Jaws on Peyton: “The ball is not spinning out of his hand”

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Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s arm strength has been a popular storyline dating back to training camp and preseason games. Manning clearly does not throw the football with the same velocity he once did. At times, he’s looked capable of overcoming his diminished arm strength. At others, he hasn’t.

Through three games, Manning has completed 69-of-115 passes (60.0 percent) for 824 yards (7.2 YPA), five touchdowns, and three interceptions. Those are above-average numbers, but the microscope remains focused on Manning because the Broncos are 1-2. If they were 3-0 or perhaps even 2-1, this would no longer be as much of a story.

Regardless, ESPN’s Ron Jaworski made some interesting statements on Monday morning’s SportsCenter about Manning’s ability to throw the football at age 36, coming back from four neck surgeries. We transcribed to pass them along to you.

“It’s still a work in progress,” said Jaws. “And we have to remember Peyton is still going through therapy to get his arm strength to 100 percent. The only thing that really bothers me about Peyton right now, is the ball is not spinning out of his hand ala an Aaron Rodgers, a Matthew Stafford, the guys who really spin it. So I think that eventually will come when he gets healthy. But he made some mistakes in his progressions and reads, which is unusual for Peyton Manning. But in due time, all these misreads will be corrected.

“… When I see the ball coming out of his hand, what I see is a little wobble on it. That’s not what you want to see. We like to see that thing spinning really nice, tight on a spiral.”

One veteran scout was a bit more candid and harsh in a recent back-and-forth with NFL Network’s Albert Breer.

“Peyton Manning can’t throw the ball anymore,” the scout observed.

Manning can quiet the concerns with victories. By winning football games. The Broncos host a Jekyll and Hyde Raiders team in Week Four, followed by tough road matchups at New England and San Diego. They have a bye in Week Seven.

65 responses to “Jaws on Peyton: “The ball is not spinning out of his hand”

  1. One veteran scout was a bit more candid and harsh in a recent back-and-forth with NFL Network’s Albert Breer.

    “Peyton Manning can’t throw the ball anymore,” the scout observed.


  2. Guess what Jaws, you never really set the world on fire either with the balls you threw.

    And you always threw the Panic Ball when Lawrence Taylor was coming off the edge. Or just ate it.

  3. For a guy who is still rehabbing and missed ALL of last season, Manning has looked good. Sure, he’s knocking some rust off, but he played a solid game yesterday and will keep improving. The important thing is that he’s proven he can take the big hits.

  4. manning has never thrown a good spiral. it’s always amazed me that he gets so many passing yards and touchdowns. he’s been throwing wobblers his whole career, so the difference may be that it always worked indoors, but not outdoors. his career stats in outdoor games are far lower because of the fluttering lamar duckball.

  5. Just because you can’t throw it doesn’t mean you can’t tell when others can’t either.

  6. I still have them at 2-4 going into their bye week. I have seen nothing to change my opinion. Although if Oakland pulls out a win in Denver next week, they will be looking at 1-5 into the bye. That’s when you will see the Bandwagon fans jump off. Peyton will turn up with an undisclosed injury and Osweiler will start the rest of the season.

  7. How many stories are we going to see about Manning and how he is not doing this or that. They have been in both their losses and he was anointed “back” after they beat PITT. Last week all we heard was that he had no completions over 20 yards so what does he do yesterday but hit Stokley for a 40 yard TD and he threw another to Decker for a long gain of about 35 yards that was called back bc the line was holding all day. He is averaging 275 yards a game which equals out to 4400 yards and 27 TD’s this year plus he just played 2 of the best teams in the league 20 months after a 4th neck surgery. How about we focus on guys who are healthy and have losing records (Brady, Brees and Big Ben) I guess the polish is off Newton and Vick as well)

  8. It doesn’t matter how Jaws threw the ball. his observation is still valid. The vast majority of Peyton’s throws look like they’re floating instead of reaching the target with a tight spiral/trajectory.

    We all need to get over judging individuals comments about football based too harshly on their playing experience. A great playing career certainly gives credence to a commentator or an analyst, but a lack of experience playing doesn’t negate accurate observation.

    Conversely, being a great former NFL’er doesn’t mean you’re opinions are automatically sound either.

  9. Manning has been throwing the wobble since he was a freshman at UT. He looked much better throwing the ball in the second half yesterday than the first.

    I understand this is a subject for debate right now, but likely wont be at the end of the season. Better receiver play wouldn’t hurt either.

  10. lanjoith says:
    Sep 24, 2012 1:16 PM
    He would have 3 more INT’s if the Texans secondary could catch.

    and if the Broncos stop them on third down they get the ball back AND if the ref did not make a phantom pass interference call against Denver last week in ATL they could have gotten the ball back and so on and so on. Just stop bc you sound like an idiot. If you truly believe that Matt Schaub is taking you to the promised land you are and NFL rookie. I cant wait for an exciting Joe Flacco Alex Smith Super Bowl or if Schaub does make it he can bring the ratings down as well. There are only 6 QB’s wearing rings in the NFL right now and I don’t think that it is by coincidence.

  11. Kurt Warner didn’t throw a tight spiral at any point of his NFL career. There’s more to throwing a good ball than whether or not it has a wobble to it.

  12. People always forget that when great QB’s begin to decline it usually starts very slowly and gradually, not all at once. He’s at that age when the skills begin to slip, nothing more. Barring injury he has two, maybe three starter-quality seasons left and I mean competent seasons, not “old Peyton” seasons. Those days are over.

  13. Manning has ALWAYS thrown wobbly balls. Look at games from the past. The wobbly is the same. It just looks like it wobbles more because it is a little slower.

  14. Right now, I can throw as well as Peyton, but I’m not making $25 million. Just give me the veteran minimum and the Broncos would be just as well off.

  15. Just give it a week…

    Next week the Raiders come to town and no doubt Peyton Manning will once again look like the:
    * Super Bowl bound
    *Comeback Player of the Year
    *Season MVP
    *that can direct an offense like no other
    *Who is 90% back to full strength

    Just give it week and the universe will be back in order.

  16. I think we’re beginning to see how much the way Tebow played (and the game plan around it) helped the defense of Denver, more than the other way around.

    I still maintain that Denver D is not ANYWHERE near as “great” as everyone wanted to make them last year.

  17. Can we all calm down a bit. Peyton was arguably one defensive stop away in the previous 2 games from getting the ball and going on a game winning drive.

    Yes the Broncos are 1-2, but they lost to Houston and ATL, arguable the best teams in each conference and superbowl contenders.

    I’m sure if the schedule was easier the Broncos would be 3-0 and we’d all be singing a different tune.

    Manning is doing just fine. I still believe they’ll make the playoffs in the end.

    They lose to 2 superbowl contenders and everybody is saying Manning can’t throw anymore, give me a break.

  18. PManning has never had a gunslinger fastball.

    but Manning always had the dome to protect him

    if you think it is bad now… wait until weeks 9,11,12,16 & 17.. all games that could be played in windy conditions, weather games late in the year.

    This could get ugly!

    he should have said yes to SF for less money!

  19. It was funny to watch yesterday, everything is so out of sync. These receivers who were called good last year, when everyone was blaming the QB, still can’t catch. Peyton can’t throw (at the moment) with anything even close to the precision he previously did.

  20. The real issue I’m seeing is a lack of trust on the offense. Peyton is locking on to his chosen receivers making him easy to read. The exception is Brandon Stokely and if you watch their timing, it’s allowing the impressive thread the needle passes from Peyton’s glory days. DT and Decker usually find themselves in double coverage by the time Manning releases the ball because he’s watching for their recognition and not looking off the safety like he should. I’m full of hope that this will get better as the season goes on.
    Another issue is Denver playing obvious defensive game plans. Del Rio’s schemes seem anticipated by offensive lines which is ridiculous given the pass rushing talent. They need to be cut lose early and often, I think, but they’re waiting for a cushion of a lead which hasn’t been available the last two games. Hopefully this will change too.

  21. – Remember when Manning had the knee surgery, didn’t play much at all in the preseason, then took six weeks to scrub the rust off? Can’t expect perfection in game 3 after a year off.

    – Saw a slo-mo of one of Eli’s long balls on Thursday night. It wobbled too. Maybe it’s a Manning thing.

    – Bronco’s lost to two of the best teams in the league, and despite multiple things going wrong, like picks and drops, were in both games at the end.

    Don’t panic.

  22. Peyton doesn’t look like the old Peyton just yet, but he looks infinitely better than what we watched last year with Tebow throwing it end over freaking end! And the arm strength, while not all the way back, is not as bad as some (i.e Jason Whitlock) would have you believe. Peyton completed numerous passes WAY down the field on Sunday, including 3 completions that were OVER 35 yards in the air!

    So the arm strength is fine and will only get better. Getting a tight spin on the ball is something #18 has always struggled with. That has more to do with hand size and (most importantly) wrist snap than it has to do with arm stength though. Arm strength is irrelevant in regards to snapping the wrist. The good news is that arm & wrist snap issues are definately things that would show up in the form of rust. As he continues to rehab, his arm will get looser and he will get the snap factor back on the ball.

    So he will get better and better at snapping the ball out as the season progresses. The arm strength will probably improve a bit as well, but it’s more than strong enough right now. All told, Peyton will be back to playing MVP caliber football again sometime around mid season.

    Now, if only he can only get his freaking receivers to catch the damn ball!!!!

  23. As of today, only Griese, Plummer and Tebow have winning qb records in Denver since Elway retired.

    And Tebow has 1/2 of all their playoff wins since Elway’s last Super Bowl.

  24. Some idiot just said Kurt Warner never threw a tight spiral??? Really?? Truth be told with the way an obviously older and weaker Manning the broncos should have stuck with tebow!!! Not taking anything away from Peyton but he isnt leading that team anywhere other then home to watch the playoffs from their couches!!! So so glad my home town hawks got “dissed” by Manning.. Seems like one franchise is on the up and comming list and the other is facing a future with OSWEILER!!! YUK!!!

  25. Its just a slow start for Manning, he’s just getting back to form. Give Peyton another 2-3 weeks and you’ll never even notice that he even had surgery. Also, since when has anyone ever worried so much about a spiral? Yes, a tight spiral is nice, but it is not needed to win games (see:Tim Tebow) in this league.

  26. Manning will be OK. But he’ll never be the 28 year old Manning again… probably won’t be worth $18 million. I’d be concerned about how much better he plays indoors vs outdoors.

  27. I got downvoted by all of you for saying the Donks would miss the playoffs this year due to Manning gaining “Brad Johnson syndrome” from his surgery.

    I hate to say I told you so…………

    ……no, that’s a lie, I enjoy saying it.

    Told you so!

  28. I saw multiple passes that either sailed wide or bounced a couple feet in front of the receiver.

    No idea if any of those balls had any spin on them but either way the ball has to hit the receiver in the hands and he could not do it consistantly……..

  29. PM continues to put his long term health in jeopardy every time he steps onto the field. I’m still not sure why he decided to come back to this game. Being married with children has really shown his short sightedness of what should really be the priority in his life. I have 2 blown out discs in my C5, and C6 with the C7 bulging. When I decided to play something as simple as flag football with this condition, it was probably not the best decision. Even a little bump at the line puts a stinger down your arms, so you can only imagine what he feels when he is hit by a 300 pound plus lineman. The more hits he takes, the more ineffective he will become. The strength will not come back fully, nor will his full sense of balance. As I said before he made this decision to come back, he should retire and spend the rest of his quality life with what is more important than football and stats, and that’s his family.

  30. Where would they be today with Tebow? I think they would be better, tebow brung a different element to the game, the way peyton is getting hit..he wont last long,

  31. Through three games, Manning has completed 69-of-115 passes (60.0 percent) for 824 yards (7.2 YPA), five touchdowns, and three interceptions.
    Isn’t that better than what their last qb did in two years?

  32. Too late to say we told you so! But we told you so! Denver epic fail in paying Peyton so much, after he was out for so long, with so many questions. Peyton was all smoke and mirrors in the off-season, you could have seen all was not right. But Peyton fever makes people open up their wallets without thinking.

  33. He’s 36 years old, missed an entire season, and is coming off four neck surgeries. He will never be the player he once was, and anyone who thought that he could magically make it 2006 again was fooling themselves. You’ll see flashes of the old Peyton, of course, but injuries and Father Time catch up to every NFL player eventually.

  34. I’m no Jaws at breaking down film, but in live action, I saw some pretty nice balls thrown by Manning last night.

  35. his balls do wobble and by the time he gets healthy, his contract will be up, he will either retire or the colts will take him back, either way the Broncs get screwed without the benefit of a kiss

  36. Problems with his spiral? (sp?) eye roll, this is spiraling completely out of control. Jaws flips opinions faster than a rotations in a spy roll. I think Peyton’s throws are just as sweet as ever, like, ahs.. pie roll, or macaroni spirals. But after those neck surgeries, it’s safe to say linebackers won’t have to be practicing the QB spy role when prepping for Denver! Spiral.

  37. This is why Manning didn’t go to San Francisco.

    If he goes to San Fran, that team is loaded from top to bottom and anything less than a Super Bowl would place the blame squarely on his shoulders.

    Here he can make mistakes and come up short, and just blame the deficiencies of the team when he loses big games… just like he did in Indy.

    Watching Peyton fail is really too sweet 😉


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