When it comes to making history, we all like to think about the impact we’ll have. The legacy we leave behind and how we may have changed the lives of those around us. Changing the world of sports, though, takes a different magnitude of influence and ability. There are few people who can legitimately claim such influence. Especially in the context of the NFL. Peyton Manning, one of the best quarterbacks of all time, is one of the few people who has undeniably changed the game.
Peyton Manning is an iconic name in the world of football and NFL. Not only that, but in his second-career post-football, he’s continued to make a name for himself as a TV personality and popular media figure. No matter how goofy his Nationwide commercials appear though, make no mistake, Peyton Manning left a lasting footprint on the gridiron. One that is sure to be discussed for years to come.
Players like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady don’t just impact the game itself though, they create a whole new way of looking at the game that serves to inspire a younger generation. This includes current top high school recruits like Nico Lamaleava. Even though he may be going against Manning’s own blood in fellow high school recruit, Arch Manning, any young quarterback would serve well to learn a thing or two from Peyton Manning.
Making it a Mental Game
Peyton Manning may have been one of the first quarterbacks to ever really transform the physical game of football into a mental game of strategy and decision-making. This was a major change-of-pace compared to traditional ways that the game had been played and approached. In the past, teams would rely on raw physical talent, strength, and power, in order to make offensive plays.
This led to a run-heavy-offense that prioritized the ground-and-pound strategy. Meanwhile, receivers that flourished were typically big-bodied, physically powerful, and focused less on speed than they did brute strength. As years went on and the game progressed, though, the passing-game started to become more and more important to integrate into a teams offensive strategy. How to do that, though, took a lot of trial and error.
Peyton Manning broke the mold, and changed the game as he led multiple teams through superbowl winning seasons, proving once and for all that the quarterback position is just as much a mental one as it is a physical one, if not even more so.
One of the most impressive aspects of Peyton Manning’s career is the way in which he approached throwing the ball and the air-attack in general. Modern quarterbacks like Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes are known for their spectacular playmaking ability, and part of that is their physical ability to launch the football down the field. Peyton Manning didn’t have that ability.
In fact, Peyton Manning was known for having a comparatively weak arm for an NFL quarterback. That didn’t stop him from becoming one of the best quarterbacks the game has ever seen, though. Instead, Peyton relied on his intelligence and mental prowess in strategizing, decision-making, game-planning, and game-managing. This is what set him apart from his competition and his predecessors.
Understanding the Tiny Details
Football is a game of inches. You may have heard that before, but no one in the game was quite as good as Peyton Manning at breaking down the minute details before, during, and after every single play. This is how Peyton was able to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage over the defenses he played against. By capitalizing on the tiny errors they would make, and turning them into gaping advantages for his offense.
Peyton’s understanding of the game is likely only rivaled by the likes of Tom Brady, who is undeniably one of the best quarterbacks to ever come into the game.
Relying on Strategy, not Strength
Once again, Peyton Manning didn’t have the strongest arm of the quarterbacks he played against. In fact, his arm was on the weaker side of things. That was okay with him though, he didn’t need a canon to make an offense work.
This is where his mind for strategy, his pinpoint accuracy, and his immaculate ball placement all came into play. His ability to put the ball only where his receivers could catch it, made Peyton Manning unlike any other.
There aren’t many iconic household names that carry as much significance and weight as that of Peyton Manning. Especially in the context of football and the NFL. Current NFL quarterbacks, college players coming up to the draft, and high school recruits just starting their athletic journey can all learn a thing or two from the Peyton Manning playbook. Peyton Manning truly is a legendary quarterback who completely changed the way the quarterback position is viewed.