DeMarcus Ware and Peyton Manning were teammates as members of the Denver Broncos for two years and won a Super Bowl together.
They are also both likely headed for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ware, who retired on Monday, would certainly make it into the Hall if it were up to Manning, who had nothing but glowing words to use describing his respect for his former teammate.
“DeMarcus Ware is not only a Hall of Fame player, but a Hall of Fame teammate as well,” Manning said, per the Broncos website. “I played against DeMarcus and played with him. It was an honor and a privilege to have done both. Being a teammate with DeMarcus and being a captain of the team was a real privilege for me.
“DeMarcus loved football. He loved everything about it. He loved putting the work in, loved helping the young players and of course loved playing on Sundays. It is no surprise why he was such an outstanding football player. It was because of his work ethic and his real passion for the game.
“It was an honor to call DeMarcus a teammate and a friend. I just know he’ll be a great success in his post-playing days. I wish him all the best. He truly is one of a kind.”
Manning can count himself among the nearly three score NFL quarterbacks who have been hauled to the turf for a sack by Ware, who finished his career with 138.5 sacks. Ware got to him once, though we’re confident that number would have been higher if they had played in the same conference as foes.
Of all the quarterbacks Ware sacked, Manning’s brother Eli has felt that pain more than any other, having been sacked 14.5 times by his former NFC East rival.
Ware was a key player for Denver during the team’s Super Bowl run in 2015. He will be remembered as a champion and as one of the NFL’s good guys for his 12 years of excellence, both on and off the field.