Eli Manning jokes about brother Peyton joining Jets

Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks for a receiver against the Packers during their NFC divisional...

Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks for a receiver against the Packers during their NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc., Jan. 15, 2012. (DARREN HAUCK/Reuters)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:16 PM ET

TORONTO - As the little brother in the football Manning family, it is Eli’s right to perhaps say a little more than his less-open older brother might.

But it wouldn’t be a stretch to say there’s going to be a phone call at some point, or there has already been one from the older sibling to the younger telling him in no uncertain terms to shut his yap.

Eli, the only playing Manning at the moment and therefore the most relevant, was asked about the idea of his brother Peyton leaving Indy and coming to New York to play for the Jets.

In a far-fetched, although somewhat plausible scenario, the elder Manning would become a free agent when the Colts opt to decline a $28-million option on his contract this March, and the Jets, looking to upgrade on Mark Sanchez, open the bank for Peyton.

Initially Eli had fun with the questions.

“It would be fun,” Eli told WEPN-AM.

“We could probably commute to work maybe, and, you know, come home, eat dinner together and have the kids be playing ... twin beds ... we could share notes on opponents and watch some film together.”

But when he turned serious, Manning would offer only this: “I’m not saying it’s gonna happen or I want it to happen, but to have your brother that close to you and playing in New York would be very unique,” he said.

And even that was probably saying too much as far as Peyton is concerned.

FISHER CASHES IN WITH RAMS

One year off after 17 consecutive years of the kind of grind only an NFL head coach knows was enough for Jeff Fisher.

The St. Louis Rams officially made Fisher, the longtime Tennessee Titans head man, their own head coach. In a season where few proven head coaches were there for the taking, Fisher leveraged himself a contract that is reportedly in the five years for $35-million range.

He turned down the opportunity to take over a more ready-made team in Miami to be at the helm of the rebuilding Rams. St. Louis had a solid 2010 season winning the NFC West, but fell back horribly this year. Fisher’s rebuilding will receive a huge boost with the Rams owning the No. 2 pick in the draft.

Word has already leaked that Saints defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams will join Fisher in St. Louis. Over on offence, former Jets co-ordinator Brian Schottenheimer is first on the interview list.

COLTS CAN COACH CALDWELL

There were reports Jim Caldwell was actually interviewing candidates for his defensive co-ordinator opening on Monday.

On Tuesday, Caldwell learned he would be joining the unemployed list with some of those he was interviewing.

That’s the unsettled world the Indianapolis Colts live in these days.

Recently hired GM Ryan Grigson and team owner Jim Irsey made the decision to cut Caldwell loose official Tuesday afternoon.

After winning his first 14 games as a rookie head coach, Caldwell’s tenure in Indy wound up going 12-22 before the pink slip arrived.

Grigson is a 39-year-old first-time GM, but a respected judge of talent and a guy who clearly wanted to wipe the slate clean before beginning the Colts rebuild.

In addition to having to decide whether to pick up a $28-million option on Peyton Manning with the lure of drafting Andrew Luck staring him in the face, Grigson also has to make decisions on free agents-to-be Jeff Saturday and Reggie Wayne.

“We want strong leadership and we want someone that shares this vision in this new era of Colts football,” Grigson said about hiring a new coach. “We want the best man and the

best leader ... And we’re going to find that man.”

THEY’VE GOT LUCK ON THEIR SIDE

Andrew Luck is expected to be the No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL draft. On Monday, he became the first ever football client in the Wasserman Media Group agency.

The push to lure Luck was made that much easier by Wasserman when the agency hired his uncle Will Wilson to its staff.

Wilson has worked in various capacities in the world of sports, from MLS soccer to Indy Car Racing to NFL Europe. He is an NFLPA-certified agent as well, but all of that pales in comparison to the bloodlines he shares with Luck.

Hiring an agent is all about trust and there are few better guarantees of trust than keeping it in the family. Wasserman has an extensive baseball and soccer clientele. Arn Tellem is the marquee name among their agents, but he made his reputation in baseball circles. Luck marks their first venture into the footbal side of representation.

As the expected No. 1 pick in the draft, it’s not a bad way to get their collective feet wet.

ELWAY TO PERSONALLY TEACH TEBOW

Say this about Tim Tebow: He does stir debate.

But now you can also say this about him: He will open training camp next August as the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback.

John Elway, the Broncos executive vice-president of football operations, put any guessing about Tebow’s status to rest yesterday when he declared him the Broncos starter.

It’s no secret that Elway isn’t completely in love with the type of quarterback Tebow is, but there’s no denying he loves the leadership and the athleticism he brings to the position. It’s his less-than-stellar passing game that has always seemed to give Elway pause.

But hoping to avoid the circus that any uncertainty surrounding his quarterback’s status might perpetuate, Elway nipped it in the bud with his declaration on Tuesday.

Interestingly, Elway said he will spend the summer personally working with Tebow to perhaps speed up the learning process. Elway believes it took him 10 years to really understand the position and he feels he can get Tebow there after three or four.

What he wants to impress on Tebow most of all is that to be a successful quarterback in the NFL — and by that we assume Elway means a Super Bowl champion — a quarterback has to learn to be a pocket passer.

On that front, Tebow still has a long way to go.

CLEMENTS COULD PACK UP FOR BUCS

Tom Clements, at least for this writer, will always be the guy who tossed that perfect spiral to Tony Gabriel to win the 1976 Grey Cup for the Ottawa Rough Riders.

Clements, though, has done plenty since and his name is currently one of eight up for the vacant head coaching job of the Tampa Bay Bucaneers.

According to ESPN, the Bucs have received permission from the Green Bay Packers to interview Clements.

Currently the quarterbacks coach with the Packers, Clements’ name has come up with regard to a number of positions this year that have since been filled.

He was a contender for the head coaching job at Penn State, which was given to New England Patriots offensive co-ordinator Bill O’Brien.

He was also up for the offensive co-ordinator job with the Atlanta Falcons, which wound up going to former Jacksonville OC Dirk Koetter.

Clements gets lots of credit for helping bring along the NFL’s top quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as well as grooming Matt Flynn for future excellence.

EX-CHIEFS COACH: ‘I WAS BUGGED’

The Kansas City Chiefs are either the most micro-managed professional sports team in history — so far, no one within the Patriots organization has complained too loudly — or someone really has it in for GM Scott Pioli.

Former head coach Todd Haley told the Kansas City Star recently that he was concerned his private cell phone and various offices within the Chiefs facility were bugged or, in the case of his cell phone, tampered with while he was still with the team. All, apparently, with the goal of keeping tabs on everything going on and everything people said within those walls.

Pioli, not suprisingly, comes from the Patriots and brought with him a level of secrecy to the operation that unnerved a lot of former employees. The story cites longtime workers no longer able to access certain floors of the facility or being instructed to draw window shades when the team was practising.

It was all just too much for some, but not all saw it that way. Many just felt it was a different way to do things and it was up to them, as employees, to adapt.

DID PAYTON SHOOT HIMSELF IN THE FOOT?

New Orleans head coach Sean Payton’s desire to teach the new kid a lesson may have come back to bite him in the butt.

Flash back to the NFL pre-season and the Saints game with the San Francisco 49ers.

Apparently, Payton didn’t appreciate the fact that rookie ’Niners coach Jim Harbaugh did not make what he considered the customary phone call to his opposing head coach in the days leading up to their first meeting and, for that transgression, Payton opted to set his dogs loose on the ’Niners.

A blitz-heavy package, something normally not done in the pre-season, was the result.

Not only did that fuel the ’Niners for the playoff matchup this past weekend, but it also gave them a very real scouting advantage.

“Thankfully, they blitzed us in the pre-season game and really gave us some good film to study,” offensive co-ordinator Greg Roman told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “We pretty much had the whole montage of blitzes.

“They’re really good at what they do and they came up with one or two that gave us problems during the game. Thankfully, most of them we saw in the pre-season.”

Never show an opponent too much, too soon is the rule of thumb in every pro sport. Payton let his pride get in the way and it hurt him in the end.


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