When practice started this spring, Porter quickly picked off Manning again. A few plays later, Manning burned Porter deep.
As he walked off the field, the defensive back felt a hand on his shoulder. It was the quarterback, who said: “You tell me what I did wrong on that first play and I’ll tell you what you did wrong on that next play. That’s the only way we’re going to get better. Deal?”
Months later, Porter still shakes his head while telling the story. “Dang right, that was a deal,” he says. “He wants me to be better so he can be better. And he wants to be better to help me get better. I’ll follow a man like that into any game, anywhere, any way.”
Gotta admit that ESPN Mag has improved over the past year or so, even if we'd never subscribe to it by choice (it's a necessary evil of the necessary evil that is ESPN Insider). Anyway, this is an excellent article about the influence Peyton Manning has had at Dove Valley.
There are plenty of other great quotes to take away from the piece, but here's hoping that Greg Orton makes it through to Denver's practice squad, because he sounds like one sharp individual.
Post-Camp Stock Watch: Irving Up; Ayers Down
DE Robert Ayers: That Derek Wolfe — and not Ayers — replaced Jason Hunter this week speaks volumes about where Ayers stands in the defense. He now fills the “experienced depth” role that Brooking and Leonhard were signed to handle at their positions. That’s good for a roster spot, and likely to get him some decent playing time at some point in the season, but is nevertheless a long fall considering that he was an every-down player last year.
Raise your hand if you think defensive coordinator Jack Of The River isn't enamorado with Robert Ayers.
Obviously, Del Rio hasn't been exposed to the genius of Mike Mayock. If he had been, he would have remembered Mayock saying: "Robert Ayers is the best defensive player coming out of this draft. You can get creative with Ayers. He brings your scheme versatility on defense. I think he's a special player."
Blame McDaniels? Hell, why not.
Peyton Manning Feels He Took a Step Forward in the Process of His Return
Your first touchdown pass in your career came against Seattle in a preseason game. What do you remember about it?:
“It was a funny series because the first play we ran the ball. I remember the coach had told me … if the headphones ever go out, just be prepared to have your own play. The headphones go out on the second play of the game. I kind of stayed poised, didn’t call a timeout, called a little draw play and got four yards. Anyway, it was like a third-and-five or six and Seattle, being a smart defense, naturally you’re going to blitz a rookie quarterback, and they brought everybody. We called a little three-step drop, safe pass, no reads or anything. It was called Scat Right 92 and I was throwing to Marvin [Harrison] breaking the huddle. … They blitzed everybody and he just hit that seam and all I remember is running down that field and thinking, ‘This NFL is easy.’”
Do you hear that? The NFL is easy, like stealing literacy from a Raiders fan.
Elway says Broncos' Manning throwing ball better than ever
“He’s throwing the post route and everything well,’’ Elway said. “I went back and looked at film from 2010 and 2009 to get a comparison of Peyton, and he looks to me to be the same guy throwing now that he was then.
“The ball is coming out quicker all the time the more and more time he gets with the offense and getting to know all his receivers and tight ends. ... That’s always been his style. He’s never been the Nolan Ryan of quarterbacks anyway. He’s always throwns the ball with great anticipation and touch.”
Obviously humility is the more societally acceptable choice, but don't you wish JE would have said, "That's always been his style. After all, he's not me"? He also clearly was too kind to Jay Cutler when the then-kitten claimed to have a stronger arm than the Duke.
Source: Dolphins cut Chad Johnson
One day after being arrested on domestic battery charges, veteran wide receiver Chad Johnson has been released by the Miami Dolphins, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter…
...Only five days earlier, first-year Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said Johnson’s roster spot could be in jeopardy if he didn’t temper his freewheeling behavior. Johnson annoyed the coach by frequently using profanity during a session with reporters.
The headline: Dolphins cut Chad Johnson after being arrested for domestic battery.
The story: Dolphins cut Chad Johnson, whose production on the field didn't match his off-field distractions.
While Elway specifically declined to comment on Manning’s polarizing predecessor, current New York Jets backup Tim Tebow, it’s clear from his comments that he believes the quarterback transition has been transformative. Whereas Tebow routinely delivered errant balls in practice, literally putting some of them in the trees bordering the fenced-off fields at the team’s training facility, Manning is fitting most of his throws into tight windows.
For young receivers such as Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, that’s not an insignificant change. “They’re gonna be a lot more refined, and they’ve got hope,” Elway says. “Because they know if they run the right routes at the right depth, the ball’s going to be there waiting for them when it’s supposed to. They got really sloppy at the end of last year, because the ball never came out on time.”
I knew I should have checked the trees last year at Dove Valley for souvenirs. I could have auctioned one of those balls off to a church group for some gambling and strip-club, girl money.
Elway's sentiments seem to agree with our own Doug Lee's last year when he speculated that one reason the receivers were having trouble was Tebow's inconsistent ball placement and timing from practice to games--even between quarters.
Elvis Dumervil: “I Haven’t Felt like this in Three Years”
On if he learned anything from the incident:
“Absolutely. Number one, don’t blow your horn when somebody get in front of you. … Just one of those situations, kind of really just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think anything in life you gotta learn from it, can’t ignore it. Even though I didn’t do anything, but it’s something you can try to learn from it. So I just try to humble myself and try to learn from any situation.”
I think I speak for everyone when I say there are certain lessons in life we should impart upon our children (our most precious resource, if you haven't heard). Two immediately come to mind:
The wisdom of Elvis Dumervil reveals yet another. Simply put: don't blow.
Give it some time to sink in--that's it. Ruminate. Meditate. You'll find the advice applies to everything in life.
“If he wins two more championships, he’ll be, without a doubt, the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. So when I said that, for me, what I meant, that’s about winning world championships. He’s got the numbers, he has the stats, those will never change, they’ll just get better and better.
But for us to make Peyton the greatest quarterback that’s ever played, what will separate him, because now he’s in the conversation, if he wins a couple more before he’s done, then he’ll be right at the top of the list.”
So, Peyton Manning with three rings > Joe Montana with four, and Tom Brady with three? Certainly worth debating, and of course QBs shouldn't be measured solely by championships, else Terry Bradshaw be in this discussion.
But it's still a window into how John Elway perceives Montana, and he also gets in the obligatory implied swipe at Dan Reeves for not surrounding him with better talent earlier in his own career.
“I’m not afraid about him getting hit. I’m really not,” Elway said. “Everybody’s worried about whether he can take a hit or not, he wouldn’t be on that football field if he couldn’t take a hit. If our doctors were worried, we wouldn’t have done anything on him a long time ago. I wanna see him get out there, get the rust off, complete a couple balls, and see how everyone reacts underneath the pressure and how we can do some different things and getting him under the bullets to where some things we do at the line of scrimmage, if he wants to change some things around and how we react to it.”
So, the Duke has spoken. What about you? Does Peyton's neck concern you at all?
Reflecting on training camp travels
Thinking about the Broncos’ backup situation: The Broncos have the quarterback of the present in Peyton Manning and the quarterback of the future in Brock Osweiler. The current backup is Caleb Hanie. From watching practice, you get the idea that Osweiler, though listed No. 3, might end up beating out Hanie for the backup job. That might be a big gamble to have him as a backup. I could see the Broncos signing Matt Moore if he’s cut by the Dolphins. Moore has a good background with Broncos coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy from their days in Carolina. There is a good chance David Garrard will beat out Moore, which puts the Dolphins in a position to decide if they want Moore or Ryan Tannehill as their backup.
Matt Moore is frustrated in Miami. John Fox and Mike McCoy once coached Moore. And Brock Osweiler may end up beating out Caleb Hanie. Are these three connections enough to think the Broncos would sign Moore in favor of Hanie?
It probably depends on your view of Matt Moore. Moore's career rating is 80.1 in 35 appearances compared to Hanie's 61.7 in 11 appearances--if you're into the numbers.