- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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ASHBURN, Va. -- Before the Washington Redskins put themselves in position to draft Robert Griffin III, they wanted another quarterback: Peyton Manning. And Manning was interested enough in them that he scheduled a meeting with coach Mike Shanahan.
But, two years later, Shanahan knows it was probably a long shot. With brother Eli Manning playing for the New York Giants, Shanahan knew it would be tough. It was a notion suggested at the time; it's one that Shanahan says was true -- at least after talking to Peyton Manning.
“I really had a strong feeling after talking to Peyton,” Shanahan said. “Any time you have a brother within the same division that wasn’t going to happen. And so even though I enjoyed spending time with him, my gut was understanding from a family standpoint it would be very tough to come within the same division.”
It also became irrelevant after the Redskins traded for the No. 2 pick in the draft, putting them in position to select Griffin.
“That sort of changed things,” Manning said.
Still, the two sides met in Denver the weekend after they made that trade.
“That was early in the process and I wouldn’t have met with them had I not been kind of considering a number of options,” Manning said. “I’ve known Coach Shanahan for quite some time so I enjoyed that visit with him and [offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan]. I was very impressed with Kyle Shanahan and, like I said, Mike and I have had somewhat of a relationship for quite some time.”
But Manning said he liked the chance to talk with Shanahan, who coached him at the Pro Bowl. Shanahan has talked in the past about getting to know Manning during that week. Manning said it was fun for him, too.
“In that time, I really felt like you can see why he’s been so successful as a coach,” Manning said. “The way he operates, just the schedule, the meetings and you get to talk a little bit of football with him as well so I definitely enjoyed that week.”