You know I’m not a big fan of the Broncos. As a matter of fact I can’t stand them. You also know I had thought Peyton Manning was a bit overrated, because he turns his teams defenses soft. Eventually, and usually during the playoffs, that team gets shoved around. But sometimes you have to acknowledge greatness, even with a franchise you don’t like.
Let’s give Peyton Manning his due. The guy is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time statistically, but he’s also probably the hardest working player in the NFL. His winning percentage is absurd, especially when considering how those defenses haven’t been particularly good. He makes his teammates better by working with them. The attention to detail Manning has is beyond impressive. I’m not inclined to say a quarterback or any other player in today’s game is suited to be a head coach in the NFL. There’s just too much a coach has to know and develop over a career. Manning is suited to have a role in coaching the game beyond the end of his career. He won’t … he’ll go to the broadcast booth, likely on Fox.
We already knew he was playing at a Hall-of-Fame level. His physical skills have declined. No way they haven’t at 37 and four neck surgeries. But he’s smarter than ever, hasn’t really had to vary from his offensive system for all that time, and is undoubtedly more comfortable. He shouldn’t even be called a quarterback anymore; he’s the ultimate Game Manager. Game Manager is a misused term. It’s meant to describe guys who don’t throw piks, don’t make mistakes, and blandly lead their teams to wins … maybe. Maybe Game Dictator is a more accurate term. The entire game they play, from the other team’s standpoint is dictated by Manning. Run the ball to keep Manning off the field. Generate strong pass rush from the front four, even though you don’t sack Manning. Their players, coaches and ownership are completely focused on Manning’s success. He has two quality control coaches. The other quarterbacks on the team funnel information to him like they are assistant coaches. It takes a lot to put your own ego aside and say you’re going to help this guy who won’t even let you take a snap at the end of a blowout. Oh well, there’s NFL Rule #1: Your team wins, you win.
I have to say, I don’t think Tim Tebow had that kind of support. I’m not sure Denver wanted that to get out there, because other teams emulate success. There are a few quarterbacks out there who could improve their chances if they are given the support Manning has received, but they may not have the players and coaches who could put their egos aside for the greater good. Also, some owners might not want to pay those additional coaches. A lot of owners aren’t committed to winning.
Also, if you haven’t seen it, take a look at the Book of Manning on ESPN. Good stuff. Archie Manning went through a lot. Can’t imagine walking in on my dad after he commits suicide.