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