TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Sunday, Dec 21, 2014
Sports

Manning still learning system

TBO.com
Associated Press
The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM

View allPage 1 of 2

Page 2 of 2 | View all Previous page

Peyton Manning baffled defenses for years by using strange words such as "ice cream" and "soul train" at the line of scrimmage.

The four-time NFL MVP is struggling to grasp a new language now.

"That's been one of the hardest things, learning new terminology, new formations," Manning told Tony Dungy on NBC's "Football Night in America."

Coming off four neck surgeries that sidelined him all of 2011, Manning made his regular-season debut with the Denver Broncos against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

Manning, who is known for masking his emotions, was surprisingly candid in an interview Dungy, his former coach in Indianapolis. He said he's "not even close" to being settled in Denver and always thought he'd play for one team.

The biggest adjustment for Manning has been understanding the offense.

"As you know, in Indianapolis we kind of had a unique language, and it didn't carry over to any other team," Manning said. "So that's been humbling for me. A lot of times these coaches do a double take and say, 'I thought you were supposed to be this smart quarterback. How come you keep having to run it again?' But there has been no carryover. That's presented a challenge, but that's a challenge I've embraced."

Manning was considered a maestro on the football field with the Colts. He was a master at dissecting defenses and changing plays at the line. Manning had an odd way of calling audibles, putting on a show with his gyrations, finger-pointing and foot-stomping.

It may take him a while to be that animated in Denver.

"I always thought I'd play for the same team the entire time, but I'm still going through the transition process," Manning said. "Everybody keeps asking me, 'Are you settled yet? Are you settled yet?' Really, not even close."

Manning spent 14 seasons with the Colts, and led them to a Super Bowl title with Dungy on the sideline in 2006. He became the most-prized free agent in NFL history when he was released in March.

Two weeks after a tearful goodbye in Indianapolis, Manning signed a five-year, $96 million deal. The 36-year-old Manning has to prove he's worth it because that contract can be voided after this season if his health doesn't hold up.

"What I learned about myself is that I could handle that type of football adversity," Manning said.

STEELERS AT BRONCOS, LATE

View allPage 1 of 2

Page 2 of 2 | View all Previous page

Subscribe to The Tampa Tribune

Comments