Ex-Giant David Tyree on Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin, his TV show and much more

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Over the weekend, former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree sat down with Giants Wire to discuss his recent new venture: co-hosting his new show with another former Giant, Mathias Kiwanuka, called “Odds with Ends” on MSG Network.

After spending some time in the Giants’ front office during his post-playing career as the director of player development, Tyree is moving on to a role in television.

While discussing his newest venture, Tyree was asked about Daniel Jones’ future with the Giants, Eli Manning’s potential call to Canton and his well-documented bad practice prior to Super Bowl XLII.

New show on MSG Network

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Giants Wire: “Can you talk a little bit about your new show ‘Odds with Ends’ on MSG Network? Did you get stuck with Mathias or was that by choice?”

Tyree: “No, no. I am happy to be stuck with a handful of my former teammates but that wasn’t the case here. It was certainly by choice. You know, obviously we were aware of some of the potential candidates to be a host of the show and I have friends and teammates that were in the running. That was dynamic in itself so it was really great. You know, I don’t know if he got stuck with me but it’s working out great for the both of us and obviously we are slowly turning into this fun landscape of coupling sports with betting with the legalization state by state.

“I think the show ‘Odds with Ends’ is going to be the beginning of some groundbreaking content in the sports gambling place. Like I said, for us to be in the position of hosting, myself and Mathias, it’s going to be a really unique perspective that we’re excited to drive home.”

Was hosting a sports gambling show in your plans?

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Giants Wire: “Was this something you envisioned yourself doing in your post-playing career or did it just kind of fall into place?”

Tyree: “Yeah, probably more on the side of falling into place. You know, the transition out — you either have a plan or you don’t. I can’t say I had a full fledged plan. I had some interest (in) broadcasting and being a part of the sport was a big part of that interest. For the last 8-9 years, being in the front office, being in player development was the other side of it. So just being close to the sport is really important to most players.

“Television was something I certainly would have liked to get into sooner but this is the avenue that really created some great opportunities especially in our market.”

Did being a show host come naturally?

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Giants Wire: “Did being a show host come naturally to you or did you have to pick the brains of any of your former teammates who have moved on to a career in media?”

Tyree: “Yeah, I’m still in the process of picking brains and it’s going to be an ongoing process. I think, you know, as a professional athlete you really desire to gain mastery, so I think I’m far from that but hosting definitely comes natural to me.

“Personality wise, just trying to bring energy to everything that I do as well as a sense of welcoming. So you put sports on the table and obviously throw a little bit of money in there… I think it’s attraction by itself, you just have great dialog and creating an atmosphere where people can get a gauge to some wonderful conversation.”

Eli Manning's latest endeavors

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Giants Wire: “Eli was hired in a role with the team this offseason and now he and Peyton are doing the Manningcast pretty much every Monday night. Are you surprised by Eli’s post-playing endeavors this quickly after his retirement, and have you got to check out the Manningcast yet?

Tyree: “I’ve definitely caught a few snippets. They’re kind of, like personality wise, like salt and pepper or Ebony and Ivory. So it works really well, when you look at the energy and some of the dull humor by Eli. I can’t say I’m really surprised at all. I think what I might say I’m a little surprised about is the amount of work that he’s involved with but it’s fantastic man. I think people are getting a chance to see this guy full bloom, you know, and doing things that he enjoys.

“I think, like I said, for most of us, being a part of the game in some way is a significant gift that you can’t take for granted. So it’s like with ‘Odds with Ends,’ we talk some football and we create some amazing conversation around opportunity exist in that landscape as well.”

Is Eli Manning a Hall of Famer?

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Giants Wire: “Do you believe Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer?”

Tyree: “Yeah, I do believe he’ll get in there. I’m certain he’s a Hall of Famer. Is he first ballot? That’s more likely where the debate is. The guy has definitely earned his stripes. Few have as decorated of a career and very few have as many accomplishments. So to me, in my mind, that’s a no brainer.”

Is there a disconnect between Daniel Jones and Evan Engram?

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Giants Wire: “When the Giants drafted Evan Engram back in 2016, he was seen as a mismatch nightmare because of his speed at the tight end position. Why do you think there has been such a disconnect between he and Daniel Jones? They have had so many turnovers where Engram is involved in the play.”

Tyree: “If I had to put my hat in there, I’d have to say that his best season was his rookie season and at that moment, he was much more of a focal point of the offense. If there’s anything that may not work in his advantage, it’s the possibility that he’s a rhythm player. Some players, they need to be engaged in the game to get the best out of them. Now, at the tight end position, no matter who you are, until you’re proven to be a weapon, it’s very difficult to get those targets and I think that’s where Evan Engram stayed.

“I think that’s the best positive narrative we can probably spin out of some of the lack of production or performance in recent years, but he’s moving further toward the end of his career and he certainly should have been able to produce more in light of his talent and skillset.”

Is Daniel Jones the Giants' long-term solution at QB?

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Giants Wire: “Do you believe Daniel Jones can be the long-term solution at quarterback for the Giants?”

Tyree: “I believe he has the skills to be, 100 percent. How that plays out, I think there’s too many other factors involved and that’s on the front office and coaching. I think with his reduction in turnovers, he’s positioned himself well to do that. Is the production there? It’s tough to measure that at this point and be totally persuaded. The issue isn’t whether Daniel Jones could be a long-term quarterback, the issue is was he worth No. 6 (overall.) So I think that’s the bigger conversation that people might debate.”

Helmet catch or elite receiver?

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Giants Wire: “You made arguably the biggest and most infamous catch in Super Bowl history in undoubtedly the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. You played with Plaxico Burress, who at his peak was one of the best wideouts in the NFL. From a strictly on-field perspective, would you give up the catch to be remembered as an elite wide receiver for a 10-year stretch?”

Tyree: “No, honestly I wouldn’t. I think my biggest thing is that I was a football player. Meaning that, everyone knows my career was as a special teamer. But when I was called to service, I pretty much delivered. I knew I had the ability to compete and play well at the receiver position. I’ve earned spots as No. 3 for a year here, a year there but it just never gelled.

“For me, it was just about delivering for the guys next to me. So I wouldn’t trade it for a moment in the world, just to have that imprint and be a part of the sport is a treasure and a gift. I enjoy my little piece of the pie and let the haters hate. There are a lot of guys who had greater careers than me and they may not have impacted the game as much as that one catch has.”

Pre-Super Bowl XLII practice

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Giants Wire: “It has been said that the week of Super Bowl XLII, you had one of your worst practices ever. Just how bad was that practice and do you feel like it was the worst practice of your career?”

Tyree: “It was an epically bad practice. You know, it was well recorded, it was a horrific practice, it was dropped balls all over the place. A lot of them were contested. I could tell the narrative a lot of ways but there is no way to defend that practice, it was pretty bad but that’s where I left it. I just left it at practice and you know, it wasn’t something that alarmed me when I walked away from the field because that’s how days could be. And that’s just one side of it. I think my teammates knew when the lights went on, it was time to play ball.”

What made Tom Coughlin so great?

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Giants Wire: “The Giants have been anything but stable at head coach in recent years. What was it about Tom Coughlin that made him so great?”

Tyree: “He was consistent in his messaging, he was consistent in his dealing with players. His standards were what they were; he was pretty much immovable but he was consistent. There’s always the awareness that all players won’t be treated exactly equal. When it came to his message and how he dealt with setting the culture for our team, he was 100 percent consistent. That spoke (volumes about) him and allowed people to get on board after they found out who he was. I think that’s what we all come back to and appreciate coach Coughlin for, and that’s what made you want to run through a brick wall for the guy.”

Long-term goals as an on-air media personality?

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Giants Wire: “With the addition of your new show, what are your long-term goals for your TV career?”

Tyree: “I think where I really want to be long-term is kind of living in the space of hosting. I think to evolve from sports and being able to have a voice within culture, that’s a far out long-term. Within the next year, it’s really just to hold my craft and be grateful for the opportunity with MSG, allow sport to be a conduit to greater dialog conversation and that’s the skill.

“You know, I have a great admiration for people who are very good at what they do, so I enjoy the likes of the Ryan Clarks, Nate Burlesons as far as former athletes. I obviously have admiration for others as professionals in the space. So just a lot of work, research grind it out and enjoy the road.”

Monday Night Football: Giants/Buccaneers pick?

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Giants Wire: “Are you picking the Giants on Monday night?”

Tyree: “I’m actually picking them to cover the spread. I think it can go both ways. Obviously, Tampa Bay took a couple bad losses so they’re going to be anxious for a win, but I think the Giants coming back with their roster getting as healthy as they’ve been all year has a great opportunity to build on the momentum going into the bye. So, we’ll take the points and see if my boys can hold up.”

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