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Montee Ball says playing with Peyton Manning is “overwhelming”


Broncos rookie running back Montee Ball says his head was spinning the first time he stepped on a practice field with Peyton Manning.

“Well, first off, it was overwhelming at the beginning just because it’s a difficult offensive play book, just because it’s Peyton Manning. He keeps a lot of players on his toes by changing the plays and all that stuff,” Ball said. “In our OTAs and that stuff. Every day at practice we would work on something. He would ask me, ‘What do you think you need help in?’ I would tell him I need help with this route or this play. Then we would work on it right after practice before we even go to our meetings.

Ball said Manning has a knack for seeing where the Broncos can have success in the running game, and Manning tells Ball where he can beat an opposing defense.

“That’s another way he has helped me out, really understanding what the defense is trying to accomplish and what they are trying to disguise,” Ball said. “In film and during meetings he really preached to me about watching the safeties and all that stuff. It really helped me out overall with my routes, with my runs and all that stuff.”

In college at Wisconsin, Ball was the focal point of a simple run-first offense. It’s not like that in Denver.

“In Wisconsin, it was fairly basic, and that’s what I tell people,” Ball said. “Just going from a college playbook to an NFL playbook is very difficult, but going from a college playbook to Peyton Manning’s playbook is a whole another story. It was difficult at first to grasp the playbook, but it was a process that was definitely enjoyed because now it’s just second nature to me.”

Ball also told reporters about the first time he found out he’d be teammates with Manning, when the Broncos drafted him in April.

“I was hanging out with my family, back in Madison at a hotel and I was getting a bunch of texts,” Ball said. “I’m scrolling through them, reading and reading them, and then I get to this last one, and I’m reading congratulations and all this stuff, then I get to the bottom of it and it says ‘P. Manning’ and I went, ‘Wow.’ I was like, ‘Mom, Dad, Peyton Manning just texted me.’ I knew it was real just because of what he said in the text. It really hit home for me because he was congratulating me and he said, ‘Really looking forward to having you here because we’re looking for you to help us.’”

Manning and Ball have helped each other a lot.

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18 Responses to “Montee Ball says playing with Peyton Manning is “overwhelming””
  1. bigwalt2990 says: Jan 29, 2014 7:33 AM

    I don’t care how good Seattle’s secondary is, if Denver get’s the ball moving on the ground, game over. Manning with a balanced attack is unstoppable. And I don’t see Wilson and that offense putting up more than 28 points. It’ll be up to the Hawks D to score.

  2. jiggy3198 says: Jan 29, 2014 7:39 AM

    Greatest of all time!!!

  3. jiggy3198 says: Jan 29, 2014 7:40 AM

    You know I meant Peyton not Ball right?

  4. manningfor6 says: Jan 29, 2014 7:40 AM

    Can’t wait for Sunday, Ball has a real bright future, he is an explosive runner. Go Broncos!!

  5. paepae805 says: Jan 29, 2014 7:43 AM

    Is there any doubt that Peyton Manning will be a head coach some day and have the same success in the coaching ranks as he did as a QB. I could see some team pulling a Jason Kidd and offer him a head coaching job right after he retires if Peyton choose that path.

  6. ctiggs says: Jan 29, 2014 8:04 AM

    Good story to hear we need more like them.

  7. bleedgreen says: Jan 29, 2014 8:27 AM

    How did Montee Ball’s phone say ‘P. Manning’ unless he had his phone number in there already?

  8. apm says: Jan 29, 2014 8:38 AM

    I seem to remember Russell Wilson setting the all time NCAA passing efficiency record in that “simple, run-first” offense in Madison. Funny stuff.

  9. shayeezy says: Jan 29, 2014 8:44 AM

    peyton signed his text with that, dumbass.

  10. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 29, 2014 8:52 AM

    Manning is a machine. There’s no way he retires after this season. He’s got a ton left in the tank.

  11. golforepar says: Jan 29, 2014 9:11 AM

    Montee Ball – Class act!

  12. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 29, 2014 10:11 AM

    bleedgreen says:
    Jan 29, 2014 8:27 AM

    How did Montee Ball’s phone say ‘P. Manning’ unless he had his phone number in there already?

    Maybe he signed it ‘P. Manning’

  13. mullman76 says: Jan 29, 2014 10:31 AM

    @bleedgreen: Have another cup of coffee or bowl of Fruit Loops and try again.

  14. ariani1985 says: Jan 29, 2014 10:36 AM

    Just think, turd bay could have had this kid instead of Eddie lazy.

  15. gjperch says: Jan 29, 2014 11:21 AM

    Thank you, football gods, for Montee.

  16. granadafan says: Jan 29, 2014 12:41 PM

    You know, you’re not making it easy for us to hate Peyton Manning. Other than the gigantic forehead, what else do you have? He’s a good teammate, sends hand-written notes to opponents when they retire, etc. Sheesh. Hmmm Cheatey Petey/Dick Sherman or Peyton Manning. Go Broncos. D

  17. karlmarxism says: Jan 29, 2014 12:54 PM

    You can write a book of management on how Peyton interacts with not only teammates but opposing players. It should be no surprise that Peyton is the most respected player in the league among his peers, and second place isn’t even close.

  18. randomguy9999 says: Jan 29, 2014 2:25 PM

    Peyton clearly has set the bar for any QB in the league on professionalism… how can it get better than what Ball described?

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