Austin Collie was one of Peyton Manning’s favorite targets back when the Indianapolis Colts’ offense was torching the NFL, and Manning apparently held the wide receiver to a high standard from the moment he joined the team.
During the latest episode of his show on DAZN, former Colts punter Pat McAfee recalled a hilarious story in which Manning reamed out Collie for trying to catch a pass with one hand when Collie was a rookie in 2009. McAfee said Manning threw a pass to Collie that was slightly off-target, and Collie reached out with one hand to try to catch the ball but was unable to secure it. Manning was furious.
“(Collie) put his head down and jogged back to the huddle, and before he got like five feet away from the huddle, Peyton Manning just pointed to the sideline and was like, ‘Get out,'” McAfee recalled. “Austin jogs to the sideline and (then-head coach) Jim Caldwell and the offensive coordinator are like, ‘You’re in.’ So Austin turns around to go back on the field, and Peyton just points at the sideline as if he’s a dad. So he’s benched at this point.”
The Colts won the game, and McAfee said he went up to Collie after the win to ask him why he seemed so bummed out. Collie told him, “I was told if I ever try to catch a football with one hand again, I will never be on the field when Peyton Manning is the quarterback.”
“What a savage of an individual Peyton Manning is,” McAfee said. “He basically told this young rookie wide receiver who had a lot of promise, ‘Hey, I don’t need that garbage with you with one hand. Yeah, I might have missed you a little bit — you dive then. You put two hands on that ball.'”
You can hear McAfee tell the full story below:
Unfortunately, Collie’s career was cut short by concussions. He finished with 179 catches, 1,908 yards and 16 touchdowns in his five NFL seasons. He played in more than nine games in a season just twice.