Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos talks to the local and national media following organized team activities at Dove Valley on May 21, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Apologies for being AWOL lately — I did a bit of roadtripping to catch the Colorado Rockies kick the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ trash 4-0 last night. Since I’m staying in Phoenix all week to catch Games 2 and 3 as well, I’ve been away from the blog a bit. But let’s talk some Denver Broncos…
Coachspeek has always fascinated me. It’s often impossible to glean anything useful when the coach (or player) has that filter on. So normally I, like many of you, take most professional sports figures’ comments with a grain of salt. You’re more committed than ever to winning a championship, superstar athlete? Well isn’t that special.
For me, that’s not the case with John Fox‘s recent evaluation of Peyton Manning. Maybe I’ve got Offseason Fever, but I’m taking Fox’s praise of Manning literally. I think the guy is rehabbed and ready to shine.
“I think he’s doing tremendous,” Fox told the media Monday. “Physically, he looks the same to me as he’s always looked.”
The same as he’s always looked. In other words, ready to take a shot at a fifth League MVP title. Ready to lead the Broncos into real relevance, and the Super Bowl conversation.
Indeed, the MSM echoes Fox’s sentiments. The reports from Monday were drool-inducing.
Any concerns about whether Manning’s arm strength would return after multiple neck surgeries appeared to evaporate on Monday. When Manning missed on his deep passes, the misses were long. When he hit, it was breathtaking.
Twice, Manning threw the ball too hard and too far past wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, and once more he overshot tight end Joel Dreessen on a play that, in a game, would have resulted in a pass-interference call.
Never have incompletions looked so good.
…As the Broncos’ offense ran through a two-minute drill, Manning launched a deep throw to wide receiver Brandon Stokley, who beat triple coverage and dived to make the catch a few yards shy of the end zone. Back at the line of scrimmage, the rest of the offensive players broke into loud cheers.
Of course, Manning has his own version of coachspeek to offset the hype, but remember — he’s a perfectionist and a workaholic.
“Well, it’s an ongoing process for me. It still is part of trying to get comfortable,” Manning said. “I still have work to do in my rehab and that’s the good thing about these OTAs is you really see where you are on certain plays. Obviously you have to work on it from my standpoint, from a rehab standpoint, and you want to try to work on it from a timing standpoint with your receivers.”
When it comes to evaluating Manning, I’ll let my eyes make the judgement. And since I can’t be there for OTA’s, I rely on the eyes of others, such as Andrew Mason, Lindsay Jones, John Fox, and Manning’s teammates — all of whom are raving at how impressive Manning looks.
Yes it’s May, and everyone’s a Super Bowl contender in the offseason, but that’s the kind of coachspeek I’ll eat right up.