Niners offensive coordinator echoes position that team “evaluated” Peyton Manning


Although 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh temporarily deviated from the league’s talking points regarding replacement officials, Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator didn’t do the same thing when it came to discussing the team’s offseason interest in Peyton Manning on Wednesday.

Asked open-ended questions about the team’s consideration of Manning, who was cut by the Colts in early March and who’ll face the 49ers in a preseason game this weekend, Greg Roman eventually brought up the “e” word.

On whether Roman had a chance to sit and talk football with Manning, Roman said this, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle:  “Yeah, we had a chance to talk football and talk about families.  I mean, it really was an evaluation.  When you look at free agency, on every player that’s a free agent, you need to write a report on them.  So how do you write that report on Peyton Manning as a free agent?  How do you write it?  You don’t.  It’s such a unique situation.  You have to see where’s he’s at.  You have to see where he’s at physically.  Where his mind is at.  What exactly does he represent at this point, et cetera.  So, I just think the uniqueness of the situation, you can’t write a free-agent report on a player in that situation unless you actually get hands on and see how he’s doing.  See where he’s at.  So that’s pretty much what it was, really, just an evaluation.”

And then, some diabolical bastard in the room saw fit to harsh the mellow by saying, “Oh, we know. . . .”

“Do you?” Roman responded.  “Do you know?  Do you?  Really?  Because that’s really all it was.  And I understand how things are going to get blown up.  It was good to talk football with him, but it really was just an evaluation.  Where is this guy at?  Can he even play?  Where he’s at, physically, mentally — all that good stuff.  So that’s it.”

I realize that lying is part of the strategy of football.  In this case, the 49ers desperately need quarterback Alex Smith to think that he wasn’t the second choice to Manning — even though Smith was left hanging while the team waited to complete an “evaluation” that didn’t end until Manning picked the Broncos and, as we’ve been told by multiple sources, personally called the 49ers and the Titans to tell them that he wouldn’t be accepting their offers of, you know, employment.

But in some cases it’s more than just not being honest.  I’m starting to wonder that, in order to best sell their B.S., some of these guys actually convince themselves that it’s true.

66 responses to “Niners offensive coordinator echoes position that team “evaluated” Peyton Manning

  1. What I gather from this: “Yeah….so, we totally EVALUATED this guy that is, like, the best QB of his generation and all. But, you know, we decided to go with this other guy, who had is really neat and has had one successful season in his career. That’s good, right?”

    Sound about right?

  2. For the millionth time, Alex was the first QB that the 49ers offered a contract in the offseason; a contract Smith later signed. He was the first option.

  3. Ya, and Alex Smith was just “evaluating” his options in Miami. I mean even if the ‘phins had tried to sign him, I’m sure he would have turned them down.

  4. the 49ers desperately need quarterback Alex Smith to think that he wasn’t the second choice to Manning — even though Smith was left hanging while the team waited to complete an “evaluation” that didn’t end until Manning picked the Broncos…
    *cough cough* im pretty sure the niners threw a contract offer at smith weeks before Manning was even available.. Smith chose to not sign because he was trying to get a better contract.. So why is the media blaming this whole situation on harbaugh? Balkee does not take BS.. he puts a price in a player and he doesnt blink..

  5. Alex Smith had a contract on the table as soon as, or even before, free agency opened. He wasn’t left hanging.

  6. For the record, I think Manning had his best shot with the Niners. But that said, we all know they’re full of crap, so just shut up about it already.

  7. 49ers were the typical fluke team you see every year in the NFL. They won’t sneak up on anyone this season and they’ll crash and burn this season under Smith/Harbough. Their “stellar” defensive unit is vastly overrated and only really have a great LBer group. I see the NFC West being won by Seattle, ESP. if Russell Wilson starts.

  8. discosucs2005 says:
    Aug 22, 2012 11:08 PM
    You don’t even believe that about Alex “Grossman West” Smith being the top option.

    Honestly San Francisco is just a joke and should be relocated.

  9. “But in some cases it’s more than just not being honest. I’m starting to wonder that, in order to best sell their B.S., some of these guys actually convince themselves that it’s true.”………..hey Florio, are you talking about Vilma here, LOL

  10. Love him or hate him, A. Smith is no idiot. He, Manning, the Niners, and the football-watching world know the team went after Manning. He’s a first-ballot HOFer; they’d have been crazy not to. Everything else is just spin, but seems to drive people nuts for some reason. NFL coaches BS a lot… OK, got it. So does everyone else, except the majority of us don’t have microphones in our faces and every last word constantly scrutinized.

  11. First, what PFT seems to gloss over time after time on this story is that the our 49ers did offer Alex Smith a contract first. Our evaluation of Manning didn’t come until about a week and a half into the derby because of the prior statement and its lack of being signed.

    Manning has looked human if not worse than Smith during this preseason not to mention, Manning’s lack of mobility, a very important part of Harbaugh’s offense.

    So again, yes a contract was offered when our first option had decided to play hardball with the organization. We’ve come to love Alex Smith as SF fans. The love/hate relationship that has gone on has us as much in defense of Harbaugh/Roman’s position as they are.

    This is ridiculous that this is a story.

    Alex Smith is our starting QB. Peyton Manning is Denver’s starting QB. As of preseason, we are happy with how things have went.

    One question: why is it that its so unbelievable that Alex Smith might be better for this offense and might be a better bet for it than Manning, a QB out of the league for a year and has some serious questions about his play even now?

    Ahhhhh frustrating!!!

  12. All I know is….as a Saints or Lions fan, Hairbow sucks and I hate him because he hurt my feelings.

    Really did we have to regurgitate this story again?

  13. Archie sucked, Peyton’s overrated, Eli’s adopted, and Cooper lost a bet with GOD and Alex Smith will be a Super Bowl champion in a matter of months!

  14. Are 49ers fans dumb? They have one good year and now think their team is perfect. Syke you’ll learn every year that there is always a position or two on the elite teams and they only have an average player at the most important position on the field. DUHH they wanted Manning over Smith, but couldn’t afford him or didn’t think he was healthy enough ..Nuff said!

  15. “hey Alex it’s Peyton freaking Manning!”

    Agreed. But I still don’t know why this matters. Who cares if the 49ers and the media disagree on semantics? Fact is that Smith is in San Francisco, and Manning is in Denver. The media, Harbaugh, and Smith just need to move on to more relevant issues.

  16. Alex Smith has a better winning pct in the postseason than that big choke artist, Peyton Manning.

  17. Does anyone think that Denver “evaluated” Manning?

    Smith accepted the same basic offer he was given just after the season ended. He got an additional million in up front money, but it’s three years with an easy financial out for the 49ers after the first and second years.

    The value to the team that got Manning will be determined by what happens this year, not what he’s done in the past.


  18. if everyone in media already knows what the niners were really thinking in terms of signing peyton, why do they keep asking and writing about it. let it go, business is business. Did they evaluate Peyton, yes. Did they sign Alex Smith, yes. What’s the issue?

  19. Yeah they offered it to Alex, when he didn’t sign right away and Manning was being “evaluated” they were saying their prayers that went a little something like this…
    “Dear God, please let us have Peyton Manning, and if you could also see to it that Alex lost that contract we offered him early on before we knew what we were doing that would be great too.
    …Oh, and God, if we don’t get Peyton Manning, could you comfort little Alex’s heart and fill it with gladness. We don’t want to take the diapers off of him yet, we know it’s going to be tough on the little guy.
    -Jim Harbaugh

  20. The whole 49er organization appers to lie. Hairbough threw Smith under the bus and chased manning all over the country. But manning went for the guaranteed money and not the beter team. I don’t see how the players can respect their coach knowing he’d sell out any of them at a moment’s notice.

  21. Peyton Manning is an amazing football player, but the 49ers offered Smith a contract first. So…while Smith evaluated his options you better believe the Niners evaluated theirs.

  22. Where he’s AT? Let’s see where he’s at! Where’s he at?? I dunno where he’s at! I’m gonna be where I’m at!

    WTF? No one knows how to talk anymore? How about “We’ll see where he is…”

    If you want to know where he’s at, why don’t you just AX him? Nomesayin’?

  23. So what?

    Of course they did. They’re an NFL franchise. If they hadn’t, they should all have been fired.

  24. Niners fans aren’t always the best and brightest, but come on. Seriously? You believe this crap?

  25. They need to stop babying this grown man. So what youre interested in Peyton. I work in a computer tech field, and it’d be like me taking offense if i got canned for bill gates.

  26. WHO CARES??

    Unless you have Brady, Rodgers, Brees, & the other handful of QB’s that are legit then every franchise OWES it to their respective fan bases to look at the opportunity to sign one of the best QB’s ever to play if the opportunity arises!!!!!!

  27. Chins should just tell him the truth “Alex buddy you stink and your probably gona turn the ball over like 20 +times this season we got Lucky with you last season ” and thats it

  28. I do not understand why the niners insist on putting on this act. It’s not like anybody would blame them for being interested in perhaps the greatest quarterback of all-time. Had they just come out and said “Yeah, we looked into Peyton Manning as our starting quarterback, but things didn’t work out and we are now fully behind Alex Smith” then this would have stopped being a story a long time ago. The fact we are still talking about this puzzles me.

  29. I say Harbaugh is an egomaniac and can’t admit or even let his coaches admit that they lost the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. I bet he holds team meetings to hash the issue out with his players.

  30. I think its hilarious that all these Niner fans have actually convinced themselves that manning wasn’t pursued by the team. If Alex was the man for the job why did you draft a second rd qb in kapernick???? This is just another attempt to boost smiths fragile ego since he has looked average at best this pre season(despite reports of his vast improvement and mastery of the offense.. ) I’m just glad that it appears Seahawks have 2 qbs that look better than Alex smith.

  31. sure they kicked the tires, you think for one minute that if manning had called and said “let’s do a deal” that Smith would be under center?!?!?! If the brass didn’t at least check it out, they’re not doing their jobs.

  32. simonwelds says: Aug 22, 2012 11:03 PM

    Plain and simple, if Manning wanted to be a 49er he would be playing for the 49ers…… It wasn’t their choice to make, it was his
    Actually, you couldn’t be more wrong. You can put your red and gold spin on this all you want but this still is a bad scene there in Santa Clara.
    The fact that the Squared Sevens pursued him is bad. You see, Smith and Wedge Head are represented by Tom Condon. Condon wouldn’t put himself in that situation by approaching the Squared Sevens in the first place. Oh you BA people………so innocent, never do anything wrong. Yuck.

  33. I’ve been saying for a long time and I repeat here:

    1) When courting time came around last spring it was about 18 months since Manning had played.

    2) He has had at least 2 or 3 neck surgeries.

    3) At the age of 35 he was coming off missing an entire season because of one of those neck surgeries.

    4) In the playoffs – where it counts – he is UNDER .500.

    5) 1-4 are facts. Here is an opinion – he is one big hit away from a wheelchair.

  34. I don’t have any sources on this, but I’m pretty sure that the Packers, Patriots, or Saints didn’t take the time to “Evaluate” Manning. I wonder why:)

  35. It’s politician speak is all.

    As far as we know all they did was evaluate Manning. The only reports I’ve heard is they went to see him throw. They never brought him to their facilities for the tour, pulled a Denver and brought every front office person to him, or offered him a contract (as far as we know).

    BUT we all know if Manning came to them and said “I want to sign if you guys, I don’t care about the money, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get a deal done” They weren’t going to say no and tell him Alex Smith is their guy.

    It all comes down to clever wording and instead of asking if they were interested in Manning the question the media should ask is “If Manning wanted to sign with you would you have been interested?”

  36. The whole 49er organization appears to lie. Hairbough threw Smith under the bus and chased manning all over the country. But manning went for the guaranteed money and not the beter team. I don’t see how the players can respect their coach knowing he’d sell out any of them at a moment’s notice.

  37. Why does it matter if they made Manning an offer or not? Why do the coaches have to admit that? They evaluated him, that is true. If they liked what they saw, made Manning an offer and he turned it down that’s a private team matter. They shouldn’t need to say anything about it. When teams kick the tires on free agents this happens all the time. The fans and media don’t always find out if they tried to land the player or not. Also…Based on how hard it is to even make the NFL, let alone become a starting QB, I don’t think Alex Smith’s ego is too fractured after Peyton Manning’s visit. He’s been competing for his job since he started playing.

  38. Roman’s definition of an “evaluation” is way different than mine. Talking families and football isn’t an evaluation. He speaks of finding out if Peyton could still play, but he never worked out for them so that part would have consisted of them asking “Hey, Peyton, can you still play?” That’s not an evaluation either.

  39. The Seahawks went after Manning, too, and they lost. And I don’t hear Flynn or Wilson saying, “Gasp! You liked somebody else before you liked me?” It was Manning, and why the 49ers organization has to pretend they didn’t go after him is beyond me. Alex Smith, man up and show them how wrong they were. I want the 49ers and Smith to be great because the better you are, the better the Seahawks have to be to beat you. I want the 49ers to go 14-2 every year.

  40. I guess they never should have “evaluated” a 35 year old QB with multiple neck surgeries and one that hadn’t played in a year. I’m a 49ers fan and I could care less if they “evaluated” him, were interested in him, whatever! All coaches aren’t honest with the media. How many coaches refuse to reveal their player’s injuries? Again, this story means nothing anymore.

    Yes, we know. [insert sarcasm]The Seahawks will win the divison. The Niners are a fluke. Niners are overated. Russel Wilson is going to be another Cam Newton. Harbaugh had a lucky season. Niners will come down to Earth…blah blah blah blah

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