Unlike finally retired quarterback Brett Favre, Peyton Manning doesn’t talk much about when he’ll call it quits. But Peyton knows that, when the time comes, he’ll miss one thing more than anything else.
“Being in the huddle,” Manning tells Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press. “That’s what I missed most when I was injured, I’ll say that. I mean, there’s no other type of unity or bond that I think any other job can provide. I know there are meetings, there are video conferences. But that huddle, because of where it takes place. It’s often on the road, in the middle of the field, in front of 80,000 people, it’s unique.”
And he knows that only players get that opportunity.
“When you don’t play football anymore, you can broadcast, you can coach, you can be in management, whatever, but you are not allowed to go into the huddle anymore,” Manning said. “That huddle is just for players. You can go into the locker room after the game and you can speak to the team, but I think any retired player would probably tell you they miss the huddle.”
It’s a given that Peyton will succeed significantly at whatever he does after he’s done playing. Coaching hadn’t previously been flagged as a serious possibility, in part because those who know Peyton think he wouldn’t be able to tolerate coaching quarterbacks who aren’t as good as he was.
If he can develop the patience to accept the fact that Peyton F. Manning won’t be walking through the door for Peyton F. Manning to coach, then maybe he could find a way to coach others without donning his bitter beer face after every bad throw or decision.