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#pounditWednesday, September 23, 2020

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning takes funny shot at Patriots for cheating

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning took a funny jab at the New England Patriots for cheating during a TV appearance on Monday night.

Manning and Charles Barkley joined Rece Davis and Kirk Herbstreit for ESPN’s alternate broadcast of “Monday Night Football” between the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints. Manning was talking about the way the NFL allows headset communication between coaches and quarterbacks during games. He said the communication is allowed on offense up until 15 seconds before the play. Then he joked that the Patriots allow the communication to last for longer.

“You have until 15 seconds on the play clock, and then somebody cuts the line. Now certain teams, maybe in the Northeast, they don’t cut their lines. They let it go all the way to zero seconds. But most of the teams do cut the line, so you have to get the play in earlier,” Manning said.

That was very clearly a shot at the Patriots.

For years teams have complained about headset issues when facing the Patriots. We wrote about it in 2007, then in 2015, and in the 2016 season. Bill Belichick denied any wrongdoing and said his team experiences the same issues too.

Manning is suggesting the opposite happened; that New England used the headsets to excess.

Manning hand a longstanding rivalry in the AFC with the Patriots. He faced them 25 times during his career and went 9-15 against them, though he was 3-2 in the playoffs (including his time with Denver).

Though Manning seemed to be joking with that line on ESPN’s telecast, a teammate recently shared just how paranoid Peyton was about the Patriots cheating.

Ex-Bronco shares how paranoid Peyton Manning was about Patriots spying

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning had a lot to worry about as a franchise quarterback, but one thing that surprisingly weighed pretty significantly on his mind apparently was espionage.

Orlando Franklin, who was an offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos from 2011-2014 as part of his seven-season NFL career, co-hosts a show reporting about Broncos training camp along with Steve Atwater. On the show, the two were explaining to viewers why there wasn’t a larger look of what was going on the field. They said that was part of an effort from the team to limit what was available on video for opposing teams to scout — even something as seemingly innocuous as a training camp video.

“All of our viewers, you’re probably wondering why they’re not panning out so you can see all the plays and stuff … we got to keep it tight and not show too much,” Atwater explained.

That led Franklin to share just how paranoid Manning was about opposing teams spying.

“When Peyton was here, he was a stickler on that. (He) didn’t want anybody to see any plays, so everything that we did was really top-secret,” Franklin said.

Franklin then shared a particular story about how the Broncos handled a walk-through ahead of a game against the Patriots in New England.

“I think it was about 2013 we were in New England … we flew out there on the Friday. When you fly out on a Friday, you typically do a walk-through on Saturday. We went and got on the buses, and pulled up to like the forest. It was like a forest — pine trees all over the place. Got out of the buses and started walking, walked for about five minutes. I wondered, ‘are we going on a hike right now?’ And then we get in the middle of this forest, and this opens up — there’s no trees — and that’s where we did the walk-through.”

You got that? Manning was so concerned with spying — especially the Patriots — that they did a walk-through in a forest in New England. That’s nutty.

If Franklin’s account is correct, the game would have been on Nov. 24, 2013 in New England. Denver blew a 24-0 lead in that contest and lost 34-31. But at least you can’t blame spying on the defeat.

Manning’s concern about spying — particularly involving the Patriots — comes with good reason.

Peyton Manning took a shot at the Chargers on Zoom call with Nuggets

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning certainly still pays attention to the NFL, because he brought the heat against an old AFC West rival during a recent chat with the Denver Nuggets.

Manning addressed the Nuggets via Zoom during the NBA shutdown, discussing practice and his leadership style, and giving the team some advice. He also took questions from players, and according to Nuggets forward Mason Plumlee, had a hilarious response when asked how to deal with playing in an empty arena without fans.

“He was like, ‘I’m just not the one to answer that question,'” Plumlee said, via Mike Singer of the Denver Post. “‘You’d probably have to ask somebody with the Chargers or one of these other teams.'”

The Chargers have become infamous for their weak crowds since their move to Los Angeles. The away team occasionally attracts a bigger following there than the Chargers do, and Manning has clearly noticed.

How bad is it for the Chargers? Manning isn’t even the first athlete to make this joke.

Peyton Manning was ‘fairly close’ to joining Redskins in 2012, claims Mike Shanahan

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning ended up having a very successful end to his career with the Denver Broncos, but if one former coach is telling the truth, the story could have been a lot different.

As part of an oral history on Manning’s 2012 free agency by Nicki Jhabvala and Lindsay Jones of The Athletic, then-Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said his team was interested in Manning and thought they had a real chance to get him.

“I followed his career. I know him quite well, so I feel like we had an excellent chance to get him,” Shanahan said. “But knowing that Eli was in the NFC East, it surely wasn’t a slam dunk.”

Manning went as far to meet with Shanahan and his son Kyle, the team’s offensive coordinator. While Manning said he was impressed with Kyle and the offense, he said Washington’s decision to trade up for the No. 2 pick in that year’s draft effectively eliminated them as a possible destination.

“They had made a trade for the second pick of the draft, which they ended up taking Robert Griffin III,” Manning said. “So as soon as they made that trade, even Mike kind of knew that eliminated them.”

Mike Shanahan said he felt Manning was “disappointed” Washington had made the trade, and claimed that Broncos general manager John Elway later told him that Manning had preferred Washington.

“He said, ‘Mike, do you realize that Peyton, I think, was going to go to your place? I think he really wanted to go to your place more than our place,'” Shanahan recounted. “I said, ‘Really? I didn’t know that.’ And that came from John. I knew we were fairly close.”

The entire oral history is worth reading, as pretty much everyone involved was interviewed about what led to the ultimate decision.

It’s safe to say things probably would have been a lot different had Manning landed with Washington. Would he have made two more Super Bowl appearances and won another title? Possibly not, and it may have ended as unfortunately as the Griffin era did. Or maybe the organization wouldn’t have made the Griffin trade, kept its draft picks, and would have put themselves in a better position to surround Manning with talent.

Peyton Manning has been helping teams with Zoom calls this offseason

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning hasn’t really settled on an official job title since he retired from the NFL four years ago, but the two-time Super Bowl champion has found plenty to keep him busy. That even includes helping out teams and players during the pandemic.

With NFL teams still unable to return to their facilities, Manning spoke with Peter King of NBC Sports about the importance of players taking the initiative and finding ways to prepare for the season. He said his brother Eli placed an emphasis on that during the NFL lockout in 2011, and the New York Giants ended up defeating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl that year. Manning said the pandemic presents similar challenges, though it may have been even more difficult for players in 2011 since they were prohibited from making contact with coaches.

Manning told King he has spoken about some of those principles on Zoom calls with NFL players this offseason. He spoke with the entire Los Angeles Rams team and the quarterbacks from the Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears.

“That was kinda my message, sort of, you know, follow Eli’s lead. Quarterbacks, take ownership,” Manning said. “All these Zoom meetings, right now, the coaches are leading them. My message was to the quarterbacks. ‘Hey, organize your own Zoom meetings without the coaches, just get you and the tight ends, you and the receivers.’ It’s actually an opportunity to even have better communication. Because there’s nothing else to do, right? Hey, every Tuesday, 9 a.m., quarterbacks and the offensive line, Zoom, watching film. Instead of complaining about it, see it as an opportunity to really improve. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have every play from last year studied down to the T.”

Peyton said he explained to players how he spent his offseasons breaking down film from the previous season, always starting with the mistakes. He urged players to make their own meeting times and not wait for coaches to plan something.

“I think the team that wins it all this year is gonna be the team that’s really getting an edge during this time — kind of like the Giants in 2011,” Manning said.

We know one veteran quarterback who seems to be doing what he can to help prepare his teammates amid some difficult circumstances, and Manning is right that those who do the same will have an advantage when things return to normal. All teams are facing the same obstacles, but there are different ways of dealing with them. Players and coaches who can identify the positives in a tough situation will have the edge at the start of the season.

Tom Brady posts great recap of ‘The Match,’ says he will keep his day job

Tom Brady certainly was not the best golfer on the course during “The Match” on Sunday, but the four-time Super Bowl MVP enjoyed the experience. Playing alongside Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson was, however, a friendly reminder for Brady that he is in the right profession.

Brady reflected on “The Match” in an Instagram post on Wednesday. He provided a lengthy recap that included some nice words for Woods, Mickelson and Peyton Manning in addition to a bit of self-criticism.

View this post on Instagram

I learned a few lessons from this past weekend’s golf tournament with @philmickelson @tigerwoods and #Peyton…I had a lot of fun and grateful to be part of an event that raised a lot of money for Covid relief: 1. Amazing what happens when groups of people come together for the common good. 2. Peyton is still as clutch as ever. 3. I did not escape the inclement weather…heavy stuff…ALL DAY. 4. I shouldn’t wear the same pants to golf that I wear to church. 5. As great as @philmickelson is as a golfer, he is a better man, coach and teammate and potentially has the best calves on the PGA Tour. 6. I really enjoy golf…at halftime of football games we get checked for concussions, in golf, you get refreshments. 7. It was nice to be the young guy again. 8. @tigerwoods was a great host and champion, and I was especially thankful he missed that putt on the 7th hole…had he made it, I would have just went home. 9. I’m sticking to my day job

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Brady found himself in an unfamiliar position throughout much of the event — embarrassing himself on national television. He couldn’t seem to hit a fairway all day, and he even split his pants after making perhaps the best shot of the round. It simply was not the 42-year-old’s day, but he helped raise $20 million for a good cause.

While Brady should definitely stick to his day job, we wouldn’t hate seeing him take part in “The Match” again in the future.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Peyton Manning not planning to take Twitter plunge any time soon

Peyton Manning

Eli Manning may have broken down and finally joined Twitter recently, but don’t hold your breath on Peyton doing the same any time soon.

Peyton, who teamed with Tiger Woods to beat Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson in “The Match” golf charity event on Sunday, joined “The Rich Eisen Show” for an interview on Tuesday.

Eisen asked Peyton if he would join Twitter the way younger brother Eli did recently, and he indicated it wouldn’t be happening soon.

Peyton also said that while he declined the chance to go into broadcasting this year, he is not closing the door on that forever.

One report said Peyton came as close as ever to going into broadcasting before deciding not to. One of the reasons he didn’t want to go into it was because he didn’t want the conflict of having to call one of Eli’s games. Now that Eli is retired, that shouldn’t be an impediment.

If Peyton does join Twitter, he would have some competition in the humor department.

TV ratings for ‘The Match’ set new cable record

Whatever you think of the entertainment value of “The Match,” it’s pretty clear that it was a huge ratings winner for TNT.

Sunday’s charity golf match pitted Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. It attracted 5.8 million viewers, and according to TNT, that’s a new cable record for a golf telecast.

Pairing two of the most well-known golfers in the world with two of the most iconic quarterbacks of their generation and having them play golf is a big ratings win when the rest of the sports world is shut down. It got plenty of people talking and was entertaining in its own way, particularly the banter between the competitors.

Perhaps people wanted to see Tom Brady look human, which he did for much of the first half of the round. Ultimately, he got the last laugh, even if he and Mickelson lost by a stroke.

Peyton Manning hilariously explains why he didn’t wear red with Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is famous for wearing red on Sundays, and he did so during Sunday’s “The Match” charity game. His partner, Peyton Manning, did not.

Manning, it turns out, had a good reason to avoid the black and red look. He said during an interview that he was asked if he wanted to match with Woods, but declined for a simple reason: he couldn’t be seen wearing Georgia colors.

Manning, of course, is one of the most famous alumni of Tennessee, an SEC rival. No chance is he going to be caught on national television in Georgia’s black and red.

The former Colts and Broncos quarterback has delivered some of the more memorable lines of the match. This is just another.

Eli Manning takes shot at brother Peyton over caddie suggestion

Eli Manning

Peyton Manning was asked before “The Match” on Sunday if he has any idea who his caddie would have been if caddies were allowed, and one of the people he mentioned was his younger brother Eli. Let’s just say little bro wasn’t having it.

Peyton joked on the driving range that he would have considered having Eli caddie for him in addition to some other outstanding candidates, and Eli immediately fired out a response via Twitter. The younger Manning said he probably wouldn’t caddie for his big brother because he “can’t always carry the team.”

The start of “The Match” was delayed due to some pretty nasty conditions, and Eli — who just joined Twitter on Saturday — had a joke about that, too. He said he considered joining TikTok to pass the time.

Peyton was loaded with outstanding trash talk leading up to “The Match,” but Eli’s response reminded us that the great sense of humor runs in the Manning family.