Tom Brady has more rings, but no active player in football commands more individual respect for Peyton Manning. No matter the setting, be it a huddle, a locker room, a meeting room or a convention, every mouth shuts and every ear opens when Manning walks in. From his accomplishments with Tennessee, Indianapolis, and Denver, his on-field acumen and his work ethic, Manning is the epitome of coach on the field.
If there’s one current NFL player that could be his own offensive coordinator, it’s Peyton Manning.
Now consider this quote from May 27, via ESPN: “I love being coached. I get angry when I’m not coached. I ask a lot of questions and certainly appreciate any insight and feedback. I think if you ever stop listening to coaching or stop asking questions, you probably need to be doing something else. This is the kind of time for it.”
The quote stems from questions Manning has received – continually – about moving to Gary Kubiak’s play-action offense. At age 39, Manning insists he can learn the offense.
“I certainly ask a lot of questions and I’m always learning … you always have to be learning and asking a lot of questions. I ask a lot of questions of (offensive coordinator Rick Dennison) and coach Kubiak, and am trying to learn from them,” Manning said. “This is the time to ask questions. They kind of encourage that. Ask questions, and if you don’t ask, that’s kind of on you. That’s your mistake. I try to ask a lot.”
Again, this guy will walk a gold-plated path to Canton five years to the day after he retires, and he loves being coached. He craves coaching. He demands to be coached.
If football’s most accomplished – or second, depending on your proximity to New England – player recognizes his need to be coached, your players should, too.