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Peyton Manning: I’ve learned to compensate

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When he’s listing the things he’s thankful for at dinner on Thursday, it probably won’t take Peyton Manning long to mention the fact that he’s back in the NFL and playing at a high level.

Such a state of affairs was far from a sure thing at this time last year with Manning’s future uncertain after neck surgeries forced him to miss the entire football season. Now Manning is back to being in charge of an offense and playing at a level that will likely put him into MVP discussion when the end of the year rolls around. Broncos coach John Fox calls the way things have unfolded “freaking historical” in an interesting and comprehensive piece about Manning written by Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

Manning called his comeback the biggest physical and mental challenge of his career as progress happened slowly and in small increments during his rehab. The process left him with the knowledge that he’s not the same player he was as a younger man and it forced him to make changes to his game to account for those differences.

“What I’ve learned to do is compensate. That’s what athletes do. You learn to compensate with what you’ve got. I’ve come to accept the reality that I am 36 years old,” he said. “I’m not trying to be the player that I was when I was 28. I’m not. I don’t compare myself to that,” Manning said. “At our college camp [the Manning Passing Academy] this summer, these kids, they’ve got some arms. This kid from Georgia, Aaron Murray, he can throw it a mile. All these kids. Six years ago, I’d have said, ‘Hey, I’m going to out-throw all these guys.’ But now, these kids can throw it farther, and it has zero effect on my psyche. I’m 36 years old, I’m coming off a major injury, and my arm has a lot of miles on it. I can still get them in the end zone doing it a different way, dinking and dunking, taking my shots at certain times. So I’ve learned a lot about my body, and about my team.”

The whole article is worth a read to see how Manning’s arrival has impacted the entire Broncos organization. It was a big gamble that Denver made this offseason and one that has paid off handsomely for them thus far. It never would have worked if Manning wasn’t able to become a different quarterback while still remaining highly effective.

If things keep moving at this rate, it’ll be hard to argue with the freaking historical tag when all is said and done this season.

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12 Responses to “Peyton Manning: I’ve learned to compensate”
  1. bleedgreen says: Nov 22, 2012 1:42 PM

    Manning’s success is not his physical tools. Its from his mental ones. He knows, almost impeccably, what play to run when he sees a defensive formation. You can give Peyton Chad Pennington’s arm, and he’d still be just as successful because he knows intimately the strengths and weaknesses of everyone else on the field, his team or not. And he knows how to exploit those strengths and weaknesses.

  2. spellingcops says: Nov 22, 2012 1:59 PM

    It never would have worked if Manning wasn’t able to become a different quarterback while still remaining highly effective
    It worked even if it didn’t. It got Tebow out of town.

  3. jboyxl73 says: Nov 22, 2012 2:02 PM

    Payton is a testament to what hard work and great skill can accomplish , it’s great to see him playing so well ….

  4. logicalvoicesays says: Nov 22, 2012 2:17 PM

    Robert Griffin is better than all the Mannings.

  5. firejc says: Nov 22, 2012 2:47 PM

    Once in a life time player.

  6. caseyanthonymunoz says: Nov 22, 2012 3:29 PM

    9-10 postseason record. Guy almost never comes through when it matters most. Truth hurts.

  7. jasku880 says: Nov 22, 2012 3:50 PM

    im greatful i am able to watch peyton play again. we only got few more years of him orchestrating a great symphony in NFL. When he is gone, we will probably never see a genius on a field again for long time.

  8. catalinadelbosque says: Nov 22, 2012 4:12 PM

    I am just starting to get into this, and am led to believe that Payton Manning is absolutely brilliant! They tell me the key to his success is preparation…

  9. malvaren18 says: Nov 22, 2012 4:20 PM

    MVP, I’m just glad to see him play again the NFL is not the same without him, he makes other players want to do better because they know they are playing with one of the greatest QB of our time.

  10. joetoronto says: Nov 22, 2012 5:02 PM

    Peyton has a bullseye on his neck.

  11. sheriffpeyton18 says: Nov 22, 2012 5:12 PM

    This year will be his 5th MVP award!!! He’s the greatest qb in history!

  12. morgusthemagnificent says: Nov 22, 2012 7:03 PM

    It’s PEYTON for christsake, PAYTON is the late Chicago Bears running back.

    Anyway, great article, this guy is the ultimate role model. Hard work + attention to detail = success.

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