You never forget your quarterback, the quarterback who got you that shiny Super Bowl ring on your finger, the quarterback who somehow escaped to find David Tyree, the quarterback who slayed the Perfect Patriots when he hit Plaxico Burress in the end zone with 39 seconds left in Super Bowl XLII.
And so even though it is 10 years later, those forever grateful, loyal Giants will not concede that Father Time has diminished their fearless leader Eli Manning, and they still believe in him as he prepares to lead this latest version of the Giants into Monday night’s showdown with the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Plaxico Burress was asked walking off the Yankee Stadium field Saturday with his fellow Super Bowl XLII honorees what message he would give Giants fans, alarmed after Week 1, about Manning.
“Don’t panic, baby,” Burress told The Post. “Why would you panic with Eli Manning? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t bet against him.”
The Super Bowl XLII Giants were 0-2 and had not yet learned that Manning could become a championship quarterback.
“He hasn’t changed,” Justin Tuck told The Post. “I mean, things around him have changed. But as far as him being able to do what he needs to do to help this football team win, that confidence definitely hasn’t changed. Not in his ability. I think, obviously, we would like to shore up that O-line a little bit more. Eli thrives obviously when there’s a clean pocket in front of him, I think you can say that about any quarterback. I don’t know if he’s had a lot of that around him lately, for whatever reason. I’m not pointing any fingers.
“But my confidence in Eli hasn’t changed, and I’ve seen him get off to slow starts and then ramp it right back up. I definitely haven’t hit no panic or any type of like being any worried about what I feel like this team could be. I still feel as though they could be the NFC East champions, and I’m not moving off of that stance.”
Kevin Gilbride was the offensive coordinator of those champion Giants.
“You know, he’s the same guy,” Gilbride told The Post. “I’ve always said that he’s never gonna win games with his feet, he’s gonna win games with his brain and with his arm, and if he has a group of people that allow him to do that, I think he’s as good as he’s ever been. I know a lot of people are questioning, ‘Is he at the end?’ But when I see him, I don’t see a diminishment of arm strength. I certainly know his work habits are…