Peyton Manning may have handed the Chicago Bears their only Super Bowl loss in franchise history in Super Bowl XLI, but that doesn’t mean he won’t lend the team his vast expertise when asked. According to Peter King, Manning met with multiple teams via zoom to discuss the intricacies of the quarterback position, and the Bears were one of those teams.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer last month that the team had been bringing in several former professional athletes to have detailed discussions with position groups about plays, experience, routines and anything else that may come up. Nagy said the exchanges were organic and designed to help Bears’ players attain new perspectives from some of the best athletes and coaches the sporting world has seen. Nagy had been vague when asked which speakers the team had called upon, but we now know Manning was one of them.
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Peyton Manning Talked to Bears’ QBs, Shared Old Routines & Habits
Manning told King he had spoken to several teams, essentially telling them all the same thing: follow my little brother Eli’s example.
“I’ve done a few Zoom calls. I did the Buffalo Bills quarterback room meeting. Did the Los Angeles Rams full team meeting. Did the Bears quarterbacks,” Manning said. “That was kinda my message, sort of, you know, follow Eli’s lead. Quarterbacks, take ownership. All these Zoom meetings, right now, the coaches are leading them. My message was to the quarterbacks. ‘Hey, organize your own Zoom meetings without the coaches, just get you and the tight ends, you and the receivers.’ It’s actually an opportunity to even have better communication. Because there’s nothing else to do, right? Hey, every Tuesday, 9 a.m., quarterbacks and the offensive line, Zoom, watching film. Instead of complaining about it, see it as an opportunity to really improve. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have every play from last year studied down to the T.”
Manning also shared some of the habits he used to have that gave him an edge in the game with Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles and Tyler Bray. “I shared how I broke down film from the previous season,” he said. “I always watched the interception tape first. Then the sack tape. All the bad things. You figure out why you’re throwing these interceptions. What drill do I need to incorporate into the offseason to fix that? I think the team that wins it all this year is gonna be the team that’s really getting an edge during this time — kind of like the Giants in 2011.”
While Manning was having fun giving his younger brother a shout out, there’s a great deal of truth to his words. The coronavirus pandemic has made this offseason one of the most unique and challenging in NFL history, and the team that best prepares for it will likely have a leg up on the competition. It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact Manning’s words may have on the Bears’ quarterbacks room.