ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck, who served as a back-up to Eli Manning, shared his thoughts on the Giants/Jets MNF preseason game:
Which QB is most ready for the Jets vs. Giants preseason game?
“I think Eli Manning is light years ahead of where Mark Sanchez is at this point and its really not up for discussion in terms of who is more prepared and ready at this point.
“There is no doubt that playing in New York is a completely different animal. One of the reasons Eli (Manning) has been able to have success there is because he was able to get through the time when everyone was criticizing him. When they were saying he’s not as good as his brother and never will be. That he wasn’t a good enough quarterback. But, Eli has the mental toughness to not get distracted by what everyone is saying. He’s not wrapped up in getting out and needing to be seen in the city. None of that was ever important to him. He is able to block the chatter out and have success.
As a former Giants QB, what does it take to rule NY?
“With (Mark) Sanchez the spotlight seems to finds him outside of football. It can be fine if you’re able to focus on football when you walk into your team’s facility, but it remains to be seen whether he can do that. The best example I can give is that Eli goes out in NYC, but people never hear about what he does. Sanchez eats a hot dog on the sideline and everyone sees it. Some guys have a knack for going unnoticed. And in a city where people are always watching everything you do, you have to be careful.”
What about the overall dynamics of this game?
“The interesting thing in terms of the overall game is that this one is important. Preseason games for the most part, there is a feeling of ‘let’s get through these games and not let anyone get hurt so we can be ready for when season starts.’ That’s still always the case. But when it’s the Giants and Jets preseason game, there’s no doubt it always means a little more. Tom Coughlin always talked about how important this game was for the owners, management and fans to have a victory. When you look at teams sharing a stadium and not playing each other in the regular season because they’re not in the same conference its about bragging rights. There is no doubt to say that this preseason game means more than traditional preseason games.”
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