- Last Updated: 8:30 AM, June 29, 2012
- Posted: 3:15 AM, June 29, 2012
There are 30 players in the NFL better than Eli Manning? Huh?
“He’s No. 1 in my book, there’s not even any question about it,’’ Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty said Thursday at his Camp of Champions at George Washington High School in Washington Heights. “What he does for our football team, what he means for our football team, he’s my MVP. I’m sure Eli’s not losing any sleep about being rated No. 31. He’s thinking about how to make our football team better for the upcoming season.’’
Canty clearly doesn’t think much of an NFL Network poll that has the Giants quarterback rated as the 31st-best player in the league, but he does have an idea why Manning is ranked so low.
“I think first of all he’s a little brother, he’s Peyton’s little brother and his persona, how he presents itself is not brash, he’s not outspoken and I think humility gets a bad rap in our league,’’ Canty said. “Unfortunately it’s become a talking league, everybody wants to talk, talk, talk. There hasn’t been a lot of performance. He lets his play do the talking.’’
In the poll, voted on by NFL players, Manning — a two-time Super Bowl MVP — was ranked as the fifth-best quarterback in the league, behind Aaron Rodgers (overall No. 1), Drew Brees (No. 2), Tom Brady (No. 4) and Ben Roethlisberger (No. 30).
Linebacker Michael Boley, on hand to help Canty with the more than 250 kids attending the two-day camp, also didn’t give much credence to Manning’s No. 31 ranking.
“It’s just a poll, I guess,’’ Boley said. “Obviously he’s a lot better than 31st. He definitely should be top five, if not No. 1. Eli would have definitely got my vote for No. 1. He’s not the flashiest, but he wins games.’’
Canty has not yet been given medical clearance coming off knee surgery, but reiterated he expects to be ready for training camp on July 26. He had no trouble at his camp bounding around the turf field, moving from station-to-station as city kids ages 8-16 got the chance, for free, to train with NFL players. This is the sixth year the Chris Canty Foundation has run a camp, but this is the first one to take place in his hometown. Canty grew up in The Bronx, near Co-op City, before his family moved to North Carolina during his high school years.
“To come back to where it all started for me and to be able to give back to my community, it’s just a great feeling,’’ Canty said. “It’s an honor and a privilege. When I was their age, I would have died to have an NFL player come out and coach me for a few hours.’’
The United Way of New York City and the Police Athletic League of New York City partnered with Canty for the camp.
“He’s a guy who can say ‘I grew up in The Bronx,’ he’s a guy who can say ‘I know what it’s like to have to push hard and have to push through and everybody’s not always going to believe in you,’ ’’ said Jennifer Jones Austin, senior vice president at United Way NYC.
Alana Sweeny, PAL executive director, believes what Canty delivered will last a lifetime.
“These children will never forget this experience,’’ Sweeny said. “When they turn on a football game they’re going to be able to say ‘Hey, I knew him, he worked with me, he’s my friend.’ These children will have an experience that they will never forget.’’Follow @NYPostsports