Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will never meet on the field again after Manning officially announces his retirement today, but Brady credits his longtime friend and rival Manning for showing him the way a quarterback has to be committed to the game.
Brady told Peter King of TheMMQB.com that from seeing the way Manning is mentally prepared for everything on the field, he learned just how much time he needed to spend on getting himself ready.
“I realized the level of commitment you must have to be great, watching him do it. I know the time I put in, so I knew the time he had to have put in. It’s not 9 to 5. It’s a lifelong commitment. Football is a sport, it’s an art, it’s a religion. It’s all-encompassing. He mastered it.”
Brady says he’s been a student of Manning, trying to learn everything he can about the way Manning approached the game.
“Every game he has played, I have watched,” Brady said. “I have file folders of his plays, of how he plays. It’d take years for me to watch it all again. But what he’s done in Denver has been incredible. Think of what he did—changing teams, changing organizations, at his age, and then in four years going to two Super Bowls with that team.”
At a time when NFL teams are desperately trying to draft the next Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, and desperately trying to avoid the next Johnny Manziel, identifying a player who will have a Brady/Manning work ethic is as important as anything a quarterback does on the field.