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)
A collection of nuggets, thoughts, opinions, and second-hand observations from the Denver Broncos‘ first organized team activity led by Peyton Manning on Monday.
1. These aren’t the Indianapolis Broncos
There’s a fantastic and timely article I encourage you to read and digest from SmartFootball.com. In it, the author and owner of the site, Chris Brown, breaks down how Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts — for 13 years — “ran the same tiny little cluster of plays, from the same tiny little cluster of formations, with the most consistent personnel in the league, and brutalized NFL defenses year-in and year-out.”
Brown breaks down how the majority of the Colts’ formations under Manning involved a shift of only two positions — the two inside receivers — and how offensive coordinator Tom Moore developed a system with Manning that allowed the quarterback to run the show. “Trust may have been Tom Moore’s greatest skill,” Brown writes, alluding to the fact that the Denver Broncos may not be matching that working paradigm.
The Broncos are putting Manning in a new situation with a new playbook and new receivers and new linemen, and Brown doesn’t reasonably expect an immediate impact of the same magnitude that Manning had in Indianapolis. After all, it was the intimate knowledge of each player’s strengths and weaknesses, and years of using the same system, that led to that success.
“Yeah, there’s no question it’s different,” Manning said of the Broncos offense. “You’ve got different terminology and different players — there’s no question it’s different.”
How different? It behooves the Broncos to make their $18-million man as comfortable in this offense as possible. It behooves them to turn this Colt into a Bronco not by throwing out the horseshoes, but by tweaking the saddle. Peyton Manning knows how to run a prolific NFL offense; as Brown concludes, whether the success is immediate or not, the Broncos’ and Manning’s respective transitions will be fun to watch.
(Editor’s Note: If you liked Brown’s article on Manning, be sure to check out his new book, The Essential Smart Football.)