Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has long been known for his impressive mental approach to the game, but a story told by the University of Tennessee’s longtime Sports Technology Coordinator Joe Harrington demonstrates just how great Manning’s mental approach is.
According to Harrington, Manning contacted him last season and asked him to dig up the tape of a play on which he threw a touchdown pass 16 years earlier. Manning remembered the play and the situation in which Tennessee ran it perfectly, and he wanted to see if it would work in the Broncos’ offense.
“This is what he says: ‘In 1996 Tennessee played Ole Miss in Memphis. In the third quarter we ran a play called flip right duo X motion fake roll 98 block pass special.’ He said, ‘I need you to find that play, I need you to digitize it, and I need you to send it to me,'” Harrington recalled of Manning contacting him.
Sure enough, the Tennessee tape of that play was “exactly where he said it would be,” Harrington said, and the Broncos ended up practicing that same play, although they never actually ran it in a game. Here’s the video from the University of Tennessee of Harrington describing his interaction with Manning, and of Manning running the play twice, first as a junior at Tennessee and then on the practice field with the Broncos: