Peyton Manning’s arm sure didn’t look strong this preseason, but is it a concern going forward?
After the preseason concluded, questions arose regarding some of the passes the Denver Broncos quarterback made during his limited time on the field.
It was noted by NFL Media analyst Brian Baldinger that Manning struggled to get the ball down the field against the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers.
Baldinger came up with this assessment after studying game tapes:
“When you watch some of these throws, you can’t believe it could possibly be the same guy. You just (wonder) is it the arm, is it the new offense, is he thinking too much, is that possible … those plays are lay-ups for Peyton Manning.”
Additionally, an AFC pro director who reviewed Manning in action last month said that his arm strength had “significantly diminished.”
Another NFL executive pointed out that Manning appeared “immobile and “flinches under pocket pressure.”
All of these reports lie on top of a 28-person poll conducted by NFL Media’s Albert Breer asking each to name their top five quarterbacks for the 2015 season. Of the 28, only two ranked Manning higher than fourth. Worse yet was that 19 excluded Manning from their lists altogether.
However, it’s not like this is news to Broncos general manager John Elway, who reportedly asked Manning to take a $10 million pay cut during the offseason. Eventually, Manning agreed to a $4 million reduction in his salary.
And, while the critics may be down on Manning this season, his wide receivers have recently claimed that he can still complete every throw and he has even “more zip” than ever. Manning’s arm strength certainly will be put to the test this season. However, under the Broncos new coaching scheme, he will not be attempting as many passes this year as he has the past couple of seasons.
However this campaign develops, time will eventually get the best of the 39 year old future Hall of Famer. We just don’t know if that will be this year or in a few years from now. Until he proves otherwise, we shouldn’t read too much into these concerns about his arm strength.