Peyton Manning responded to a report saying that he does not want to be a backup quarterback on the Denver Broncos with some very strong words.
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold asked Manning after the Broncos’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday for a response to the report.
“It’s bulls— and it’s insulting,” Manning told Legwold. Legwold then asked if that comment was on the record, and Manning was emphatic. “Yes, I can’t say it any plainer than that.”
Earlier on Sunday, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on “NFL GameDay” that Manning does not want to be a backup quarterback for the Broncos, which is a possibility when he is ready to return from his foot injury given how Brock Osweiler has performed in his absence.
To be fair, Rapoport clarified that it’s not as if Manning gave the Broncos an ultimatum saying he refused to be the backup quarterback; the report states that Manning wants to be the starter, which is completely understandable. Manning is a future Hall of Famer. Regardless of how he was playing this season, he will always expect to be the starting quarterback because he has always been a quarterback capable of leading a team to the Super Bowl.
The response from Manning echoes the statement given by John Elway also on Sunday. Let’s think about it: if Manning said he were satisfied just being a backup quarterback and pulling a pay check, we’d all have to question his motivation. His response is just what it should be.
- Peyton Manning
John Elway fired back at a report that Peyton Manning would not want to be Brock Osweiler’s backup.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport originally reported on Sunday that the quarterback situation in Denver is difficult, particularly for Manning, who Rapoport reported has no desire to be holding clipboards for Osweiler.
Elway quickly disputed the report via Twitter.
Peyton has never told Gary or myself that he doesn't want to be the backup. Any report or rumor that suggests otherwise is incorrect!!
— John Elway (@johnelway) December 20, 2015
Rapoport responded to the tweet by clarifying that Manning hadn’t given anyone an ultimatum to start him or else, a source close to Manning told him that he wouldn’t want to be a backup, and that Manning isn’t even healthy enough to be a backup right now anyway.
It’s an odd report to dispute. Of course Peyton Manning doesn’t want to be a backup. He’s an NFL legend in the twilight of his career, and he’s not going to sit around and end his career on a bench if he can help it. He may never have explicitly said so to Elway or Gary Kubiak, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the case.
Archie Manning shed some light on his son Peyton’s foot injury, and it’s been lingering longer than we realized.
“He went back this year and he struggled again with injury,” Archie Manning told WDSU-TV in New Orleans on Thursday, via Denver’s KMGH-TV. “He really had this foot problem. It’s been going on for five or six months.”
If Archie is correct, that means Peyton’s foot has been bothering him since training camp.
Archie also said that Peyton will not make a decision on his future until after the season.
“Peyton’s got plenty of sense, so when everything’s done at the end of the year he’ll sit down and make a decision,” Archie said. “Whatever he does, Peyton will attack it. If he steps down, he’ll find something else and go after it. If he wants to play some more, he’ll go after it.”
If Manning has been hurting from day one this season, it may explain some of his struggles. He did return to practice this week, but has already been ruled out for the weekend and was held out of Friday’s practice when the foot soreness flared up.
H/T Eye on Football
Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has confirmed that Peyton Manning will resume practice on Wednesday, which could mean a very awkward situation is just days away from coming to a head.
Brock Osweiler is likely in control of his own destiny at the moment. The Broncos are 3-1 in games he has started, but they have a tough game at Pittsburgh this weekend coming off a disappointing home loss to the Raiders. In that game, Osweiler completed 35-of-51 passes for 308 yards but could not find the end zone. He also looked skittish in the pocket at times and had trouble getting the ball downfield.
If Osweiler plays well against the Steelers, a potential postseason opponent, Kubiak will be hesitant to give Manning his job back. But what if Osweiler struggles and the Broncos lose? Would Manning reclaim his spot for a crucial home game against the Bengals that could determine who gets a bye in the first round of the playoffs?
A lot of this depends on Manning’s health. If his foot was truly a major issue and the reason he threw four interceptions in a half against the Chiefs before being benched, he should be able to improve based on health alone. If Manning’s body is simply deteriorating and he can’t make throws, Kubiak might decide to ride it out with Osweiler.
If a report we heard earlier this week is true, Osweiler may keep his job. Part of me believes Manning was struggling so much because he is not a great fit for Kubiak’s system, which tends to place the quarterback under center more often. Manning is at his best when he operates from the shotgun and can dictate the pace, and, as they say, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
In my opinion, the Broncos should go back to Manning if he is healthy and Osweiler struggles against the Steelers. Peyton is a better quarterback than half of the quarterbacks in the league based on football IQ alone. Can the same be said for Osweiler? Perhaps someday, but he still has a long way to go.
Peyton Manning could return to practice at some point in the next week or so, and it is unclear if he will be getting his starting job back. While Brock Osweiler hasn’t exactly turned heads over the last two games, the coaching staff apparently still believes in the 25-year-old.
According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, the Broncos still have confidence in Osweiler and believe he gives them a better chance to succeed than Manning.
“The coaches still feel that Brock Osweiler is the best option at this time to help the Broncos in their chase for the playoffs and a possible championship,” Cole said Monday. “While they did not score a touchdown on Sunday against the Raiders and failed to score any points at all in the second half of the game, a lot of that was primarily due to coaching errors, the inability to line up blockers against Khalil Mack and drops by wide receivers.”
Cole added that the Broncos feel Osweiler is “more the solution than the problem,” even with Manning and head coach Gary Kubiak set to meet this week.
There were plenty of moments on Sunday when Osweiler did not look comfortable at all. He seemingly panicked in the pocket on several occasions and threw the ball to his check-down options immediately. Denver hasn’t solved its vertical passing game woes now that Osweiler is under center instead of Manning.
Manning’s health is obviously the biggest variable here. If he was struggling because he was hurt, the Broncos should give him another shot if he can get healthy. If Manning was simply struggling because he is old and can’t get it done anymore (which isn’t what this Hall of Famer thinks), Denver might as well stick with the youngster.
At a time when most people are discarding Peyton Manning and believe he has lost his starting job to Brock Osweiler, Steve Young is standing behind the future Hall of Famer.
Young said in ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” postgame show after the Browns-Ravens game that he believes Manning will reclaim the Broncos’ starting quarterback job and lead Denver to the Super Bowl this season. The topic came up when the crew was discussing Super Bowl favorites.
“In the AFC, I think Denver has it. They’re going to get healthier … Peyton Manning will be back. They’ll make a run. It will be a historic run. The nature of who Peyton is, I think it’s going to come out in the end of the year,” Young said of Manning.
Manning, 39, is out with a foot injury. He has missed two games, and Osweiler has posted wins in both contests. It is uncertain how long Manning will be out, but reports say the Broncos are in no hurry to get him back.
Young is going out on a limb in predicting Manning’s return and future success. Not only would it mean Peyton turning around a season in which he has thrown 17 interceptions and nine touchdowns, but it also would mean he would have to reclaim the job from Osweiler. Both possibilities seem improbable at the moment.
Gary Kubiak is going to have a difficult decision to make when Peyton Manning is ready to return, and it sounds like at least one Denver Broncos player does not believe Manning should get his job back.
After Sunday night’s dramatic win over the New England Patriots, a Broncos player reportedly told Jason Cole of Bleacher report that he has more confidence in Brock Osweiler’s ability to make throws than he does in Manning’s.
“(The player said) Osweiler simply can make throws right now than Peyton Manning cannot make,” Cole said Monday. “Those deep throws to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to set up the game-tying touchdown — including the touchdown to give the Broncos the lead — were things that impressed the players. Also his calm and confidence in the pocket.”
Cole added that Osweiler’s teammates are confident the 25-year-old will only get better as the season progresses and he develops a better relationship with his receivers.
None of this is a surprise. Manning was benched earlier this month after he threw three interceptions in a single half. His arm strength has been diminishing over the past year, and that probably has just as much to do with age as it does with injuries.
Osweiler has better physical tools than a 39-year-old Manning, and the Broncos might already be planning to stick with Osweiler when Manning is healthy. If that happens, will Manning be willing to keep doing what he did for Osweiler on Sunday night? We may find out.