Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe, who was Peyton Manning’s college offensive coordinator at Tennessee and is now helping Manning get back into playing shape, says there’s no doubt in his mind that we’ll see the Manning of old in the NFL next season.
After Broncos officials watched Manning work out at Duke’s practice facility on Friday, Cutcliffe told ESPN that Manning’s arm strength has sufficiently recovered that he can win games in the NFL right now.
“You go through route trees, we try to throw a post at a certain yardage,” he said. “How far can he throw it? He can throw it far enough to beat people, let’s put it that way.”
Cutcliffe didn’t offer any specific details, like whether Manning can throw a football as far and as fast now as he could before the neck surgeries that caused him to miss the 2011 season. But Cutcliffe did say that after working with Manning regularly for weeks, he’s certain that Manning can get back on the field and play at a high level, and he said all the Broncos saw Manning do on Friday, when John Elway said he threw the ball great, is what Manning has been doing every day that he’s been at Duke.
“Just like a football team would, we have a routine,” Cutcliffe said. “We have a practice. We had the ability to go out today and perform a practice for people to look at. These are game-like throws and he’s throwing the football well, and he’s worked hard to get to this point.”