Although 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh temporarily deviated from the league’s talking points regarding replacement officials, Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator didn’t do the same thing when it came to discussing the team’s offseason interest in Peyton Manning on Wednesday.
Asked open-ended questions about the team’s consideration of Manning, who was cut by the Colts in early March and who’ll face the 49ers in a preseason game this weekend, Greg Roman eventually brought up the “e” word.
On whether Roman had a chance to sit and talk football with Manning, Roman said this, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Yeah, we had a chance to talk football and talk about families. I mean, it really was an evaluation. When you look at free agency, on every player that’s a free agent, you need to write a report on them. So how do you write that report on Peyton Manning as a free agent? How do you write it? You don’t. It’s such a unique situation. You have to see where’s he’s at. You have to see where he’s at physically. Where his mind is at. What exactly does he represent at this point, et cetera. So, I just think the uniqueness of the situation, you can’t write a free-agent report on a player in that situation unless you actually get hands on and see how he’s doing. See where he’s at. So that’s pretty much what it was, really, just an evaluation.”
And then, some diabolical bastard in the room saw fit to harsh the mellow by saying, “Oh, we know. . . .”
“Do you?” Roman responded. “Do you know? Do you? Really? Because that’s really all it was. And I understand how things are going to get blown up. It was good to talk football with him, but it really was just an evaluation. Where is this guy at? Can he even play? Where he’s at, physically, mentally — all that good stuff. So that’s it.”
I realize that lying is part of the strategy of football. In this case, the 49ers desperately need quarterback Alex Smith to think that he wasn’t the second choice to Manning — even though Smith was left hanging while the team waited to complete an “evaluation” that didn’t end until Manning picked the Broncos and, as we’ve been told by multiple sources, personally called the 49ers and the Titans to tell them that he wouldn’t be accepting their offers of, you know, employment.
But in some cases it’s more than just not being honest. I’m starting to wonder that, in order to best sell their B.S., some of these guys actually convince themselves that it’s true.