Eli Manning downplays what this game means for him

With Bill Belichick in charge, you know nothing much controversial is going to come out of the Patriots in the buildup and hype for Super Bowl XLVI.

With the Giants, that can be another story. But with quarterback Eli Manning in a leadership role, they could be pretty tame as the teams prepare for a rematch of Super Bowl XLII.

Manning addressed his Giants teammates today and basically told them to get their off-field business squared away.

“Handle all of your business with tickets, getting that stuff done, just a few things on the mindset of this week,” he said. “We have to have great preparation. Prepare this week like you’re playing the game this week. Once you get to Indianapolis and you have to take a bus ride to practice – your whole schedule gets thrown off. Once you get there try to keep the same routine on some things. Everything that we would do during a normal week, we’re going to get it done this week and then next week have great practices and preparation, continue preparing, but get our workload in this week.”

He said 95 percent of the game plan has already been installed as the Giants are facing a familiar opponent. The Giants will practice Thursday through Saturday installing that plan so they’ll be in a review mode next week in Indianapolis.

It’s a huge stage for Manning going against Tom Brady. Manning has a shot at a second championship and would join an elite group of quarterbacks. But he’s not focused on himself.

“This is a big game for the Giants organization,” he said. “This is a big game for every single player who’s going to be playing this game. It’s no bigger for me than Coach (Tom) Coughlin than it is for JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) and Justin Tuck and any other person playing this game. So I think you approach it that way. You want to be as prepared as possible. You hope that you can go in there and play your best football that you’ve ever played. That’s always the goal, but ultimately you have a game plan, you try to go execute it and whatever type of game it turns into – whether it’s low scoring or a lot of touchdowns or whatever the circumstances – you play to those circumstances and try to put your team in a situation to win.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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