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Peyton Manning: I’m proud of the ‘ducks’ that I throw

Peyton-Manning-BroncosIn one of the columns that he wrote for The Monday Morning Quarterback this year, Richard Sherman listed who he thought were the five smartest quarterbacks in the NFL. Peyton Manning was No. 1 on his list, but that is no fun for reporters who are looking to drum up controversy the week before the Super Bowl. That’s why some have focused on Sherman’s assessment of Manning’s arm strength.

“His arm, however, is another story,” Sherman wrote. “His passes will be accurate and on time, but he throws ducks.”

Sherman was asked on Wednesday about what he wrote, and he did not back down.

“I still feel the same way I felt,” he told reporters. “He’s a great quarterback, he does a great job. But at the same time, when he catches the ball, he doesn’t necessarily catch the laces all the time. But he throws an accurate ball, regardless of how he catches it, how he gets it — he delivers it on time and accurately.”

Anyone who has watched Manning play over the years can tell you that he throws the prettiest ugly ball in NFL history. At least half of all of the completions Manning has thrown prove how overrated the spiral is. He had no problem admitting that this week, and even said that he takes pride in it.

“I believe it to be true as well,” Manning said Thursday morning, via Pro Football Talk. “I do throw ducks. I’ve thrown a lot of yards- and touchdowns-ducks, so I’m actually quite proud of it.”

When Manning first returned from his neck procedures, analysts loved to talk about how his passes seemed wobbly and his velocity was lacking. He’s been throwing balls like that throughout his entire record-breaking, Hall of Fame career. The ugliness of Manning’s passes has never been much of an issue, and I don’t expect it to be one on Sunday.

Eli Manning thought Peyton was done after neck surgery

Peyton Manning BroncosPeyton Manning was in such terrible physical shape following his first neck surgery that Eli thought his older brother was “done.”

Eli told NFL Network on Wednesday’s “Super Bowl Live” show that Peyton could barely throw a football after his first surgery.

“Yeah, and I saw him after that first surgery, this neck surgery, and I was pretty much convinced that he was done,” Eli told NFL Network. “There was no way he could come back and play football. That first time he went and we were just throwing it in the backyard of our house. We’re throwing 15 yards away, and it was a lob. He couldn’t throw 15 yards on a line. It had no pop. I was like, I mean — he wanted to come back and play football, and I didn’t think it would happen.”

Peyton missed all of the 2011 season because of his neck. He became a free agent and signed with the Denver Broncos in 2012, and Eli says as recently as the 2012 preseason he was worried about how his brother would do.

“I remember watching his preseason game last year and I was worried. I was kind of like, ‘I don’t know how this is going to work,’” Eli said. “If you gotta make a throw, or someone’s in your face, and you can’t step into the throw, can you make all those throws that you gotta make a lot of to end games.”

Peyton underwent neck surgery in May 2011 and then had cervical fusion surgery a few months later in September that led him to miss the entire season. We heard reports about how much Peyton was struggling with his arm, but over time he was able to regain his arm strength.

Peyton still doesn’t throw the prettiest ball in the league, but he gets it where it needs to go, and his ability to read defenses and coverages allows him to find the open man like few other quarterbacks. He’s had two great seasons with Denver and will likely be MVP this season. Eli, meanwhile, threw for just 18 touchdowns and a league-high 27 interceptions this season. Who figured Peyton would be thriving and Eli would be struggling at this point?

Peyton Manning: John Elway ripped Broncos after preseason loss to Seahawks

John ElwayThe Denver Broncos got demolished the last time they faced the Seattle Seahawks. Fortunately, the 40-10 loss came in preseason play. The team that lost to Seattle in August is far different from the one that will take the field in the Super Bowl on Sunday. The preseason game may have been meaningless, but Peyton Manning says John Elway took it very seriously.

“John pretty much laid it on us after that game — that was a butt kicking,” Manning told reporters this week, via Pro Football Talk. “He talked about what he thought our potential could be and didn’t want to see that wasted. I think guys got the message.”

Manning was in midseason form during the loss, completing 11 of 16 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown. But the Broncos were pretty awful on defense and special teams. They allowed a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and watched a fumble get taken 106 yards the other way for a score.

“He might have been giving a message to coaches as well as the players and everybody in the room got the message,” Manning added. “It was the first time he had addressed the team and when he had something to say it was important.”

Elway probably has not been angry with his team many times since. What he can provide this week is Super Bowl insight from someone who appeared in five Super Bowls and lost three of them. The Broncos would be wise to listen as carefully as they did more than five months ago.

Denver airport lists ‘Omaha!’ as destination in honor of Peyton Manning

Denver-airport-Omaha

Peyton Manning has given new meaning to the word “Omaha” throughout the playoffs, though the veteran quarterback would never tell us what the pre-snap call means. Manning is always changing plays at the line of scrimmage and calling out coverages, and there’s a good chance “Omaha” is just an easy word to say that signifies that he’s about to bark out an instruction. That isn’t stopping Denver International Airport from having some fun with it.

On Monday, the Denver airport added an exclamation point next to any flights that were arriving from or departing for the city of Omaha. Get it?

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Did Peyton Manning say ‘Fatman’ as a Montana audible call? (Video)

Peyton Manning BroncosDeciphering Peyton Manning’s audible calls is about as much fun as watching his games themselves. It’s even more fun when he appears to say something like “fatman” as one of his audible calls.

During the second quarter of the AFC Championship Game in Denver on Sunday, Manning changed a play on third down from the Patriots 38 that went for 28 yards down to the 11. The play turned out to be a running call to Knowshon Moreno — an inside handoff that he took outside.

You probably noticed that in the call, Manning mentioned “Montana.” Then he said something like “fatman” or “batman” and “Omaha” before saying “set hut” and getting the snap.

I’m going to try breaking the play down piece by piece to figure it out.

First off, Ron Jaworski has said that Peyton Manning will have a number of play calls that are coded to a keyword system. Jaws says that Peyton will code the plays to different legendary quarterbacks. So, it’s quite possible that the “Montana” call is named after Joe Montana that corresponds to an inside handoff from the shotgun, which has been one of Manning’s staples since he was with the Indianapolis Colts. I’m not sure whether he said “Batman” or “Fatman,” and I’m not sure if either call even means something. It’s quite possible that “Batman” could refer to one of the Broncos players — like a nickname for Knowshon Moreno — or if he said “fatman,” that could be some sort of code for what kind of blocking he wanted.

One thing we know for certain is that for the first half of the game, “Omaha” meant Peyton wanted the snap right after he said “set hut,” because that’s what kept happening.

Video via Next Impulse Sports

Peyton Manning adds ‘Marshall’ to Omaha snap call

Peyton Manning Omaha

Peyton Manning generated a ton of notoriety and publicity for “Omaha” by constantly saying it as part of his pre-snap directions during the Denver Broncos’ playoff game against the San Diego Chargers last weekend. Though Manning varied the meaning of “Omaha” throughout the game, it was clear that “Omaha” was a keyword or signal for his teammates.

At some points during the game, “Omaha” seemed to signify that Manning wanted his center to snap the ball on his next sound. At other times, “Omaha” seemed to mean Manning was going to a hard snap count to try to get the Chargers to jump offsides. The plan worked, because San Diego committed five neutral zone infractions during the game.

Manning’s mentions of Omaha led the city and steak company to take note and attempt to capitalize on the publicity. Omaha Steaks were said to be weighing offering Peyton an endorsement deal. Several companies said they were going to donate money every time Peyton said “Omaha” against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

Well Peyton used the “Omaha” call about as liberally in the AFC title game as he did against the Chargers. He used it on almost every other play to start the game against the Pats. At least in the first 20 minutes of the game, Omaha seemed to mean what it meant for part of the playoff game against San Diego — snap the ball on my first sound.

Peyton also mixed another call into his audibles against the Patriots: Marshall. It was less clear what the “Marshall” mention meant, but we do know that Marshall is the name of a former Broncos wide receiver (Brandon), a university, and Peyton’s son.

Even though “Marshall” picked up some steam, CBS was still in love with Omaha for most of the first half. They continuously mentioned it, and even played the Counting Crows song on their way to a commercial break.

LeGarrette Blount knocks out Peyton Manning in hilarious GIF

LeGarrette-Blount-punches-out-Peyton-ManningNew England Patriots running LeGarrette Blount has been a major story heading into the AFC Championship, as the power runner rushed for 166 yards and a whopping four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts last weekend. He also carved up the Buffalo Bills for 189 yards and two scores in Week 17.

Those were breakout performances for Blount, but many of you already knew all about him from that infamous incident where the former Oregon back punched Boise State’s Byron Hout after a game in college. Earlier this week, the incomparable LSU Freek turned that footage into a GIF of Blount knocking out Peyton Manning.

As usual, Freek nailed it. The faces he used for Manning before and after he got punched were priceless. Since this is the same guy who brought us the incredible Andy Reid Kool-Aid man GIF and that Charlie Strong “Blazing Saddles” GIF, we’re not surprised he’s done it again. Freek produces pure gold.

H/T Unathletic via SI Hot Clicks