Veteran QB Manning has Broncos headed in right direction
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — John Elway insisted that every one of the Denver Broncos was better the second Peyton Manning put his signature on that nearly $100 million contract last spring.
Indeed, all have prospered from the arrival of the meticulous quarterback whose work ethic generated, as coach John Fox also predicted, a lifting of all boats.
Teammates on both sides of the ball are better. So are the coaches. Heck, even the team's ticket sellers and concessionaries have upped their games.
While Manning was turning what began as a season of mystery into one of magnificence, several of his cohorts enjoyed breakout or bounce-back years as the Broncos (13-3) thundered into the playoffs as the AFC's top seed and winners of 11 straight.
Not since Elway was leading comebacks on the football field instead of from the front office have the Broncos been the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl like they are now.
Wide receiver Brandon Stokley suggests we call it, “The Manning Effect.”
Manning sets his standards so high that “it just makes the players work harder and want to do better,” said Stokley, who traded in retirement for a reunion with the four-time MVP. “With Peyton, everything has to be so precise, detail-oriented, it just rubs off on everybody else.”
Players see the league's most decorated quarterback working as though he's on the bubble to even make the team, and they take heed.
“I think when you have someone of his stature pushing himself to the ultimate level that it makes everyone push themselves to that level, too,” said Denver tight end Jacob Tamme, who also played with Manning in Indianapolis. “The fact he's had the success he's had but still works so hard still at this point, I think shows why he's had the success that he's had in the first place.”
Young receivers (Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas) and cornerbacks (Chris Harris, Tony Carter) blossomed under Manning's tutelage. Tailback Knowshon Moreno revived his career. Guard Zane Beadles broke through in his third season and linebacker Wesley Woodyard did so in his fifth. Von Miller, last year's top defensive rookie, became a bona fide superstar.
“I think there's a direct correlation because when you have a guy of that caliber, he gives everybody confidence,” Fox said. “Not just the guys on offense, the guys on defense. And that's where I'm talking about him raising all boats.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.