When John Elway signed Peyton Manning to a five-year, $96 million contract with the Broncos, he was expecting the same Peyton Manning who played 13 seasons with the Colts. And after seeing Manning up close in training camp, Elway says that’s exactly what he got.
“He’s throwing the post route and everything well,” Elway told USA Today. “I went back and looked at film from 2010 and 2009 to get a comparison of Peyton, and he looks to me to be the same guy throwing now that he was then. The ball is coming out quicker all the time the more and more time he gets with the offense and getting to know all his receivers and tight ends. . . . That’s always been his style. He’s never been the Nolan Ryan of quarterbacks anyway. He’s always throwns the ball with great anticipation and touch.”
USA Today‘s headline on the story is, “Elway says Broncos’ Manning throwing ball better than ever,” but that claim isn’t supported by Elway’s comments in the story: Elway says Manning is the same as he was with the Colts, not better than he was with the Colts. Still, if Elway believes Manning is throwing the ball just as well now as he did prior to his neck surgeries, that would mean that Elway has signed one of the best passers in the NFL. And Elway thinks Manning remains a quarterback who can win a Super Bowl.
“Looking at the end run, winning the Super Bowl is our goal. Our owner, Pat Bowlen, wants to be competitive and win Super Bowls,” Elway said. “We’re a lot closer now than we were. I feel like with Peyton, as well as the supporting cast here, we can go out and compete for one, and that’s all you can hope for.”
Manning himself says that his arm isn’t the same at age 36 as it was at age 22, but Elway apparently doesn’t see any decline. If Elway is right, he may have brought another Super Bowl to Denver when he signed Manning.