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Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Myths about influences on Manning

By Paul Kuharsky

I spoke with NFC West blogger Mike Sando this morning as he was putting together this post.

It’s a great idea and he included a few of my thoughts in good takes on myths vs. motivators for Manning. Still, I’m compelled to circle back to offer a bit more of my thinking on a few of them.

First, there's the idea that the division of a potential team will play a big factor into where Manning lands.

If Peyton Manning likes the opportunity in Miami, he’s not going to shy away from it because of the Patriots and Tom Brady. Al Davis once said he didn’t get heart attacks, he gives them. That applies here: Manning doesn’t fear competition, he intends to instill fear into his competition.

Other things on Sando’s list that I think are overrated:

Offensive line: Yes, a good one would be desirable to work behind. But he’s played behind some bad ones in Indianapolis and he knows how to work around them. He can get rid of the ball more quickly than any quarterback in the league, whether it’s the play as designed to the primary receiver, a quick dump-off to avoid trouble or a throwaway. Given a choice between great route runners or great blockers, I think he'd lean toward the first.

Reggie Wayne: I’m sure Manning and Wayne would both love to work together more. But as I’ve written, it’s pretty insulting to Wayne to suggest he’ll be an add-on item to Manning’s next team. He’s a prime free agent with a few good years left who can do just fine without Manning.

Preference for a smaller market: Look, in a superstar’s world, market size is way overrated. Manning wasn’t walking around Indy undisturbed. When you learn how to be low key in one place, you can apply the same methods to a different place. Manning’s weekly news conference in Indianapolis was packed. He was engaging and measured in much bigger situations, including two Super Bowl weeks. Yes, those weekly sessions will be more packed if he’s with the Jets. Do we seriously think he’ll be turned off by that to the degree where it’s a factor in deciding where he works?