NFL scouts concerned about Manning’s arm strength


The last time he stepped off a football field, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was wrapping up a 33-touchdown, 17-interception, 4,700-yard season in Indianapolis. The yardage was Manning’s career high, and only once before in his 13-year career had he thrown more touchdown passes.

Multiple pro scouts told NFL Network’s Albert Breer, however, that despite the lofty numbers, Manning was showing signs of decline. He was 34 then, and is now 36.

The falloff was significant on film,” one scout from an AFC rival team told Breer. “He showed stiffness and lost athletic traits. What made him so special was never his athletic ability or movement skills, but you could see it with his arm strength, too.”

The scout was specifically critical of Manning’s diminished velocity.

“His rotation was fine, his accuracy was fine,” said the scout. “But as far as the ball getting from Point A to Point B, and how much time he was giving defensive backs to drive on the football, there was enough there for concern.”

Observed another executive for a team that pursued Manning offseason, “Seeing some of the footage of him throwing, there was depreciation in velocity and zip.” The club exec does think Manning will be “fine,” and expects his passing velocity and arm power to “keep getting better” while recovering from neck surgeries.

Our guess is that Manning will immediately resume his highly productive ways in Denver, and keep it up through the 2013 season or so. As Florio has noted, though, only the first year of Manning’s contract is guaranteed.

The Broncos can get out of the deal easily after that.

105 responses to “NFL scouts concerned about Manning’s arm strength

  1. Why is this a story? The Broncos signed him…what am I missing? This story should have come out 2 weeks ago…What’s next, are the scouts worried about Cam Newton’s pocket presence? Or maybe they’re worried about Mark Sanchez’s talent…actually, that is a real problem.

  2. If the doctors cleared him I’m sure he’ll be better than 20 current QBs. We forget McCoy, Sanchez, Moore, ponder, Alex smith, Palmer and done dude in KC…what’s his name?

  3. Still don’t understand why the Broncos were so eager to get rid of Tebow. They might need him at some point. I’m not sure Peyton will last the whole season. And, Caleb Hanie simply can’t play.

  4. He was also 34 years old and in need of surgery apparently then. The hit that gets singled out as a possible time he hurt his neck happened in week six of that year (against Washington).

  5. Even if Manning comes back @80%, he’s still better than most. Besides, part of the value of the Manning deal to Elway is it was one of the only ways to extricate himself from the Tebow thing w/o pissing off the fan base, which it seems he desperately wanted.

  6. Still Bronco fans would take him over last year’s starter…what ever happened to that guy?

  7. What is funny the scout is talking about the year before Peyton had surgery for the problem and now since the surgery and nerve regeneration his arm will be getting stronger and stronger. Also is this an NFL exec. that went after Peyton and lost because I believe he is just muddying the water for why his team did not get him for his team.

  8. I’ll say this. Did anyone really pay close attention to Manning in 2010? He wasn’t making as good of reads as he used to, and the team lost 6 games for the first time in 10 years. And they lost to the Mark Sanchez-led Jets first round. I agree that he was declining.

  9. Good luck Denver fans. This is a bigger gamble than you think. You can’t just buy a new offense… If you could the Washington would have 4 or 5 SBs…..

  10. Manning will be fine. Everyone loses some quickness and strenth over time. The smartest ones, (like Montana did), know how to make the mental adjustments and do fine. I remember seeing Montana go to the Chiefs with a elbow that looked like football and still hit receivers as good as he did 10 years earlier. Of coarse those guys couldn’t catch a cold but he was still great. Manning will be the same as will Brady who is also slipping some. They play with their head!!

  11. Three years. He’ll have two decent ones, and really fall off his third. Then he’ll retire before he gets cut.

    This is all assuming he doesn’t get badly injured, which I really hope doesn’t happen.

  12. Can you write? I can write better than you? Is this some kind of cruel joke? You call yourself a writer? Man, you guys must be hurting for some kind of press or something! Have a good night, but you might want to proofread some of your posts. Just a suggestion.

  13. Sometimes your body just needs rest and time off to come back stronger. If ur injured every yr and don’t heal up, the kenetic energy flow in your body can effect ur ability to properly pass and throw correctly through the pain. No that he has had surgury there’s def a chance he could come back stronger.

  14. Broncos have to know what a big risk they are taking. Loss of Tenow may come back to haunt them.

  15. He has another 5 months to rehab and continue to get stronger. Even 50% arm strength is better than Tebow’s arm so I think they’ll be just fine.

  16. I said from the get go manning is going to be a shell of himself…get some pads on..some cold weather..and a few hits..and he will be NOTHING compared to what he was..and couldnt happen to a better guy ELWAY

  17. I can’t wait for him to take his first stiff shot….

    Oh, then Commish Goodell will instigate a rule change where players can’t touch QB’s….

  18. Manning will see a return to full health, allowing him to play at a championship level and do hundreds more commercials.

  19. Manning had multiple neck surgeries, which can have an effect on arm strength, along with him not getting any younger. What’s not to be concerned about? Maybe the Broncos are hoping that what is above the neck will compensate for what is below it.

  20. Please, who cares? Manning isn’t about strength, he was about accuracy and intelligence. If its all about arm strength, why aren’t guys like cull pepper, jamarcus Russell, and Achilles smith all world qbs? So tired about hearing arm strength this arm strength that.

  21. He was also coming off two arthroscopic procedures on his knee, maybe that had something to do with it?

  22. Oh boy! Oh boy! he should just retire right now then. Manning will come out and turn Decker and Thomas into studs, just like Favre did with Sidney Rice and Cheech Harvin.

  23. ‘The Donkeys can get out of the deal easily after that’…which they will probably do after finishing 2012 with an 8-8 record.

  24. It should be mentioned that Manning played the entire 2010 season with his neck injury flaring up. Only after the season ended did he decide to have surgery so his neck could become permanently stabilized. We all know that has taken longer than expected, but he has a chance to have better arm strength than he did in his 2010 season now that his neck and nerves have stabilized to a better state than in 2010.

    Good Luck to you #18, you will always be a colt!

  25. All one big ploy to get rid of Tebow and groom Hanie.

    The fans will love this when they figure it out.

  26. Read as:

    “Peyton is now in our division and we are scared sh*tless! Let’s use whatever we can to distract him.”

    Seemed like Peyton’s biggest attribute is his ability to manipulate a defense into showing it’s hand and taking advantage of them. Sure velocity is important but strong arm QBs that can’t read a defense are a dime a dozen.

  27. The headline is a bit misleading. Why would an opposing scout be ‘concerned’ about Manning’s arm strength if it is indeed diminishing? How about ‘question’ his arm strength? If I were a scout for any of the 31 teams who aren’t based in Denver and his arm strength were diminishing, I think the last adjective to describe my thoughts would be ‘concerned.’

  28. I have none of the confidence that everyone else, who also has not seen him throw or move, seems to have.

    I still think he should have retired after last year and gone out the King Of Indianapolis and healthy and with his reputation intact. But ego makes people do foolish things all the time. Let’s hope he makes it through the season without a broken neck.

  29. “One scout from a rival AFC team said”……..
    Really? You give this as much credence as you would a Raiders fan posting in these comments.

  30. I only had one neck surgery my arms are still very strong but I can’t exstend my arms out as far and throwing something bother after a bit. I like to shoot pool but bending down and looking down the pool stick my neck start hurting after about 30-40 minutes and I hurt my neck when I was 30 good luck Peyton the raiders will be after you

  31. “He showed stiffness and lost athletic traits” – Was the scout talking about Manning or Jay Cutler?

  32. Did it ever occur to any of these scouts that the stiffness and diminished velocity could have been a result of the fact that HE NEEDED NECK SURGERY!!?!

  33. When he hit FA I looked at his deep ball splits for his two healthy years. They were not good. In fact a lot of QBs who get knocked for being ‘inaccurate’ had better downfield passing completion rates. And, unlike some of those QBs, Manning had great NFL WRs.

    Also, his average completion length was 10.44 yards.

    To put it in perspective, Alex Smith, with the quite possibly the worst combination of o-line (Smith lead the NFL in passes thrown away to avoid sacks and was still the most sacked QB in the NFL) and receiving corps (the 49ers had the highest percentage of droppped passes) in the NFL, was routinely bashed by 49er fans as the worst QB ever and the king of dink-and-dunk was both more accurate down-field (at least Vernon Davis can catch) and had a higher average per completion (11.51 yards/completion) than Manning.

    Smith is not God’s gift to NFL QBs… But the scouts who say Manning isn’t driving the ball downfield are right. He’s lost his down-field skills and now makes his bread-and-butter dinking-and-dunking.

    Nothing wrong with that. I’m for it. That’s what Brady does. That’s what Brees does. It’s very smart and respectable in my book.

    But Manning does have arm issues. And people who think he can whip that ball deep like he could in 2004/2005 when he put on one of the greatest shows in NFL QBing history are kidding themselves. He was struggling downfield in 2009 and 2010. I don’t see how he’s better now, 36, than at 33 or 34.

  34. Chad Pennington could barely throw a football forty yards but he was a master of timing and location when it came to passing. Peyton should be fine as long as his offensive line can protect him. The people making these negative comments work for the teams he turned down, I wouldn’t expect them to say many nice things about him.

  35. Denver will not go 8-8. They have the 2nd toughest schedule in the league. They may have the weakest receiving corp in the league, and the entire offense is going to have to adapt to a new system.

  36. I’m still saying it the chiefs are going to win the west people. They have the best overall roster in the divison. Manning won’t be able to play in the secondary for them and yes Denver fans it is scary old. He also can’t run the ball and ur running backs are lossing there deception with tebow gone. Also at 36 and never having good mobility anyway how will he hold up against the likes of hali, or seymore who will be looking to lite him up.

  37. Jim Harbaugh of all people was impressed enough with what he saw Manning do in person that he and the Niners sent the team doctor out to perform a physical. If he was willing to risk alienating the QB that helped get the team to the NFC Championship, then I’m going to assume that Manning threw well enough to convince him that he would be just fine by the start of the season.

  38. Sounds to me like a scorned Kansas City Chiefs scout that knew the only way to get his team to win a playoff game for the first time in 19 years was to get Manning.

    Quite a “Denver Complex” in that town……you’d think scouts from other teams would be worried about the draft this time of year vs. the Broncos QB.


  39. so if they get out of the contract after 1 year, its pretty simple, they hand the ball to Tebow who they’ve groomed ? good thing they Tebow bc otherwise we’d be wondering what the backplan is.

  40. Peyton’s arm is weak? Whaaaat? At least the Donkeys have Caleb Hanie. Peyton’s understudy, Curtis Painter, is still available, right?

  41. I’ve been saying it for months now … manning is done. He’s a con artist. He ripped off Irsay for $24 million. Now he’s gone where he was guaranteed the most money. Greedy Swamp Boy

    As Sister Dulcilia my Latin teacher would say … caveat emptor.

  42. Well its a good thing he has Elway to provide him with the tools he will need to succeed. I remeber Elways last season he played with a torn bicept and won a superbowl. And wich scout was it the cheifs? Who he turned down a visit to or the chargers whos team has scouted all the great linemen or the other team whats their name? You no the one whos scouts get all the guys to keep up on penalty records. What ever. I would NOT bet against Manning for one second.

  43. “Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning” . . . No offense to Broncos fans but that will take a little time to get used to.

    That said: The Broncos, Titans, 49ers and Cards, Dolphins all checked him out and thought he would be good to go. I’m gonna stick with that until I see something different.

  44. I would rather have a QB that can read defenses and thread a needle at 25 yds than one that can throw it 70 yds but can’t hit a wide-open receiver. Arm strength may diminish but his football brain is one of the best.

  45. Why are NFL scouts concerned about his arm strength? They should be licking their chops. The only people concerned about his arm strength should be the people in Denver.

  46. hahaha seves em right!

    Pat Robertson is a prophet!

    Send 2 first rounders to Jets to get Tebow back.

  47. NFL scouts report Manning is getting older.

    In other news, Olympic scouts report Olympics will only take place once every four years.

    The Weather Channel has also reporting that rain may be wet.

  48. duece8 says:
    Mar 27, 2012 9:56 PM
    RG3′s ARM meanwhile is as powerfully and strong as ever! HAIL

    Funny how you can’t even spell your own name right. It’s “d-e-u-c-e”…deuce.

    “Sigh”…Redskins fans.

  49. tluke25 says:
    Mar 27, 2012 11:22 PM
    Denver will not go 8-8. They have the 2nd toughest schedule in the league. They may have the weakest receiving corp in the league, and the entire offense is going to have to adapt to a new system.


    Not to mention implementing the 8th defensive coordinator in as many years…

  50. deuce8: you mean to tell us that Rex Grossman 3 and out’s arm is powerful!!!! You must be kiddin!!!

  51. If manning played against tebow right now, he would still be better. Even if you cut his passer rating in half, it would still be higher than tebows. Your average QB completes 15 to 20 passes a game, tebow barely completed 10 passes in fact he had games completing lest than 5. You may have a good running game but all you’re doing is running the clock out, di you really think if tebow plays the same, he’ll be successful? If tebow wants to get better, he needs to continue training and workout all up until the season starts because he needs a lot of work, I will be watching him next season to see if he improves. As far as manning, he’ll be 100% by the start of the season but I’ll give him 3 to 4 games to shake off the rust.

  52. If the executive and the scout lacked the intestinal fortitude to lend their names to these quotes, the quotes never occurred. What’s to stop “journalists” from building stories like this one based on their overactive imaginations?

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  53. Where were these scouts when I was saying this in ’09 and ’10? He walked off with a media-hyped MVP award that at least 4 others were far more deserving of in ’09. You could tell he lost the steam on his fastball with the 16 – and then 17 – picks.

    While Manning without the zip may be better than 25 starters iin the NFL – he i sno longer a threat to carry a team with a marginal supporting cast at the skill positions into the dpeths of the playoffs. Best case would be a one and done performance – though that would be nothing new for Peyton Manning.

  54. When Manning first was available to be signed, he said at that time that it wasn’t about the money, that he wanted to win another championship and that he would be willing to sign an incentive-based contract. But in the following weeks he showed that it was ALL about the money. Even though there were two teams, the Chiefs and the 49ers, that really offered better options for Manning to find that elusive title, he chose to take the cash. The Chiefs have way more options on offense than Denver, and San Francisco went to the NFC title game. So, Peyton, please don’t tell the lie anymore that “it’s not about the money”, because we now know that it is.

  55. One word, and it’s a good one… Favre; Denver has NO idea what they’re getting right now; remember how Brett was viewed the day he left GB , came off a few bad years, but still highly respected – look at him now… he did well initially for the most part, and remember he wasn’t out for a season with a rough neck injury; we all know how that ended up; it could be GREAT, and it could be a miserable failure in Denver, that’s what makes this so cool. I think Manning has the work ethic however, that Favre does not. He’ll work his a$$ off to make it work, and that may be the difference! Great to have him back though!!

  56. Of course Manning will still need time to get stronger, since he didn’t throw for a year or so. Personally, I think Manning’s best days are far behind him. I guess we’ll see…

  57. Come on people.The only reason they got PM was to get rid of Tebow.Period.Horsemouth i mean Elway couldnt stand Tebow from the outset.But the fans did and you have to fill the stands and thats what Tebow did.Elway hated it and found the only way to get rid of him is get the biggest name out there.Elway could care less if manning makes it out of camp.As long as Tebow is gone,it’s all that mattered to him.I like Manning and he is a leader and great QB.If i were him i would of done the same thing Get the guaranteed money for my future and get the heck out.Its only a win for Manning and Elway no one else.Denver the team and fans will pay for this.Dont be surprised if Denver dont pick a QB early in the draft for insurance.None of the back ups make any sense.I expect Denver to be 9-7 this year good enough to make the playoffs,but get knocked out in the first round.That of course is if manning is 75% healthy.

  58. Roller61 – the comparison to Favre begins and ends with helath. Favre wasn’t coming off of 4 neck surgeries. However, he was fresh from taking the Packers to the NFC Championship Game when the Jets came knocking; rather than his sofa. He lost a little zip in ’09 with the elbow. Had that repaired and the zip re-emerged in 2010. Again, elbow and neck are apples to oranges. Throw on top a year of rust and the gradual decline in skills that has been getting the best of him clearly for at least two years prior – its a stretch to think he’ll finish the season.

  59. Never mind his arm strength, he’ll also have to worry about his lung strength. Remember now, he’ll be playing half of his games in Denver, and might need an oxygen tank strapped to his back as well…lol…Good luck, Peyton, you should have retired…too bad your greed got the better of you.

  60. I hope Manning returns at 1oo%, but the odds are because of his age, and the fact his overall physicallity was never impressive, he will never be the viable asset Elway wants, and the Broncos are paying for. Additionally, with the surgeries he has had, in a short period of time, he has not had sufficient time to recover, leaving him open for serious injury. Elway, whose healthy ego always had problem with Tebow, will regret cutting Tim loose and signing on an iconic quarterback who should have retired and become a coach or a sports commentator.

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