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Peyton Manning still wants Brandon Stokley back with Broncos

Brandon Stokley Peyton ManningPeyton Manning was able to get the Denver Broncos to sign Brandon Stokley last season, and he is hoping they will bring him back again this season.

When Manning was a free agent and rehabbing his neck injury last year, he threw to Stokley. The two were teammates on the Indianapolis Colts, and Stokley enjoyed the finest season of his career when he caught 10 touchdowns in 2004 as one of the Colts’ receivers. Denver’s signing of Stokley last season seemed to be a favor to Manning, but it actually was beneficial for both sides; Stokley caught 45 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns last season.

Denver’s signing of Wes Welker seemed to put Stokley’s roster spot on the team in jeopardy, but Manning says he would still like to have Stokley back.

“Hope it’s not necessarily a close-door discussion,” Manning said per The Denver Post. “In a perfect world I’d like both of them to be on the team this year.”

Welker likely will serve the role Stokley had on the team, but it’s easy to see why Peyton would still want Stokley back. Stokley is reliable, knows Manning, and knows what Manning is looking for on the field. Between depth chart issues and injuries, I’m guessing Stokley ends up playing with the Broncos at some point this season.

Brandon Stokley: Peyton Manning is throwing great, like he did six years ago

There have been mixed reports concerning Peyton Manning‘s throwing ability as he recovers from multiple neck surgeries, but Manning’s ex-teammate Brandon Stokley had nothing but glowing reviews of his former quarterback.

Stokley, who played in two games and recorded one catch with the Giants last season, played with the Colts from 2003-2006, catching 68 passes for 1077 yards and 10 touchdowns in Peyton Manning’s record-breaking 2004 season. He caught passes from Manning in Denver over the weekend and says Peyton looks great.

“I saw him for three days at Duke and he was the only quarterback (throwing to four or five receivers) and he threw a ton of balls for three straight practices and the guy looked to me like he did when I was there six years ago,” Stokley told The Denver Post.

“He threw on Saturday here on a little field and maybe because he had some rest, I think he looked better than he had last week. People who say the Broncos are crazy for not watching his balls fly, or what are they doing? those people are dead wrong,” Stokley said. “I’ll put whatever reputation I have on the line behind that guy right now. He looks great.”

Manning’s recent workout at Duke University was apparently filmed and distributed to NFL teams. We even shared that video here at LBS, though it was hard to see much. But if you take Stokley’s word, Manning is a lot further along in his rehab than maybe we were led to believe. If Peyton’s arm strength is back, the only worry would be how he responds to hits during games.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Broncos Must Have Lucky Horseshoes Up Their Butts

Of all ways to lose, this has to be particularly hurtful for the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s not as if they were dominating the game — neither team was. But after finally putting together a good drive at the end of the game, the Bengals saw their efforts get wasted on one of the luckier plays you’ll see. I’m sure Oklahoma State fans will be able to tell Bengals fans exactly how crappy it feels to get beat on a fluke play like this:

Credit Stokley for his awareness — not only was he in the vicinity to make the catch, but then he also stalled at the goal line for a few seconds to try and run more time off the clock. Given the circumstance — at their 13 and down by one point with only 11 seconds left, this is like winning on a freaking hail mary. This play might go down in history in the same breath as the Kordell Stewart hail mary, or the LSU bluegrass miracle. And somehow, someway, Josh McDaniels walks out of Cincinnati with his first head coaching win. Maybe it’s karma for the Bengals keeping so many delinquents on their team. 12-7 and boy does it hurt.

Video: Brandon Marshall Planned a White Glove/Black Panther Touchdown Celebration, Stokley Saved the Penalty

Brandon Marshall isn’t exactly the sharpest crayon in the box. You might remember he hurt his arm in the offseason slipping on a McDonald’s bag … so he says. He’s also been known to celebrate wins by going out and getting DUIs. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t surprised to see that he was about to execute a pre-planned touchdown celebration late in the 4th quarter of the Broncos/Browns game. The Broncos had just scored the go-ahead touchdown and left the Browns little over a minute on the clock to come back. A 15-yard penalty for celebrating the touchdown definitely would have hurt Denver’s chances of keeping Cleveland out of the end zone. Luckily Brandon Stokley was sharp enough to realize the game was too close to mess around with celebrations and convinced Marshall to hold off on his plan. The move paid off. So what would we have seen if Stokley never stopped him? Marshall explained after the game:

Just like Brandon Marshall … always using his head and putting the team first. Why am I not surprised? I can’t imagine what his teammates would have done if he had cost them 15 yards in that close of a game. Time and place, Brandon. Time and place.