him just to use to get Eli.




                      [/quote]




                      That's the thing that's always seemed fishy . . . . if we had no talks with SD, how did we know that SD loved Rivers?*




                      [/quote] SD knew that Eli wasn't going to play for them & Rivers was the runner up selection. Better to have 2nds than nothing I guess.[/quote]




                      They wanted Rivers over Eli.* They drafted Eli because they knew we wanted him and would probably give up the store for him.* Which we did.* Plus there was some egos at work.* Eli wasn't going to tell them not to draft him.




                      A lot of factors at play there.* In the end, everyone got what they wanted.

                      [/quote]

                      Accorsi did an interview with NFLN about it and according to the GM it went like this.

                      We were actually considering trading down to the Browns spot when SD actually took Manning with the 1st pick. Accorsi then was going to trade down with Cleveland and still thought he would get Big Ben with Clevelands pick and pick up a 3rd rounder. pi

                      But Accorsi thru the "grapevine" had heard that Cleveland was trying to move up to our spot so THEY could then muster up a trade for Eli.

                      So Acorsi said he decided to just stick with our original pick and take Big Ben if the Chargers wouldnt come to agreement (SD previously would only trade to our spot if we included Osi in the trade which Acorsi would NOT do). On draft day SD called us just before the Bucs (who picked one spot above us) and agreed to Accorsi original trade conditions on the event that we took Rivers with our pick. SD had Rivers as the #2 QB on their boards where obviously Ben was our #2 rated QB...it was really pretty interesting and straight from the GMs mouth.
                      sigpic
                      BLOOOOOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

                        I can see why Wellington Mara had a soft spot for Kerry Collins.

                        Remember when Kerry Collins lit up the Vikings for 5 TDs in perhaps the one of the greatest dominant victories (41-0) at Giants Stadium in the 2000 NFC Championship game.

                        Wellington Mara went on the field, accepted the trophy, and gave a nice speech in front of the crowd and home viewers on TV. That was memorable. (talk about reminiscing...)

                        However, the Giants had to move on from Kerry Collins. Also remember, Archie did not want Eli to play for the unsuccessful Chargers team at that time. So, the Chargers weren't completely holding Eli hostage. I think with a bit of help from Archie's influence, the trade for Eli was made possible.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

                          [quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


                          Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers?* Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




                          Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




                          [/quote]




                          As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand.* We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him.* We picked him just to use to get Eli.

                          [/quote]
                          i might be wrong but wasn't it because eli said he did not want to play for SD and that he was going to sit out the season if they took him? im sketchy on what exactly happened.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

                            [quote user="thomsoad"][quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="jakegibbs"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"][quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


                            Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers? Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




                            Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




                            [/quote]




                            As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand. We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him. We picked him just to use to get Eli.




                            [/quote]




                            That's the thing that's always seemed fishy . . . . if we had no talks with SD, how did we know that SD loved Rivers?




                            [/quote] SD knew that Eli wasn't going to play for them & Rivers was the runner up selection. Better to have 2nds than nothing I guess.[/quote]




                            They wanted Rivers over Eli. They drafted Eli because they knew we wanted him and would probably give up the store for him. Which we did. Plus there was some egos at work. Eli wasn't going to tell them not to draft him.




                            A lot of factors at play there. In the end, everyone got what they wanted.




                            [/quote] Accorsi did an interview with NFLN about it and according to the GM it went like this. We were actually considering trading down to the Browns spot when SD actually took Manning with the 1st pick. Accorsi then was going to trade down with Cleveland and still thought he would get Big Ben with Clevelands pick and pick up a 3rd rounder. pi But Accorsi thru the "grapevine" had heard that Cleveland was trying to move up to our spot so THEY could then muster up a trade for Eli. So Acorsi said he decided to just stick with our original pick and take Big Ben if the Chargers wouldnt come to agreement (SD previously would only trade to our spot if we included Osi in the trade which Acorsi would NOT do). On draft day SD called us just before the Bucs (who picked one spot above us) and agreed to Accorsi original trade conditions on the event that we took Rivers with our pick. SD had Rivers as the #2 QB on their boards where obviously Ben was our #2 rated QB...it was really pretty interesting and straight from the GMs mouth.[/quote]




                            That's exactly the info that I was looking for. . . . .thanks! [B]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: JOHN MARA REMINISCES ABOUT PICKING ELI OVER BEN

                              [quote user="rainierjef"][quote user="Morehead State"][quote user="GMENAGAIN"]


                              Has it ever been reported how the Giants came to pick Rivers?* Were trade talks ongoing with the Chargers and the Chargers said that they preferred Rivers over Ben?




                              Just don't remember how that aspect played out . . . . .




                              [/quote]




                              As I remember we didn't have any talks beforehand.* We picked Rivers because we knew that SD loved him.* We picked him just to use to get Eli.

                              [/quote]
                              i might be wrong but wasn't it because eli said he did not want to play for SD and that he was going to sit out the season if they took him? im sketchy on what exactly happened.[/quote]

                              eli had made it clear before the draft even occurred that he would not play for SD. he said if SD drafted him and refused to work something out, he would retire, go back to school to become a lawyer. i believe he even stated that after being drafted by SD.

                              Now in regards to us drafting Rivers and whether or not we knew SD would trade Eli, I'm not positive of what happened. I do know that Archie had a meeting with the owner of SD leading up to the draft, and that the SD owner leaked info from their conversation to the papers, which created even more of a distaste for SD by Eli.
                              Imo, SD drafted Eli bc he was the best player and bc they knew that if Eli wouldnt play for them, they could make a trade. And iirc, everyone knew how enamored with Eli EA was bc of the whole Elway situation and how EA was GM or something for the Colts and that Elway pulled an Eli and said he refused to play for them. and how EA said Eli reminded him of Elway and that franchise QBs are so rare to come by at the level of the mannings that SD had to have known, whether stated or not, that NY would trade for Eli...

                              Comment

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