Earlier this week, CBS Sports' Phil Simms said that Giants quarterback Eli Manning wasn't elite. On Sunday morning, he took one last opportunity to clarify his definition of "elite."
Here's what Simms said six days ago:
"When I hear the word elite, I'm thinking about guys that can make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves," he said on CBS Sports Network's NFL Monday QB. "There are very few quarterbacks in that category. So, yes, Eli has been a tremendous team player. He has been MVP of the Super Bowl twice. I know that. But the way I look at it, the answer is no."
A day later, Simms defended those comments on WFAN's "Boomer and Carton" show.
"We're splitting hairs here,” Simms said at the time. “I get it asked all the time, ‘Is so and so elite?' I go, ‘Oh, my gosh. Please. Somebody stick a needle in my eye.' I'm just tired of answering it and hearing it. So I said it. Sorry it's caused a little firestorm, but that's the context I said it in. ...
“‘Elite,' it's a new word in the football vocabulary. It really is,” he continued. “It's this new thing. I don't remember hearing it 25 to 30 years ago. With the way it's talked about now, Dan Marino was not elite, Warren Moon was never elite, Dan Fouts was not elite. Even though they went to the Hall of Fame, they're not elite.
“So my thing was, when I think of ‘elite,' I think of great accomplishments with unusual, very good, incredible skills on the field. I didn't even think about who it would be when I was saying it. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and I think Aaron Rodgers kind of fits in that mode. And the rest, we'll see about."
And on Sunday, an exasperated Simms again explained the difference between elite and everybody else. Given that Eli's sporting a 48.6 passer rating this month, has yet to throw a touchdown pass, is completing 55 percent of his throws and is averaging 170 yards through the air, we think it's fair to put him in the latter category.
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