Edgerrin James: Peyton and I had different backgrounds, same all-business attitude

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Former Colts running back Edgerrin James was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, and he has written a revealing essay about what made him a Hall of Famer — and why he and fellow Hall of Famer Peyton Manning were the perfect teammates.

James wrote at ThePlayersTribune.com that he didn’t have an easy upbringing and didn’t fit into some people’s preconceived notions of what a blue-collar football player looked like, but he took his job as seriously as anyone.

“I’m in the GYM at three-four-five o’clock in the morning by myself, putting in work. While they was sleeping, I was grinding,” James wrote. “Let it be a lesson. Judging a book by its cover and all that. You saw what it was on Sundays. You saw how I stood in the paint on pass protection. Yeah, I was always myself. But I was always about my business.”

James said Manning was the one other player who matched him for putting in the work necessary to be the best.

“Peyton Manning. I’m sorry, see earlier I said I was always about my business. That’s true. But the guy who was really the undisputed heavyweight champion of being about his business was Peyton,” James wrote. “We couldn’t have been from more different backgrounds, but we were kindred spirits when it came to Sundays. That’s gonna sound crazy to some people, but Peyton knows what I’m talking about.”

The success James and Manning had together can be traced back to that approach to doing their business.

9 responses to “Edgerrin James: Peyton and I had different backgrounds, same all-business attitude

  1. We love EDGE down here in Miami, always about the kids. Humble, quiet man. Does all the right things.

  2. he and Peyton desired a super bowl together damn shame irsay didnt pay him or let him stay but It proved Peyton could win with any running back as long as they got over 500 yard running and catch at least

  3. I remember when Indy had to choose between re-signing Edge or re-signing Marvin Harrison.
    Too bad the Colts couldn’t keep them both, but sometimes the salary cap dictates otherwise.

  4. 2 awesome pros. Loved watching Edge do his thing. Congrats on the ball of fame. You earned it.

  5. There’s just no way the defense was going to game plan to stop the running back when Peyton Manning was the QB. That’s not a knock on James. Franco Harris, Emmitt Smith, and Roger Craig all benefitted tremendously from being in the same backfield with one of the all time greatest QB’s, too.

  6. one of the classiest guys to ever put on a Colts uniform….hard working, humble, a true lead by example guy…..met him one time and he was such a good dude, I wish he had never left Indy. Would be a great voice for our kids. Class Act!

  7. Charlie… Edge helped Peyton as much as Peyton helped edge. Even though the Colts weren’t a run first team, he still gained his thousand each and every season. He also was one of the best blockers the NFL has seen in a long time….

  8. As a Cardinals fan I will always hold Edge in high regard for coming in and starting to change the culture of the team.

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