THIBODAUX — Back in 1982, Archie Manning knew Kenny Stabler was brought to the New Orleans Saints to take his job ... which is exactly what happened.
But Manning, who was traded to Houston less than a month later, never held it against Stabler, who died of colon cancer Thursday at age 69.
“For some reason, (Saints coach Bum Phillips) didn’t want me to be his quarterback, but that was all right,” Manning said Friday during the media session at the Manning Passing Academy. “I loved Snake, though. He was a good friend and a great player who could cut up a defense. He loved Peyton and Eli, too, so whenever we spent time together at events, he would ask about them.”
Indeed, Peyton Manning counted Stabler among his favorites.
“I’ve always enjoyed being around old quarterbacks, asking them about old games, and Snake had some great stories,” he said. “You could tell he was a great leader. The quarterback fraternity has lost one of its best.”
Eli on teammate’s injury
Eli Manning hasn’t talked to Jason Pierre-Paul yet.
Pierre-Paul, a teammate of Manning’s on the New York Giants, had to have his right index finger amputated and suffered multiple fractures in his hand after a fireworks accident during the Fourth of July. Manning said he was shocked to hear the news.
“Well, obviously, you’ve got to be smart,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, and I don’t know the whole story about how it all happened, but obviously you never want to see a teammate or any professional football player or athlete get injured in any way, especially in a way that could have been avoided.”
Now, Manning is hoping his teammate can get healthy and get on the field.
“Obviously he’s an important player for us,” Manning said. “He’s a force on that defensive side, so hopefully everything gets healed up and he’s able to get healthy and play football at a high level.”
Quite a stretch
It was a good week for TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin.
On Wednesday, he threw out the first pitch at a Texas Rangers game.
On Thursday, he was pegged the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy in the most recent odds posted by Bovada.
Boykin was second in the previously released odds, but he leapfrogged Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott in the latest listings. He is currently the 6-1 favorite.
“I try not to even talk about the Heisman,” Boykin said. “If it comes, I’m sure my family would be happy and pretty much the whole school would be happy.”
Boykin finished fourth in the Heisman balloting last season, when he passed for 3,901 yards and 33 touchdowns and rushed for another 707 yards. TCU finished 12-1.
But missing the first College Football Playoff (despite being the No. 3 team heading into the final week and ending the regular season on a seven-game winning streak) left a bitter taste in his mouth.
“It took the wind out of us,” Boykin said. “We basically tried to use the Peach Bowl (a 42-3 win) as our way of showing we should have been in it. We played a good Ole Miss team that beat two No. 1 teams during the year (Alabama and Mississippi State), so we really couldn’t ask for a better way to end the season. … Just because we ended the year so well, it set the standard for this year. We just have to come out on all cylinders this year.”
Any pressure being the Heisman frontrunner?
“Not really,” he said. “I am the same guy, and I’m going to continue to be the same guy. You just continue to do you and play ball. All the accolades and stuff come after the season. If I do win it, I’ll be blessed to have it.”
The real pressure was Wednesday, when he stood on the pitcher’s mound. He was determined not to throw a clunker — like the one rapper 50 Cent threw last season that went viral.
“I was nervous,” he said. “I’ve never played baseball in my whole life. My friends told me ‘Don’t 50 Cent. Don’t 50 Cent.’ My head coach (Gary Patterson) threw a strike the year before, so I didn’t want to overthink it.”