Eli Manning to Yahoo! Sports – ‘I don’t think I said anything inappropriate’

It seems to be a good month for NFC East quarterbacks to shoot their mouths off and have to backtrack at times as a result. Between Rex Grossman saying that the Washington Redskins would win the division, and Michael Vick tripping all over himself on the subjects of dogfighting and collusion, you'd think that the usually relatively quiet Eli Manning wouldn't find a way to insert himself in the discussion.

However, when Manning was on with ESPN New York's Michael Kay earlier this week, and he was asked if he believed himself to be an an elite quarterback, he put the answer in a way that made it seem that he was comparing himself to Tom Brady. Which, as much as Eli has been above average through his career, is a little nutty. Eli isn't even the best quarterback at the Manning Family Reunion dinner table (factor in dad Archie, and Eli might be third some days), much less on a level with Brady.

"I consider myself in that class and Tom Brady is a great quarterback, he's a great player and what you've seen with him is he's gotten better every year and he started off winning championships and I think he's a better quarterback now than what he was, in all honesty, when he was winning those championships."

On Friday, Manning spoke with Yahoo!'s Jeff Macke and Matt Nesto about the quotes.

"I feel that I gave an honest answer when asked if I was an elite quarterback in the NFL — I said that I was," Manning said. "I don't think that I said anything inappropriate, and I never mentioned Tom Brady by name … Tom Brady's at a high level of football, and I'm trying to play at that level. I have the ability, and I think we have the team — the players that can make great plays and allow me to do my job at a high level."

Manning also talked about the Philadelphia Eagles' "Dream Team" status, their preseason trash-talking, what he needs to do to improve this season, and how the lockout may have actually helped his team. It's a pretty interesting exclusive, so check out the video:

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