“He’s good because he does everything,” Belichick said during a conference call Tuesday. “But, really, I don’t think there are any bad points in his game.”
Belichick proceeded to list off everything that makes Manning such a remarkable quarterback and competitor: “He’s very smart. He has a great understanding of concepts, timing, game management, clock management, situation football, third down, red area, great utilization of the field from sideline to sideline, attacking the deep part of the field, accurate, great decision-maker, quick release, has very few negative plays.”
Belichick and his own future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady are 10-5 (including playoffs) in their careers against Manning. They have seen Manning with Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark in Indianapolis and now with Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and the familiar Wes Welker in Denver. No matter who Manning has on his offense, he plays into their skills.
“It doesn’t really matter who is out there with him,” Belichick said. “Whoever it is, he finds a way to utilize him. He has had different players at different positions in different combinations, and guys have been out and other guys have been in. But no matter who it is out there, he does a good job of finding ways to utilize those skills of the group that is out there relative to the defensive matchup.
“It seems like he causes every defense a problem for the last 15 years or however long it has been.”
Belichick knows his defense has a tall task ahead of it to contain Demaryius Thomas and touchdown machine tight end Julius Thomas. And that's before getting to Sanders, Welker, and running backs Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson.
“You have to know who the people are out there,” Belichick said. “Everybody has to do their job to defend them. You can’t just stop one guy or one thing. But [Manning] does a great job of utilizing his players, his resources relative to what the defense is giving him or what looks best -- a combination of his personnel and where the defense looks soft.”