There has been some concern around the NFL world that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning struggled in the second half of last season due to a previously unreported quad injury. That coupled with his relatively advanced age (39), led some to believe Manning might not be the same quarterback moving forward.
Duke University head football coach David Cutcliffe, who saw Manning work out first hand back in April, is attempting to quiet these rumors a tad:
I thought he looked really healthy. We had talked about nutrition, about sleep, about recovery. He’s really so, so smart. So brilliant and so disciplined. But there’s another level, always,” the head coach said, via the Denver Post. “I thought he looked really fit. I thought his core was great. I watched him train inside, and he looks good and he’s strong where he needs to be strong, and he didn’t show anything at all from the quad. And we talked a lot about flexibility.”
Cutcliffe is an expert voice when it comes to Manning. He has seen the future Hall of Fame quarterback work out each offseason since his days with the Tennessee Volunteers back in the 1990’s. He also served as Manning’s offensive coordinator all four years the quarterback played in Knoxville.
The big thing to take out of this is that the Duke head coach didn’t see any lingering issues from the torn quad Manning suffered last year.
More than that, Cutcliffe seems to be impressed by Manning’s work ethic, even at the age of 39.
“I’m amazed at times. We’re doing this in an indoor facility with nobody watching and I watch his focus, his intensity, the absolute desire for every rep to be as good as it can be — that hunger is pretty amazing at this stage. But that’s what successful people do.”
Manning, who may be entering the final season of his career, slowed down a bit in the second half of last year. He threw just 10 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions in the team’s final seven regular season games.
Without the services of offensive linemen Orlando Franklin and Ryan Clady as well as tight end Julius Thomas from a season ago, Manning will have to put that work in to keep his team atop of the AFC West in 2015.
But if Cutcliffe’s comments are any indication, the Broncos should expect a rejuvenated Manning when Week 1 of the 2015 season comes calling. That’s music to the team’s ears.
Photo: USA Today Sports