It is unlikely any player in the league gets more out of the offseason than Peyton Manning, which is a big reason he’s one of the most vocal objectors to the idea of an expanded regular season.
Wednesday in his weekly session with the Indianapolis media he expounded on why he thinks an 18-game season is a bad idea:
“Are they going to try to adjust the offseason to make the 18-game season work?” he asked. “Now, you’re really messing with some important things. It’s one thing to add something, but if you’re taking things away, I’m not real thrilled about that. Taking things away that we’ve always used in the past to, I think, make us a better team.”
On taking away offseason work being his primary complaint:
“I mean it sounds like this 18 (game schedule), there is not much discussion on it, it sounds like they are so locked in on it. The injury factors and all that, those are all issues. I’m not thrilled about it, but if they are going to do it, to me, you take away the offseason program and you are asking for some bad football, I think. You’re asking for guys that aren’t going to be ready to play. If you don’t have offseason and OTAs, I think you’re asking for bad football.”
On the potential for concessions owners can make that might change his mind:
“I think you’re going to have to do that anyway. Maybe I’m old-school or old-fashion, but offseason is still where it is at, to me. It’s how you become a better player, how you improve your craft. It’s kind of insulting to the profession that you can just show up and just be able to play, especially at a high level. That’s what I have a real concern about. If they are taking away off-the-field offseason workouts (and) organized team activities, I think that is a bad thing.”
Manning may actually be at odds with some of the other guys in league on this, who aren't as concerned about quality of play as they are a more reasonable schedule for the offseason.